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Saturday, September 16, 2006 -- Morgantown, WV
September Stride 5K - MAGP #12 (iPO Event Id#: 7425)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Photos]

Past Event Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Photos and story by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Ready for an excellent 5K
A cool, crisp September morning greeted many runners and walkers on the 16th. With no West Virginia University football game in sight, racers dashed around the parking lot and outside of Mylan Stadium with ease.

The race benefited the Richard Rosenbaum Memorial Fund. The fund provides medication and equipment to children with cystic fibrosis and other pulmonary problems. Richard "Rick" Rosenbaum was treated for cystic fibrosis at WVU since birth and then died at age 36 in 1995. He was a dedicated advocate for children's programs associated with the hospital. Rick was a local businessman and good friend to many of the organizers of the event.

Photo by Julie Black
Keeping it close to the end
Over 200 runners and walkers lined the hospital/stadium parking lot, awaiting the gunfire. A lead biker kept the frontrunners on course, and there were three who ran together. Zach Sabatino, Andrew Smith, and Casey Batey steadied a 4:57 pace the entire 5K run. Toe to toe, they ran effortlessly down the home stretch, crossing the SERJ finish within seconds of each other. Zach Sabatino claimed the win in 15:24.5, while Andrew Smith took home second with a 3 difference. Casey Batey chilled in third with a 15:25 even.

Before the race, Heather Parks seemed calm. Coming off a women's overall win at the Ikea Half-Marathon Montour Trail September 9, and a women's overall win at the Helvetia 10K Mountain Run September 10, Parks wasn't sure how long her legs needed to fully recover from pounding out 23 miles averaging a 6 minute pace. Also on the line was former West Virginia University runner Jennifer Davis, who now runs for the Westchester Track Club.

Photo by Julie Black
The kids motor at the start
Heather Parks legs held true and lead her to the women's win in 17:37, giving her an overall fifth place finisher's spot. Jennifer Davis finished a strong second in 17:48, sixth overall in the 5K. Susan Davis (I believe of no relation to Jennifer), completed the 5K in third with a time of 18:30. The top three women competitors had some of the fastest female finishing times in past three years of the Stride.

Keith Bailey took home the overall walk win in 35:18, and the first female walker was Michelle Smith (39:28) who took 2nd overall in the 5K walk. Afterwards, the kids took the spotlight in two races, one long and one short. Everyone enjoyed cheering them on.

Special thanks to race director Tom Druge and his team. Thanks to the sponsors who made this event possible: BOPARC, Centra Bank, The Dominion Post, Glenmark Holding, HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness, Jackson & Kelly, and Thrasher Engineering.

Photo by Julie Black
Diana enjoys her 14th Stride
For the Record: It's hard to believe that we've been covering the September Stride for 9 years now. Time flies when you're having fun. The event itself has been around since 1993 and it's as strong as it ever was.

Many people may not realize how important events like this are to a community. The majority of the races I've covered since I joined iPlayOutside 7 years ago, are for charitable causes that give the money right back to the community. Events like this help build a strong social infrastructure by promoting public health awareness among families and neighbors. So thanks for participating.

Your donations help build sustainable communities, that's good for us and our children too.