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Friday, June 30, 2006 -- Charleston, WV
Independence Day Celebration Race (iPO Event Id#: 7545)

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [2005]

Story and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Hot time in the city
Celebrating Independence a few days early, the pre-July 4th party set the perfect stage for an evening run and walk complete with post-race festival fun. Live music from The Carpenter Ants echoed on the Levee of Haddad Riverfront park as racers jogged the out-and-back traffic free course in Charleston, West Virginia.

The course followed the Kanawha River along Kanawha Blvd., a designated park area . Running the length of the park is a concrete walking/biking path extending to 'Magic Island.' Magic Island is an island (now connected to the mainland) in the Kanawha River near its confluence with the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia. Kanawha Boulevard separates Magic Island from Charleston's West Side neighborhood. It serves as a public park for the city.

Photo by Julie Black
The start of the run
As rich as Charleston is in history, locals recall that Daniel Boone was a member of the Kanawha County Assembly, the largest city in the state is also rich in people. Pioneers made their way here from early settlements taming the land to make it suitable for inhabitants. To this day, the city is still surrounded by West Virginia wilderness, and Kanawha State Forest.

Runners headed out on the course first, and before the clock hit 16 minutes, Jed Perko emerged from the evening haze. A member of the Men's Cross Country Team at Alderson Broaddus College, Philippi, WV, Perko finished first overall in 15:54. His team was 1st overall at the Blue Grass Mountain/West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) Championship Meet in 2005. Perko's time of 33:41 in the 10000 Meter Run was his personal record (PR).

Photo by Julie Black
School's out for summer...
High schooler David Bias of the Cabell Midland Knights in Ona, WV, earned himself second overall in 16:22. Most recent, Bias won himself a PR of 4:35.20 in the 1600 Meter Run at the 2006 Mountain State Athletic Conference Meet. George Angelos (17:00), finished a respectable third.

Local Sue Baldwin, was the second overall woman in 2006 Susan G. Komen West Virginia Race for the Cure. On this day she was ninth overall and first for the women with a time of 19:20. Also a Cabell Midland Knight, Rachel Riley, finished second for the women in 20:28. Dee Dee Winningham rounded out the ladies top spots in third.

Refreshments and awards completed the evening. Everyone was welcome to join in the festivities afterwards. Don't miss more events at this location in the future. Find out more from the City of Charleston at www.cityofcharleston.org .