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Saturday, April 29, 2006 -- Elkins, WV
YMCA Ramp Race (iPO Event Id#: 7318)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Past Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by J.R. Petsko

Photo by JR Petsko
Springing to the start in Elkins
West Virginians celebrate their bountiful food harvests from spring to fall with plenty of festivals, but one of the most well-known is a festival held in late April. Devoted to the pungent and flavorful ramp, the Elkins Ramp Fest is uniquely Appalachian and fun for everyone. Complete with cook-offs and more, this annual event also features the Ramp Race. A 5K Run and Walk through the main street of Elkins, WV.

This year, mother nature was on our side, granting a sunny 62 degree day for the event. Elkins flat out-and-back course was updated with a change this year. The overall feeling from the racers was that the change was a good one.

Photo by JR Petsko
Ready for the Ramp Fest
Elkins High School Track Team (EHS), The Fighting Tigers, were there to represent. The top four overall finishers were all members of the EHS Men's Track Team, and in the 15-19 age group. Alex Zurbuch, a senior, finished 24 seconds ahead of his teammate, Bryant Cummings, a junior, to claim first in 17:01. Cummings (17:25), finished a respectable 2nd. Zurbuch recently competed in the 3,200 meter, (10:38) placing first for the EHS boys. Cummings competes in the 1,600 meter. Junior Mike Kwasniewski (18:13), rounded out the top three spots, while Jason Hedrick placed 4th overall. Hedrick is also a junior.

Barbara Byers, also of the 15-19 age group, claimed 1st overall for the women with a time of 21:29. Rebecca Schoonover (23:27), finished 2nd, and Jane Rodrigue crossed the line one second behind Schoonover to take 3rd.

Photo by JR Petsko
The Fighting Tigers of Elkins
First place walker of the day went to John Keller. First female walker to cross the line was Amiah Price. Susan Wilcher entered the first race of her life on this day. As she crossed the line, the crowd cheered wildly for her effort.

This small, but mighty event is always packed full of dedicated runners. With the free Ramp Festival going on the same day in Elkins City Park, this event has much potential to become a large event. Randolph County is considered the heart of West Virginia, offering many opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. Don't miss the Tour de Elkins going on June 23- June 28. The Tour's riding loops of 35-45 miles afford many advantages for families over point to point rides.