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Saturday, October 7, 2000 -- Winchester, VA
ARC 5K
Story and photos by Beth Herr

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Race Start
Getting things started on the James Wood track
Morning broke, and those valiant enough to brave what felt like nearly freezing temperatures, ventured out early Saturday for the second annual ARC 5K run in Winchester, Virginia. This event, presented by the Shenandoah Valley Runners, benefited the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC).

This 3.1 mile run began at James Wood High School promptly at 8 AM. The course wound from the track, to the front of the high school, and onto Apple Pie Ridge Rd. The contenders continued with a short jaunt into a development, then doubled back to retrace the course, with the finish line at the track.

As Director of the race, SVR Junior President Richard Kerby, counted down the minutes to commencement, the runners took their places in the pack on the far side of the track. On his command, the race began with Neal Riemenschneider from Winchester, VA taking command of the front. Close on his heels were Jerry Anderson also of Winchester, and Charles Bowles from Boyce, VA.

Race
A fine time of year for a run
Riemenschneider would maintain his lead throughout the entire race placing first overall (19:01). However, Joel McKenzie stepped up the pace and finished second (19:35) with Bowles solidly taking third (19:59). Heather Kremer from Winchester, may have placed 10th overall, however she took home first place for the women (22:35). Joanne Connor, also of Winchester, placed second in the women's division (37:22).

Both Neal and Joanne were awarded a pair of sneakers for their first place overall Men's and Women's finishes, respectively. Other winning divisions were separated by age and included under 10, 11-14, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+. First place for each gender were rewarded with homemade pies of choice from a local farm market. Yum. Other small tokens of gratitude were divided among the other finalists.

Kids Race
Teaching a new generation of runners
Following the awarding so began the fun runs for the children and annual ARC Walk-A-Thon. The walk began at 9:30 AM and lasted into the afternoon with participants of all ages and abilities circling the track. Weaving through the walkers, the children ran their 1/4 mile run and 100 yd. dash. To their elation, all participants of the fun runs received a bag of M&M's as well as a stuffed animal to remember the special day.

The ARC of the United States is the nation's leading national organization on mental retardation. It represents over seven million children and adults with mental retardation and their families. All in all, the crisp morning was melted away by the warm hearts of everyone who came out and participated a very worthy cause. Thanks to everyone for a job well done.