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Saturday, April 9, 2005 -- Huntington, WV
Huntington Half Marathon and 5K (iPO Event Id#: 6701)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Kids Fun Run]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

See even more race photos by Jason Black

Huntington
Hands on hearts awaiting the first Huntington Half Marathon
Huntington, West Virginia is a town full of change. Designed by Collis P. Huntington to be a turn-of-the century railroad kingdom, the city has the perfect lay-out for a half marathon course. Flat, scenic, and now full of new additions such as Pullman Square, a brand new, 200,000 square foot Town Center located downtown. The Huntington Half Marathon and 5K is a new addition to the city as well. With the support of First Sentry Bank and many other local sponsors, this 1st annual event has the potential for longevity.

Race organizer and Huntington Roadrunners Club president, Teddy Johnson, dressed in a tuxedo for the event, and for good reason. Local celebrities such as Huntington mayor David Felinton, recently retired Marshall football coach Bobby Pruett, and Marshall men's basketball coach Ron Jirsa were all on stage to pump up the racers at pre-start time.

Huntington
The 5K begins with a lean
Over 180 total runners and walkers participated in the races, and almost as many volunteers could be seen throughout the course including the local motorcycle police force. Racers came from all over, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The half marathon offered cash awards to the overalls with many age group awards.

Overall winner of the half marathon, one of Morgantown Area Grand Prix's top competitor and former Marshall Runner, Jason Pyles took first place with 1:10:48. Pyles plans to use his winnings to buy a new pair of running shoes. Pyles was quoted in the Herald Dispatch saying, "This was my first half marathon. I've ran some 10-milers, but this was great. I hope they can build it up. It's great for Huntington."

Huntington
Heather Bury enjoys the day
Overall female winner, Heather Bury, currently training for a full marathon, is no stranger to half marathons. She's a certified personal trainer through ACE, serves as the president of the Morgantown Road Runners, and coach of the WVFlyers youth track club. Bury finished 16th overall with a time of 1:27:56.

Overall 5K Run winner, Tomonori Ishihara (18:33), threw up his arms in delight as he crossed the finish line. All through the course, music could be heard, especially the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Choir who joked, "iPrayOutside? No, no, it's I-PLAY-Outside. Oh, iPlayOutside, I got it!"

Huntington
iPrayOutside and iPlayOutside
Racers can expect next year's event to be bigger and better. The support for the race was outstanding, with much of it coming from local sponsors. Many volunteers made everything run smooth, including the race staff. The bands, choir groups, and local celebs helped to make the half marathon an event that runners and walkers won't forget.

Thanks to the Main Race Sponsor: First Sentry Bank

Huntington
Thanks to everyone who helped
And Thanks to the many Sponsors...
Sterling Supply, TR Johnson & Son, Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Pepsi, CSX, AO Smith, Teddy Johnson, Kohler Plumbing, Eagle Distributing, Carroll Insurance, Ferris, Baker, Watts, Reger Funeral Home, Stonecrest Animal Hospital, Huntington Steel & Supply, Whitt Meadows Electric, CI Thornburg, Workingman's Store, Delta Faucets, Roothog Coal, Wal-Mart, Kevco