Saturday, May 5, 2007 -- Charleston, WV
Susan G. Komen West Virginia Race for the Cure
Article and photos by JR Petsko
Fortunately for all of us there are events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® to do just that. It is pretty safe to say that all of us have lost someone close to us to cancer. We should all thank events like the Race for the Cure for giving people an arena to publicly remember loved ones lost. It's also gratifying to help raise money to find a cure for this terrible disease.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure® Series raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates survivorship, and honors those who have lost the battle with the disease. With monies raised by the Series, the Komen Foundation with its affiliates is able to fund breast cancer grants, meritorious awards, and community outreach programs.
It was my first time covering this event and I was in disbelief of the amount of people who gathered in front of the Capital. I knew it was a large event, but hearing about its massive size and seeing it for yourself are two totally different things.
With everything going on around me it was easy to forget that there was an actual race about to happen, but as the mass of participates assembled at the start line I quickly remembered why I was there.
The runners took off from the line it was like a moving wall coming at me. I made it to the grassy divider between traffic lanes where I thought I would be safe, and out of the way of racers to take their photo.
Did I say, safe and out of the way? That's pretty much never the case with 700 runners coming at you.
The runners finally disappeared down the road so I made my way across the street to capture more images. Now the walkers departed the starting area. It was a site I will not soon forget. Thousands of walkers, all wearing their Race for a Cure T-shirts, all here for the same cause headed out on the course.
I can't say for certain that know how anyone with cancer feels, but I imagine some feel alone out there in the world. If they only knew all of these people where here to support them.
The first runner to pass by me and cross the finish line was Jason Pyles of Huntington, WV taking the overall win in a time of 15:31.85. Pyles put on a great display of his running ability over the five kilometer course. Pyles is also no stranger to winning races on the streets of Charleston. In 2004 he won the 5k course of the Charleston Distance run.
Coming home in second overall was Travis Epling of Point Pleasant, WV (Home of the Mouth Man). Epling was unable to defend his 2006 win at the race for the cure against Plyes, but Epling was able to cut his time from year to finish in 15:52.55.
Brooks Crislip a local Charleston, WV resident was able to hold off last year's runner-up John Davis of Huntington, WV to take the third place position in 16:10.75.
Megan Schuerger of Spring Hill, WV crossed the line in 20:09.95 to take the runner-up positions. Not far behind Schuerger was Rachel Cipolat of Beckley, WV taking home third overall for the females in a time of 20:26.90.
In the survivor's class Deborah McHenry of St. Albans, WV crossed the line first in a time of 27:55.20. Hot on her heals was Mendy Fisher of Winfield, WV and Janet Proctor of Victor, WV just 25 seconds back of McHenry. Fisher would take second in the class, finishing in a time of 28:20.50 with Proctor taking third in 28:21.60. Congratulations to these strong women.
Once again, the Race for the Cure was an enormous success. Thanks to the thousands of participants and the hundreds of volunteers, without all of you this race could never have happened. Also thanks to all the sponsors who put forth their time and money for this wonderful cause.