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Friday, July 7, 2000 -- McMechen, WV
Mickey Phipps Memorial 5K
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

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

Mickey Phipps
The start of the 19th Annual Mickey Phipps Race
If "Small Town Runs with Big Time Fun" was the title of this article, then the 19th Annual Mickey Phipps Memorial 5K would surely be at the top of the list. The support this race receives from the locals who pose as, spectators, volunteers, EMTs, firefighters, etc., is enough to give any racer a warm & fuzzy feeling deep down inside. Afterall, this race is all about remembering a certain firefighter named Mickey, who was obviously a well known, and beloved figure in the community of McMechen. The folks that are familiar with this race know that the heat was painful in '99, or was it the humidity?

Mickey Phipps
Ricky Moore takes command
A warm breeze set the stage for this year's race, and over 100 participants were ready to tackle the hills, and inclines. You might remember Wheeling native Ricky Moore from his big finish in the 2000 Big Boy Classic, or maybe he looks familiar because he was the top finisher in last year's Mickey Phipps? Regardless of how you know him, or don't know him, Ricky has certainly made a name for himself in the northern WV racing scene.

Moore kicked it to the finish in his usual style, breaking a sweat, but certainly not out of breath as he finished 1st overall with a time of 15:38, beating his top time last year by a minute or so.

Mickey Phipps
Like father, like daughter
Stepping up in the ranks this year was Andrew Lewis(17:20). He finished 7th last year, but ran away with 2nd overall in 2000, bettering his time by over a minute. Craig Nething held onto Lewis's trail, but fell back a bit to sweep 3rd with a time of 17:33.

Taking 3rd in 1999, Wrong Way Joe Foster(17:51), did go the right way to finish 4th. Foster has had a tendency to choose the wrong path in some long races in the past, so friends like to give him a poke in the ribs about it! Ha, Ha...

Mickey Phipps
Cruising to the finish line
Another familiar face in the race was Erin Frye, who placed 1st for the women two weeks ago in the Wendy's Wellsburg 5K. Frye was taking no prisoners as well at McMechen when she strided up the incline and over the line in 1st again with a time of 19:46.

Once again, Julie McGee(20:42), was behind Frye as she was in Wellsburg to clench 2nd place with a strong finish. Missy Wood kept a steady pace to finish 3rd overall for the women in 20 minutes and 54 seconds.

Of course the walkers were tearing up the course too! Always keeping it real on the course and off is race walker Rollie Woods, who always puts on a good performance. Woods marched it to the line with a fine time of 31:01 to take home the top spot prize in the walk.

Mickey Phipps
Who says that Gatorade's the REAL thirst quencher?
Runners and walkers finished in the middle of a sweet July, street fair, where kids and adults of all ages were enjoying the festivities. There was even a Human Fly Wall for anyone who dared to put on the velcro suit and get pulled in all of the wrong places... Yikes.

Honorable Mention... goes out to Ed Tullius who finished 2nd in '99, but had a rough time in his last mile this year as the photo shows. Some say it was because he drank too many "carbs" before the race, but Ed assured me otherwise. "I don't know what happened, but I know it wasn't because of what I drank before the race!" As tough as he is, even with an upset stomach, Tullius finished in the top 10, and 2nd in his age group.

Don't forget about 2 big races coming up in August to the Wheeling area. The Garibaldi Days Follansbee 5K & the Debbie Green Memorial 5K.