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Saturday, May 6, 2006 -- Charleston, WV
Susan G. Komen West Virginia Race for the Cure (iPO Event Id#: 7377)

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10]

Event Coverage: [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by George Gannon

Photo by George Gannon
Over 1 million people will participate in this series
There was a strong Marshall University presence at the West Virginia Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Charleston Saturday morning. Head football coach Mark Snyder ran the 5K race, his wife Beth Synder, a breast cancer survivor, was named the 2006 Honorary New Balance Survivor. The top two male finishers are track stars on the school's track team.

Herd highlights aside, anyone who has ever been to the race knows it's not really about competition. Sure, there are a host of runners their ready and willing to push it to the max, fighting for that special time. But most of the people who show up to the Capitol Complex are there to see old friend, remember loved ones they've lost and celebrate the survivors who have overcome breast cancer.

Photo by George Gannon
Survivors and friends race
Survivors wearing pink shirts strolled down Kanawha Boulevard, lapped and looped by runners aiming for the finish line. There was no shortage of doggies on short leashes and babies in super-shock strollers. The walkers outnumbered the runners, and there had to be at least 3000 people making the three mile, up and back journey.

While being interviewed by a crew from a Charleston T.V. station, Beth Synder said the event should remind everyone that breast cancer is devastating and deadly, but that victims should be remembered and survivors should be celebrated.

Still, there was a race, and the heavy Herd success rate had to make the Synder family happy. Travis Epling crossed the finish line first (16:08.00), followed shortly by fellow Herd runner John Davis (16:12:50). Rounding out the top three was Chuck Dent (16:22:41).

Photo by George Gannon
Supporting the cause
For the ladies Christina Rawson (19:03.11) of Sissonville came through first. Susan Baldwin (19:52.76) of Charleston came in second and Ashton Clemmons ( of Cross Lanes rounded out the top three (20:14:98).

The top survivors across the line were also honored, and they were Deborah McHenry (27:01:00) of St. Albans, Lois Greene (28:26:00) of Charleston and Brigitte Roy (31:14:00) of Barboursville.

About the WV Foundation... The West Virginia Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded by a few friends who shared similar life experiences. Personal experience with a deadly disease, whether it is your mother, daughter, sister or friend, clearly establishes the need and desire to eliminate the pain. As a group (mildly coerced by one), they have worked together to bring this entity to the mountain state. After months of fact-finding, statistic gathering, tears and laughter the small group was able to pull the WV based organization together. The WV Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation was a mere conversation of "what if" in the summer of 2000. The foundation became a reality in January 2001 with the help of a Ford/BMW dealer and six very passionate people.

In 1983, Nancy Brinker, created the first Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure® in Dallas, Texas with 800 participants. Today, the Komen Race for the Cure® Series is the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world. This year alone, more than 1 million people are expected to participate. In addition to raising funds, the races help educate the public about the early detection of breast cancer.