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Saturday, October 28, 2000 -- Wheeling, WV
Auggie's 5K Run & Walk
Story and photos by Julie Black

[1999 Coverage] [Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Run Overall] [Run by Class] [Walk Overall] [Walk by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Auggie's 5K
Auggie has many fans!
Many of us may remember when a certain collie by the name of "Lassie" saved Timmy from living the rest of his life at the bottom of a well shaft. And who could forget the heroic deeds of that mighty mutt, "Benji"? "Garfield the Cat" still comes alive in our Sunday funnies, and "Mr. Bigglesworth" seems to the cat star of the future teamed with Dr. Evil & Mini-Me.

Now, a new name in Animal Fame is rising to the top in Warwood, WV, where the town has embraced the memory of a sleek, black cat named Auggie.

No, this is not some odd Halloween ritual, it's the 2nd year for the Auggie's 5K Run & Walk. The race is not just about remembering a special feline. The event has become a fundraising activity which will abet the Society's efforts to care for unfortunate cats and dogs in the area by donating all of the proceeds to the Ohio County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Auggie's 5K
The runners off to a great start
Auggie's popularity has been growing over the past year. In 1999, the event had over 180 participants, and this year it has grown to over 250! Tom Rownd, who is President of the Ohio Valley Runners Club, Race Director of Auggie's 5K, and Auggie the cat's former owner can be proud of that.

At the start of the 5K, over 120 runners took off running in one direction on the flat paved trail, as over 120 walkers took off in the opposite direction on the trail. A unique trait of this race besides the fact that participants are encouraged to run or walk with their pets, is that the trail combines the run and the walk for one big, dynamic finish.

Auggie's 5K
Donnie Lautzenheiser runs hard for the finish line
There was no fooling around from the "get-go", as last year's champ pulled ahead in a hurry. Keeping it under 17 minutes as he did in '99, Nick Lautzenheiser crossed the line 1st again with a time of 16:59. Eddie Sargus(17:48), and Ed Liberatore(17:52), rounded out the top spots at 2nd & 3rd. Amazingly enough, all top 3 finishers were from Ohio.

This year's women were fast, fast, fast. Felicia Greer made quite an appearance with an awesome 11th overall finish. Greer took home the overall prize for the ladies with a time of 18:14. Wheeling native Julie McGee has been making some appearances of her own in 2000. McGee(20:32), held onto 2nd with no problem. Young Kallen Weaver of Wheeling held her own to finish a strong 3rd with a time of 22:41.

Auggie's 5K
Sarah Kiaski & pup walk the walk
Apparently over his injuries, Steve Bence kept up good form and beat his 1999 1st place time by 8 seconds to finish 1st overall in the walk in 28 minutes flat. Jerry Goodwin(29:13), stretched his long legs for 2nd, while local race walker George "the hammer" Macek(30:20), beat his 2nd place time from last year and finished a respectable 3rd in 2000.

Taking 4th overall in the '99 Auggie Walk, Kathy Campbell took 6th overall and 1st for the women in the walk with a time of 31:53. Jean Palmer(32:31), and Karen Britt(34:38), finished 2nd and 3rd in the walk in the female category.

Auggie's 5K
Ironically number 90, the amazing Abigail Wood
And Who Could Forget...
The amazing and inspiring Abigail Wood of Wheeling, WV, who at 90 years old finished the 5K Walk in 47:45. Abigail received a warm, standing ovation when she was given a well deserved medal. Race Director Tom Rownd said it best when handing Wood her award, "There is hope for all of us!"
Special Thanks... Goes out to Tom Rownd & Family, The Ohio Valley Runner's Club, Dominos Pizza, and the many, many other sponsors and supporters who made this event possible.