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Sunday, November 19, 2000 -- Grafton, WV
Tygart Dam Turkey Trot
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Turkey Trot Pic
You gotta love a downhill finish
Yes, it was quite cold with a chilling wind blowing across the Tygart Lake. But, the sun was out shining and the 5K course was very scenic and runner friendly. The out and back run raced along the edge of the lake on tree-lined state park roads with the finish of the slightly rolling course resulting in a net elevation loss. Among the many runners and walkers, dressed in varying degrees of winter layers, it was hard to find a face that wasn't smiling as they enjoyed the late autumn afternoon.

With the starting signal given just after 2:00pm, it didn't take long for Larry Taylor to race out to the front. It has been a regular sight this year to find the 39-year-old Fayetteville native in the winner's circle at many area races. However, 19-year-old Jonathan Wright from Fairmont, was not going to make this one easy for Taylor.

Turkey Trot Pic
A beautifully chilly day at the Tygart Lake State Park
Taylor likes to kick hard from the start and Wright watched as he built a near 50-meter lead by the midpoint of the race. Wright, later realizing that he had let Taylor get away a little too far, put in a strong effort to close the gap late in the race. As they raced downhill and onto the final short, flat stretch to the finish, Taylor could hear the footsteps behind him. In the end, Wright's best kick came up just a little short as Taylor took the win at 16:35. Wright's finishing time was 16:38.

Finding the finish for third overall was Morgantown's 17-year-old Steven Hiser (17:24). Hiser was able to hold off Grafton's own John Riffle, 15 years-old, who finished just a few seconds back at 17:28, fourth overall.

Among the women runners it was another Grafton runner in 17-year-old Sherri Flohr who ran away with top honors. Her winning time of 19:58 placed her in 16th overall. The other top female finishers, in order, included Philippi's 18-year-old Julie Zickefoose (21:34) and Clarksburg's 40-year-old Carol Davis (21:48) and 16-year-old Stephanie Hatfield (21:52).

Turkey Trot Pic
Everyone was happy to get the chance to play outside
Among an enthusiastic group of walkers, the quickest to finish the 3.1 miles was McMechen's 48-year-old Geroge Macek (32:33). The first female to complete the walk was Fairmont's 46-year-old Kim Kime (37:53).

After all the 3.1-milers finished their treks, the youngest of the kids got a shot at a downhill fun run. With everyone cheering them on, and enjoying an elaborate spread of post-race food and refreshments, a good time was had by all.

Even though everyone was enjoying the day out at the races, no one minded the trip indoors for the awards ceremony. The wonderful success of the event was a tribute to the hard work put in by Paul Martin and all his hardworking volunteers. Thanks, too, goes out to all the participants for helping to support Grafton High School Cross Country.