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Saturday, April 16, 2011 -- Morgantown, WV
Earth Day 5K - MAGP #2 (iPO Event Id#: 13344)

2011: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Guest Speaker . . . Mother Nature

Story and Photos by Julie Black.

Many communities around the world celebrate Earth Day weekend with clean-ups, plantings, and awareness. Morgantown is no different, celebrating the 4th year of part of Impact E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Awareness and Respecting Tomorrow's Home) and the Earth Day 5K, which draws attention to our environment and encourages locals to put forth their efforts to improve it.

Ron Hamric
Ron Hamric leads MAGP Points Series
Photo by Julie Black
This year Mother Nature was not so kind, letting her voice be heard by spitting rain and high winds, and still over 90 racers showed. The weather postponed the day-long, after race festivities due to high winds, but a celebration ensued in the bus depot afterwards to award the winners and kids race participants.

As the warm winds blew up under the bridge near the start, a few held on to their hats to keep them from ending up in the high waters of the Monongalia River.

The 3.1 mile course began near the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheatre stage and headed towards the Deckers Creek portion of the rail-trail, a paved, flat section that runs along the creek. It proceeded toward Marilla Park and Pool where racers hit a mid-point turnaround and then backtracked to the riverfront, bus depot parking lot for the SERJ Racing finish line.

The Race for MAGP Points & Overall Top Finishers

    Leading the race for MAGP Series points, Ron Hamric of Bruceton Mills, WV, won the 5k with a time of 17:45.

    Nathan Weese (18:17) of Middleborne, WV finished 2nd, with local Morgantown fellow, Jeremy Farnham (18:40) rounding out the top 3.

    Seventh overall in the female race for MAGP points, Carly Johnson of Grafton, WV finished 1 minute behind Jeremy Farnham to be the first female finisher (4th overall).

    Britt Ritchie of Morgantown, WV, leads the overall MAGP Series points (female), and finished as the 2nd woman in the Earth Day 5k with a time of 20:23.

    Wendy Moore (20:58) traveled from Uniontown, PA to race, and crossed as the 3rd woman.

Earth Day 5k
Earth Day 5k Photo by Julie Black

After the 5k was finished, a few children braved the worst weather of the morning to run a 1/4 of a mile race on the rail-trail. The kids took off in the pouring rain, two boys returned first, red-cheeked and soaked to the bone. Afterwards, the children received certificates and potting kits with many smiles and a hearty round of applause from the other racers.

The top 5k winners were awarded flowering hanging plants and overalls got large apple trees, ready to plant this spring!

There were also many raffled prizes and a special prize that included a Cheat River raft trip, and many other treats, awarded at the end of the awards ceremony.

Some of the participants and supporters of Impact E.A.R.T.H. include the Morgantown Utility Board, BOPARC, Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority, the WV chapter of the Sierra Club, and The Dominion Post among others.

Their goal is to raise the awareness of the wide variety of environmental issues and inform the county residents of what they can do locally to help our Earth.

Earth Day 5k
Earth Day 5k Photo by Julie Black
Registration fees from this event help fund a small environmental grant program open to almost anyone (political lobbyists and private foundations are exceptions). The grant provides funding for community environmental projects such as: purchasing curriculum for classrooms, local beautification projects on public property, and local cleanup events.

For the Record

Afterwards, my family and I went up the trail to the Mountain State Brewing Company, now open by the rail-trail in Morgantown. We had an amazing pizza, wood-fired in the large oven in the middle of the restaurant, paired with their tasty ales brewed in West Virginia. My son loved their root beer, brewed on site! We loved it! And hey, the owner is a trail runner too.

Try it out, see for more information.

Next MAGP Series Races + Photos

We'll be taking photos at these next MAGP Series events:

Find out more about the 2011 Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP) Series, presented by the Morgantown Roadrunners/WV Track Club at:

Special thanks to Jim Banks and Don Parks for all of their help with the MAGP points series.