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Saturday, September 23, 2000 -- Davis, WV
Leaf Peepers Festival 5K
Story and photos by Mike Monroe

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
[1998 Coverage] [1999 Coverage]

Race Start
Taking to the streets in Davis
I was sent on my to to Davis, West Virginia, for the Leaf Peepers 5k. While I was traveling down the road early Saturday morning, I was felling a bit tired. That was until I began to enter Tucker County and the Monongahela National Forest. The trees up there were changing a lot faster than the ones back home. The colors were beautiful and were setting the tone for the whole weekend in West Virginia outdoors. It filled me with energy since I was going to be out in this beautiful weather instead of being in Morgantown fighting with all those people and traffic. It was a beautiful fall day; the temperature was about 68 degrees with a crisp fall breeze. It was refreshing just to be out and about.

The little town of Davis was full of excitement, the store-fronts were all decorated and little kids were all getting into the festivities. They were full of energy and were all running around with their new toy guns and paddleballs. It was almost like a scene out of one of a Walton's episode.

Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes makes the most of the beautiful day
All the excitement going included the annual 5k running race, and everyone was pumped up for it, too. With around 50 lining up at the start/finish line the race looked like it was going to be an exciting one. The lineup was also quite diverse with people from the age of 8 to over 60.

With the usual three little commands, "On your mark! Get set! Go!", the racers were off. From the beginning Matt Barnes (18:39) was leading the pack and setting the pace for the day. Not to be out done, one of his classmates from Wheeling Jesuit, Danielle Wassam (23:52) led the women's division from start to finish

The course was laid out very well through the streets of Davis. The citizens were all out cheering on the racers while they were in between shops. A lot of people watched local wildman Chip "Crazy Legs" Chase (22:31) as he raced through the course... mostly because he was running barefoot through the streets. Chip said that he usually doesn't run barefoot but does everything else barefoot. Anne Wardwell (24:12) was also very proud and excited that she got the fastest Tucker County Female at the race and wanted her proud Mom to know soon as she got the award.

#1 Race
The Leaf Peepers 5K scored high marks among the racers and fans
After the race everyone hung around and talked about their next race and how this one compared to others. They all seemed to really like the layout of the course and the atmosphere of this nestled-in-the-mountains town of Davis. Wassam said that this was a little further away than Barnes and she had thought, but they were sure glad they came.

After handing out all the door prizes and gifts for the winners everyone gradually made it to their cars and drove slowly home while taking in the view. I also wandered to my truck and got in and drove home slowly after stopping at nearby Blackwater Falls State Park for a few minutes. I personally thought this was a great event and hope that everyone tries to come down and join the fun next year.