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Saturday, June 3, 2000 -- Philippi, WV
The Blue & Gray 5K Run
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

[1999 Coverage]

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

2000 Blue and Gray 5K
The little drummer boy gives the signal
There's more to talk about than the great weather when you're talking about the 2nd Annual Blue & Gray 5K. Over a century ago, the small town of Philippi, WV was the setting for the first land battle of the Civil War, an event commemorated in the annual "Blue and Gray" historical re-enactment. The Blue & Gray Festival for past two years now, has held a 5K along with it's battle re-enactment, and festival activities.

The smell of funnel cake filled the air as entertainers with instruments and yes, even a monkey, performed vaudeville type acts for the children. The cool breeze was a welcome sign for over 180 runners who were about to start their trek through the little mountain town full of history.

2000 Blue and Gray 5K
The runners make their way down Walnut Street
They might have said that the course was flat and fast, but there was one fairly large hill to contend with. Hills don't seem to bother everyone though, and Larry Taylor, a Fayetteville, WV native knows all about them. "This is a great course," explained Taylor, "There's a few turns in the first mile that give you a chance to look back, but when someone like Mikey Guinn's behind you, it doesn't help much!"

Guinn and Taylor have battled many times before, but on this day Taylor was quite a bit faster on his feet. Taylor finished 1st overall with a time of 16:08. Mikey Guinn(16:31), finished 2nd in the 1999 Blue & Gray, and reclaimed his 2nd place title this year as well. Dave McCollam(16:34), ran hard to finish 3rd, only a mere 3 seconds behind Guinn.

2000 Blue and Gray 5K
Running on a Saturday
What could be more fun?
Another Taylor to finish in a top spot was Jessica Taylor (Larry's daughter). J. Taylor was looking as smooth as ever, finishing 1st for the women with a 19:08 and 19th overall. The Women's Winner of the 2000 Albert Gallatin Regatta 5K in Point Marion, PA, Stephanie Meleady (19:29), kept up a great pace to finish 2nd for the ladies. Last year's Blue & Gray Female 1st place winner Rebecca Schoonover beat her time from 99' by 10 seconds. Although there was a lot more competition for the women this year, Schoonover(19:49), still finished a very strong 3rd.

2000 Blue and Gray 5K
Lots of smiles could be seen on the other side of the bridge
One of the unique things that really adds character to this race besides the festival and battle flair, is the 5K course that takes runners back in time for just a moment. Approaching the finish, participants have the pleasure of running through Philippi's beautifully restored, Covered Bridge. Built way back in 1852, the bridge was a vital link on the old Staunton- Parkersburg turnpike. It is the nation's only covered bridge serving a federal highway.

After the race was over, the cannons were booming over the Tygart River, folks in Civil War attire scurried about, and there was plenty to see and do. Make this race part of your personal schedule next year, you won't regret it, and you certainly won't forget this town's good ole' hospitality!