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Saturday, May 27, 2006 -- Wheeling, WV
Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic (iPO Event Id#: 7353)
Past Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2005]

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14]

Photos by Jason Black

Local Runner Ricky Moore Finishes Fifth
Story by DON CLEGG Executive Sports Editor, The Intelligencer

Photo by Jason Black
Ready to race in Wheeling
After finishing a strong second in last year's Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic, Ricky Moore's goal was to finish Saturday's 30th anniversary run in the winners' circle. Instead, the Wheeling runner wound up settling for fifth place and ended his morning propped up on a cot in the medical tent with an ice pack strapped to the front of his lower left leg.

"I started having problems with my legs a little over a month ago," said Moore, now in his second full season as a professional road racer and a member of Team Saucony.

"We didn't know if it was shin splints or a stress fracture because I had symptoms of both. "I was planning to take a couple of weeks off after this race anyway so my coach and I decided just to try to race through the pain." It almost worked.

"John DeBlasis over at Wheeling Hospital fixed me up with some orthotics (shoe inserts)," said Moore. "They really helped but I can't wear them to run in." Moore ran through the pain well enough to finish fifth. His time of 1:07:16 was good enough to make him the first American runner and the first local runner across the finish line for the second straight year.

Isaac Arusei, who finished third behind Moore in last year's Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic, ran away with this year's event in a time of 1:03:21.

Kenneth Korir was second in 1:04:30 with Reuben Chebii third in 1:05:48. Ibrahim Limo beat Moore across the line by 10 seconds to take fourth in 1:07:06.

Photo by Jason Black
Moore hangs with an elite pack
"I felt fine on the flats and the uphill but when I got to the downhill on 29th Street, it started hurting really bad," Moore said. "By the time I got to Washington Avenue, it was pretty much everything I could do just to stay in the race for the last two miles."

It was somewhat ironic that Moore's problems arose on the long descent from Bethlehem down into Elm Grove. That's where Moore, whose strength as a runner is on the downhills, had originally planned to launch his assault. "That was the gameplan," said Moore.

"My coach and I talked about staying with the pack on the uphill at 29th Street and making a move on the downhill. "That was the strategy, but by the time I was halfway down the hill, I knew it just wasn't working for me today."

Moore is hopeful that the injury won't throw too serious of a crimp into his plans for the year. But the first item on his agenda this week will be finding out the exact nature of the problem.

"I'm going to be seeing the guys at Wheeling Hospital," said Moore. "They've been great with me the last couple of weeks trying to get me ready to race. "The orthotics seemed to correct the overall pain and fatigue in my legs but there's a spot with some localized pain that might be a stress fracture. We're going to get that checked out this week."

Moore " whose ultimate goal is a spot on the U.S. Olympic marathon team " had planned to take some time off after this weekend's race before starting his buildup to a fall marathon. But the answers he receives in the next few days will set the timetable.

"I was pointing to the Twin Cities Marathon in October," said Moore, "but if it is a fracture, you're looking at a layoff of four to six, maybe eight weeks. "If that's the case, I'll probably have to point to a later marathon. "Hopefully, there's no fracture and we'll find out it's something I can take care of in a couple of weeks.

"I trust my doctors completely and I'll do what they tell me to do."

Russia's Lyubov Denisova Takes Female Title
To see the full story... click here.

By RICK THORP, Staff Writer, The Intelligencer

Lyubov Denisova made her first trip to Wheeling a memorable one. The diminutive 34-year-old overtook 2004 champion Naomi Wangui during the latter stages and then pulled away to capture the Women's Open Division crown Saturday at the sun-splashed 30th annual Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic with a time of 1:12:52.

As the runners moved their way to the 8-mile mark near Elm Grove, Denisova pulled even with the Kenyan making it a two-person race to the finish.

"I was even with her for about a mile," Denisova said. Then, as action neared Washington Ave,, Denisova took charge for good. "I was running hard and then she just pulled away," Wangui, who finished with a time of 1:14:41, said. "As she passed me she was running very, very fast."

Graham-Gray ended up being the top American finisher with a clocking of 1:19:16.

Heather Parks, of Bruceton Mills, W.Va., was next in the female standings with a time of 1:21:58. Gina McGee, of Latrobe, Pa., rounded out the top five with a time of 1:22:55. Becky Droginske, of Wheeling, was the top area female finisher. She finished with a time of 1:31:42.

20K Walk Winner Sets New Mark

By LISA KENZORA, Staff Writer, The Intelligencer

Photo by Jason Black
Walkers take to the streets
Almost everyone has hopped in a car and driven 12 miles to the next destination. Fifteen minutes later and you've arrived. But hardly anyone can say they have walked 12.4 miles in an hour and 35 minutes.

That's exactly what Parkersburg native Matt Boyles did on Saturday morning at the Ogden Newspapers Classic 20K Walk, finishing in a blistering 1:39:34 to shatter the course record of 2:07.58.

He calls himself an "average, small-town Ohio boy" but this 23-year-old's athletic ability has taken him to races all over the world. Two weeks ago, he competed for Team USA in the World Cup 20K Walk in Spain. His talent earned him the ranking of 74th in the world. Boyle said, "you have to have consistency and prepare yourself to build endurance to walk 12.4 miles in all conditions." Susan Randall of Beavercreek, Ohio has only been training for the 20K walk for a year but she was the first woman across the finish line in 2:02:25.

"I used to watch my son, John, participate in track and field and saw the walkers practicing and thought it looked fun," Randall said. Moving from China less than two year ago, she's found a natural ability to take part in American racing.

Randall already competed in a New York City 20K race walking event.

She said it's becoming a family affair, noting even her husband is involved in competitions. Both walkers commented on the difficulty of 29th Street Hill since most walking races don't include hills.

"There was one monster hill," said Boyles, "but this is the best race I know. "The hill is tough but it goes with the territory." Randall said that it was the downhill stretch more than the uphill climb that was "a killer".

Both walkers are coached by Vince Peters, the 5K Ogden Classic runner winner, who has been coaching since 1979. Distance running is a challenge, but race walking requires a form and technical skill that not all athletes can perfect. "I actually didn't like it (race walking) at first," said Boyles, "but it is more disciplined and I enjoyed competing. "Now, it's really fun and it gives me the chance to compete and achieve goals."

Boyle's interest in race walking began at the University of Rio Grande.

His collegiate journey led him to national races and then the World Cup Trials in Hauppage, N.Y., where he earned a spot on the U.S. National Race Walking team that competed in the World Cup finals in Spain earlier this month.

"Just getting back from Spain two weeks ago, race walking isn't usually something you want to do every couple weeks," said Boyles. "(The) Breaks should be more around a month before competing again."

His strict training regimen finds him on the roads six days a week, often for as long as two hours a day, in order to develop the endurance to compete at an elite level.

"The Lord pulls me through every time and gives me the ability to achieve great things," Boyle said.