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Saturday, June 17, 2006 -- Parkersburg, WV
Erickson All Sports Challenge (iPO Event Id#: 7389)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Photos]
Photos provided by The River City Runners on their web site.

Past Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2004] [2005]

Story by Tracy Hendershot with photos provided by The River City Runners

Photo by River City Runners
Future champions smile
Once again the weather was perfect for the 5K Erickson All-Sports Challenge. More than 135 runners of all ages attended the seventh annual event that raises unrestricted funding for the Erickson All Sport Center. The 20 plus volunteers and continued support of the Challenge sponsors has helped the event run as smooth as possible over the years.

Sixteen year-old Zachary Noel took home the overall trophy with a winning time of 16:59.34. Zachary was pushed by Dave Miller and Dave Ferrell, both in strong contention until the gradual uphill just past the mile two marker.

Dave Ferrell is a trained hill runner and claims the course didn't keep him from passing Zach. When asked what did Dave stated "He's just fast."

Photo by River City Runners
Heading for the finish
The overall female was Leslie Thomas, with a winning time of 21:39.57. The Washington, WV runner finished 100 meters in front of Robin Winchester and 200 meters ahead of Misty Roberts both from Belpre, Ohio. This race seemed to mark the return of Leslie to her previous form. She's been troubled with injuries over the last three years and during her recovery she has served as a race day volunteer at many events. It appears that she's off the sidelines and back out front.

The walkers division fielded a competitive group, with the top three male and top three females all finishing within a three minutes window. The overall walk winner was Brenda Pomrenke from Williamstown WV. Her time was 31:53.57. Following close was Donna Graham (31:55) and Martha Marks (34:44). The men's division was lead by GA Welch at 32:21.88, then Jeff Fouss and Randy Skidmore. The race organizer's appreciated that all competitive walker's appeared to maintain proper form with no irregularities reported or observed.

Photo by River City Runners
Neck and neck on a hot day
This was the inaugural year for a wheelchair division. Jason Hurst led the entire pack up the first mile grade, and finished strong with a winning time of 29:14 When asked how the race could be improved Jason stated "there's nothing I can think of..." adding he would return next year to defend his title.

This was the second year that the event included a Father's Day Category that allowed father and son teams to compete. The Barton team finished first for the second year, with a team time of 23:31. The Powell Team came in a close second with only four seconds separating them.

Noted Erickson supporter Dallas Wingrove and his son Wesley brought home third place in this special division. Following the Father's Day team race, Travis Barton went on to run the 400m kids race. His strong effort resulted in a straightaway sprint to the finish. He landed second just behind Austin Hendershot.

Addtional Notes...
The race sponsored a high school team event with $200 being added to the runners' club's high school scholarship program. The award went to Parkersburg High School whose coach made an effort not just to field three runners but to help man the finish line. The PHS team, lead by Dustin Meyers, averaged 20:45.

During the last seven years this race has resulted in almost $20,000 in direct funding for the facility. Additionally the race has become a tradition in its own right. I would like to offer a sincere thank-you to all of the runners, walkers, and volunteers who have participated in the event over the years. Next year's race will be directed by Joe Wiltseys Sr. and Jr. We look forward to their efforts and hope to see you there!