Saturday, April 24, 2004 -- Jane Lew, WV
19th Annual General Lightburn 5K Run (CARS #2) (iPO Event Id#: 6268) Story and photos by Jennifer Saunders
This individual whom had a reputation for being fleet on his feet just had to be found. Sure enough, Nakayama Shinsuke arrived and changed into his running clothes. Hailing from Japan, Shinsuke of Salem University (located in Clarksburg, WV ) cross country team, arrived with some team mates. Now they looked to be a motley crew to be reckoned with! After seeing the competition, it was time to set off and watch the race.
Only a minute or two passed before spectators could see the image of Shinsuke running over the hill with a good lead. Navarini attempted to close the gap, but could not. Melissa Durst, an very impressive young woman who's also a cross country runner, was not far behind them.
Nakayama Shinsuke crossed the finish line with an all time course record of 4:36.7. D.J Navarini came in second with mproved time of 5:03.5, and Melissa Durst pulled off a 5:33.3 to claim third place. Be sure to keep an eye out for this young lady in future races.
The 5K had competitors ranging in ages from 4 to 74. Many smiling, happy runners took the time to talk to me. One young gal was accompanied by her track coach, and another young woman was pulling her little one in a wagon. For some it was their first race. For others, this was their old stomping (sprinting) grounds and they were back to defend their title or improve a time. One woman said, "I shoot for running this in about 30 minutes or under. I'm always setting a comfortable pace, and I'm not into punishing myself."
In the lead and holding strong throughout the race, Ron Weist, Salem University's Cross Country Coach, crossed the finish line with a time of 16:02.5. After the great first place finish Ron exclaimed, "I'm glad I improved my time from last year, especially since I felt weak, sick and tired!"
The awards ceremony was a nice end to a great day of racing with several prizes and awards given away. It's rumored that the snacks at this race are some of the best around. Thanks to all of the folks who made the day possible including everyone from the police escorts to the race cooridinators. It was great hanging out and getting a little town history. Hope to see you all next year and great running.
Did you Know?
General Joseph A. J. Lightburn (1824--1901), was a Union general and boyhood friend of Stonewall Jackson. General Lightburn was a delegate to the Second Wheeling Convention. He took part in the campaigns of the Kanawha Valley and was driven from there by General Loring's Confederate army in September 1862. General Lightburn served during the rest of the war with Generals Grant and Sherman. He is interred at Broad Run Church Cemetery, in Jane Lew, adjacent the church where he served as a Baptist minister for many years. His great grandson Joe still operates a small hardware store in town.