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Saturday, September 26, 2009 -- Morgantown, WV
September Stride 5K Run and Walk (iPO Event Id#: 12311)

2009: [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Repeat Winners and New Race Faces

Story by Jason Chastain, photos by Maria af Rolen

Though it was a brisk and rainy morning, lots of participants were on hand to take part in this year's September Stride. The runners and walkers started their two loops around Ruby Memorial Hospital between the hospital and Mountaineer Field.

Sept. Stride 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
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The contestants were from all ages and all walks of life. Many could be seen laughing and having a good time before, during, and after the race.

Josh Simpson, who had a huge breakthrough 2008 season according to, is no stranger to Morgantown area races. Last year he finished second in the senior men's 8-kilometer race winning gold at the NACAC Cross Country Championships as a member of Team USA Senior Men. He's raced in the September Stride a number of times, taking first in 2005 with a time of 15:56. He beat his old time by 41 seconds and claimed the overall win again in 15:15.

Travis Simson, also a professional runner, finished behind Josh in 2005 and this year. He shaved 26 seconds off of his time, running the course in 16:01.

Travis Mersing was 7th in the West Virginia 5K Championship Run presented by The Herald-Dispatch. He crossed for 3rd at the Stride with a time of 16:33.

Sept. Stride 5K photo by Maria af Rolen
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Professional runner, Heather Parks, has won the women's overall spot at the September Stride 8 times. This year was no exception. She finished 8th overall and 1st for the women with a time of 17:49.

Two Morgantown women battled for second. Rebecca White and Tammy Turner stayed within seconds of each other to the line. Turner edged ahead of White by 4.6 seconds. Tammy Turner (21:40) was the second overall woman with Rebecca White following in third (21:44).

While many racers were back for repeat wins, Sisters Rebekah and Channah were running in their first race ever. They both enjoy cross-country running and soccer in their free time. Rebekah said the race was fun while Channah remarked that the last mile up hill was a bit difficult. Ian, age 9, was also a first time racer. He said that it was easier than he'd imagined. He won third in his age group. When he's not out winning races he enjoys playing soccer and basketball.

After the race there was a kids race, and plenty of refreshments in the form of water, juices, bagels and more for all to enjoy. Everyone on hand was super friendly and it was yet another great example of that famous Morgantown community spirit.