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Saturday, June 24, 2000 -- Charleston, WV
Mountaineer Spirit 5-Mile Run & 2 Mile Fun Walk
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

Mountaineer Spirit
The mountaineer presiding over his race
Dave McCollam ran hard. He beat the heat, sun, and everybody else to repeat as the winner of Mountaineer Spirit Run 5 Miler. But if you ask him, he will tell you there was some divine intervention. "Jesus Christ is my strength. He helps me run." Amen to that.

On a hot Saturday morning, McCollam and the rest of the racers took to the streets behind CAMC Memorial on a "flat and fast course" with "plenty of shade." "No hills, that's what I like," stated one competitor. The road race ran along the banks of the Kanawha River with just enough twists and turns to keep the participants on their toes.

McCollam, proved to be the most nimble. The Alderson-Broaddus track star was in a pretty tight group for the first part of the race. Mikey Guinn, another AB trackman, and Kevin Williams were not going to let McCollam take his second title in a row without a challenge. However, McCollam (26:01), pulled away at the two-mile mark and never looked back. Kevin Williams (27:26), jumping up a slot from last year's race, took the number two spot, but was ultimately unhappy with his performance. "Somedays ya got it, somedays ya don't." said Williams. Glenn Baldwin (27:42), also posting strong numbers, took the number three spot.

Mountaineer Spirit
Sam Sutton running for two
For the ladies, course veteran Kelly McGraw (32:17) took top honors. McGraw, alone the whole way, tamed a familiar course even though "it was very hot compared to last year." Anne Jenkins (37:10) took the number two spot. Carrie Cantrell (37:23) rounded out the top three.

Perhaps Heaven was on McCollam's side because the run benefits WVU? Just a thought. It was a great race for a fine cause. Even the Mountaineer himself, Scott Moore, was there to hand out awards. If someone can get the buckskin warrior himself out, something big must be in the works. WVOutside shout-outs go to Sam "The Man" Sutton and all the event organizers for their help.