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Saturday, June 13, 2009 -- Clarksburg, WV / Downtown
Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10K (iPO Event Id#: 12146)

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Promoting Family, Community, and Health

Photos by Maria af Rolen with story by Jason Chastain and Julie Black

Clarksburg 10K photo by Maria af Rolen
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Saturday in Clarksburg beamed with a shining sun and a refreshing breeze blowing in from an approaching storm. The thought of rain didn't dampen the spirits of anyone though as all downtown was bustling with racers limbering up.

Event organizers busied themselves with race day registrations and sign-ins. Kids scampered to get their free balloons. Ronald McDonald and Eat-n-Park's Smiley cookie were just a few of the international celebrities on hand to cheer on the racers!

The pre-race National Anthem was sung beautifully by Washington-Irving Middle School 8th Grader, Alicia Noble, after a prayer and special tribute to J. Cecil Jarvis.

The crowd of over 500 racers featured some of the best runners from all over the East Coast. Professional athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia lined up in hopes of gaining some of the over $10,000 in prize money.

The 10K route had its fair share of hills, twists, and turns to keep the participants alert. Most of the runners I spoke to said the route was challenging and fun.

The elite men had their closest finish in five years.

Clarksburg 10K photo by Maria af Rolen
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Earnest Kimeli of Kenya, a Gold World Championship Team Cross winner (2004) stayed 1-minute ahead of the 2009 overall winner of the Ogden Newspapers 20K, Ethiopian Mohammed Awol. Kimeli's time of 31:08 earned him the top spot, but it was also the slowest finishing time in the race's history. An average pace per mile of 5:01 is nothing to balk at, but Kimeli pointed out that the humidity certainly contributed to the "slow" time.

Kenya's Jared Abuya, 4th overall in the 2009 Colonial Half Marathon and 5K in Virginia, claimed 3rd on this day with a time of 31:37.

Morgantown, West Virginia runner Josh Simpson jumped from 8th overall in 2008 to 5th. He finished as the first West Virginian to cross the finish line with a time of 31:49.

Also of Morgantown, Jen Davis (37:28), returned to claim her title as the first West Virginia female, beating local competitor Heather Parks. Saucony sponsors both runners.

The race for the men's overall was slow in comparison to past years, but this year's race for the fastest overall women's time exceeded expectations.

Clarksburg 10K photo by Maria af Rolen
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Elites from two countries crossed in 1, 2, and 3. Hellen Jemutai and Rahab Ndungu of Kenya battled Alemtsehay Misganaw (Ethiopia). Jemutai was seeking first, coming off a 5th place female finish at the 2009 Pikes Peek 10k in Rockville, Maryland.

Ndungu was the 1st female at the 2009 Granollers Half Marathon in Granollers, Spain. Misganaw won the top women's spot at the Clarksburg 10K in 2006.

Pushing each other from the start the three women set off on the 10K trek.

Jemutai took the lead and finished 1st with a time of 34:29, 26 seconds faster than last year's fastest female finisher.

Misganaw was 2nd (34:38) gapping Ndungu who followed in 3rd (34:54).

Lots of people lined Main Street to cheer on the runners as they came past for both the first loop and to the finish line. Some of whom were:

  • the family of Fairmont State's Football Coach, Mike Lopez,

  • the Wyatt kids cheered for their mother who was in the race, and,

  • Zachary, who was there to watch his Dad and "Paps" run the 10K to name a few.

The 2-mile run followed with 18-year old Sterling Snyder of Kingwood, WV dominating 1st in 10:43. Josh Weekly (11:40) followed in 2nd. Clarksburg's own, Bradley Bowden, took home 3rd.

Clarksburg 10K photo by Maria af Rolen
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Allison Spiker was 4th overall and the 1st female with a time of 11:53.

age group races for the Kids-K. All the kids seemed to have a great time giving 100% of their effort as they ran down the road towards the finish line.

Tajah, Tyriq and Tala were all really excited about the kids race and they all did really well!

In a recent Clarksburg Exponent Telegram article, race co-chair Larry Mazza said, "We were real pleased with the numbers. We're up about 10 percent in the 10K from the previous year, which is pretty good in these times."

"We have included every thing a race should have including a competitive course, good timing, family events, and great awards." said race director, Carl Hatfield.

Thanks to the crew: Larry Mazza, John Ebert, Carl and Georgia Hatfield, Joe Gonzalez, Fred Smart, Stewart Kirby, Pete Bowie, Elizabeth Keough and many volunteers and sponsors who make this event possible.