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Saturday, April 24, 1999 -- Elkins
5K Run and Ramp Festival
Story and photos by Dave McKain.

[Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Results Overall] [Results by Class]

The Ramp Run is fun for the whole family
Competitors gathered in the Elkins City Park the opening day of the 1999 Ramp Festival for a 5K running race. Weather prognosticators had predicted a wet weekend for the area but, luckily, they were wrong as the sun shone down on a crisp mountain morning. The course started from the park pavilion, headed around the park, then out over the Davis and Elkins College campus. Racers completed two loops of the course then headed back to the pavilion for the finish. The most difficult part of the course was a short climb in the D&E loop which one runner described as "relentless", especially on the second lap.

While the racers prepared for their run, local ramp festival participants were firing up their grills to prepare delicacies for that afternoons cook-off. The smell from the barbeque grill may have been distracting but a race had to be run and the delectable treats would have to wait.

Runners couldn't help but enjoy the competition
Sid Gillespie led the pack from the get-go but had to battle with Drew Jones through the whole race. Coming down the last hill with about a quarter mile to the finish, Gillespie looked strong while Jones seemed to be fading. Although Jones did mount a challenge in the sprint to the finish, Gillespie was able to hold onto the lead and finish first with a time of 17:41, seven seconds ahead of Jones and 50 seconds ahead of third place finisher Cameron Barkley (18:31). Rebecca Schoonover (20:30) had the fastest female finishing time followed by Delores Bonnell (22:55).

One of the most competitive classes in the race was the Female 18-under class, won by 10-year old Sydney Metheny (26:04), where the finishing times of the five class participants fell within 1.5 minutes (26:04 - 27:40). In the senior (50+) circuit, John Keller (22:16) bested Joe Biola (22:43) for the win followed by Bill Shomo, Gary Shaffer and John Busch, all with times under 28 minutes.

Trophies and plaques were awarded after the race as everyone enjoyed post-race refreshments provided by the organizers.