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Saturday, April 22, 2000 -- Elkins, WV
Ramp Festival 5K Run/Walk
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

It's not the weather that counts,
it's your attitude
The 1999 Ramp 5K was somehow spared the rain they had predicted, the 10th Annual Ramp Cook-off 5K Run & Walk wasn't so fortunate. As damp weather prevailed throughout the morning, it seemed that many people didn't mind. The runners, walkers and ramp chefs all came out in nice numbers to test their talents and enjoy some fun exercise and interesting food.

With a full array of festival vendors offering everything from funnel cakes to hot dogs, along with plenty of entertainment, the rage on this day is a small bulbous herb of the lily family. Although this author hasn't actually eaten any, I'm told that ramps have a flavor resembling onions. With a $500 first prize on the line, the culinary skills of the many cooks are seriously put to the test.

Jared Smith
Jared Smith chases the leaders around Elkins City Park
Testing their legs with varying degrees of competitiveness were the many runners and walkers. Under light rain and cool temperatures the 5K course was ready with just pride and a nice trophy on the line. The 3.1 mile route was said to be a little long, but at least the one big climb was only encountered once, instead of twice, as in previous years. Basically doing two laps around the the Elkins City Park, the first included a segment around the campus of Davis and Elkins College. This included the one tough hill that the competitors encountered about a 1/2 mile into the race.

The race began with Patrick Doyle and Sidney Gillespie jumping out to take the early lead. When the leaders hit the first hill, Doyle took control as Gillespie began to fall off the pace. The rest of the run was all Doyle who went on to a comfortable win in 16:58.

David Goodman
Running in the rain...
kid's play for everyone
Meanwhile, the trio of Adam Brantner, Craig Nething and Jared Smith were beginning to chase down Gillespie. As the four kept it close through the next two miles, it was Brantner who surged with a little over a half mile to the finish. Keeping up the advantage over the final distance, Brantner took second in 17:40, followed by Nething (17:57), Smith (18:30), and Gillespie (18:38), respectively.

The field of women runners was dominated by Rebecca Schoonover who took the overall title in 20:01 and was kind enough to let her husband, Todd (20:45), finish just ahead of her. The second fastest female time was recorded by Vera Zala (23:16) while Chelsea Metheny (24:01) clocked the third fastest.

Rain or shine,
it's friends to the end
As the final walkers, some striding and some meandering, made their way to the finish, the grills and portable kitchens were at full speed creating dishes that would soon be available for public tasting. A little morning exercise deserves the rewards that were plentifully available at the Elkins City Park. Rain or shine, this party serves up some great West Virginia small town hospitality... and, yes, you can get ramps with that.

For informaion on next year's Ramp Festival, just give a holler over to the folks at the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce & CVB. And, don't forget to let them know that WVOutside sent you!