Recap – Summer 2013

The 15th Annual Run to Read Races saw many changes: new month (July), new venue (East – West Stadium / 12th Street Pool), new events (10K replacing the 15K & 1600 meter tack run replacing the 1.5 mile fun run /walk) and new day (Friday evening instead of Saturday morning).

Temps in the 70’s with low humidity welcomed the 50 some runners who queued up for the start of the 10K at 6:30pm. The 10K, like its predecessor, the 15K, was 2 loops. Both the 10K and the 5K ended with a ¾ lap on the track. This was a nod to the old Greater Fairmont 10K / 5K, an event which ran from 1979 to 2004 (pun intended). That race also ended with a ¾ lap on the track with the finish by the 50 yard line. I saw this in the same vein as the Indy 500 retaining a strip of the original brick surface when that track was paved and similar to the Grand Ole Opry moving a piece of the wooden floor from the Ryman Auditorium to the new Opryland location. (That ¾ lap is run the “wrong way” as is explained later in this recap but it’s run just as it was done “back in the day”.)

Charleston’s Matt Brafford quickly took the lead in the 10K and was never challenged. Brafford, who will be a senior at George Washington High School, finished in 34:12.9. Runner-up Christopher Pirie finished 4 minutes later in 38:15.3. Pirie, a Morgantown resident, finished 2nd in the age graded Run to Read Triple Crown.

A pair of Marion Countians, Jeremy Pevahouse & Josh Mason, finished 3rd & 4th respectively with times of 38:33.1 & 38:41.4.

Jen Sober, from nearby McHenry, MD., won the 10K in nearly as big a margin as Brafford. Sober finished in 43:55.5 with Grafton’s Blanca Skaggs finishing in 47:26.9. Amanda Anderson of Bridgeport was third with at time of 48:29.2.

A pre-race article appearing in the local newspaper the day before the race resulted in attracting at least one more runner – the article’s writer. Kaylyn Christopher, former WVU cross country runner, demonstrated that she runs as well as she writes with her 5K winning time of 19:31.8. Her time was 2nd best in Run to Read 5K history – 2nd only to Holly Hunter Goss’s time of 19:28, recorded in 2000. Since the 5K course was not certified this year or prior to 2002, Chelsea Clark’s 2012 time of 19:39 is recognized as the 5K event record.

Christopher prevented Jen Sober from repeating as a double winner. Sober won both the 15K & 5K in 2010. Her 2nd place time of 20:55.2 would have established a master’s event record for the 40 year old runner. Fairmont’s Erika Rucker finished 3rd with a time of 21:30.0. The 26 year old’s time would have been a new event record for the 25-29 age group.

On the men’s side, Abe Merinar won the 5K finishing in 17:24.1. That ranks 9th all time among those 19 & under. Merinar ran cross country and track at Bridgeport High School this past school year. He earned all state honors in cross country & had 3 top 5 finishes in the 800, 1600 & 3200 at the state track meet.

15 year old Seth Edwards finished 2nd in a time of 17:46.9. That effort ordinarily would have been a 13- 15 age group record for the Morgantown resident. Christopher Pirie followed up his strong 10K finish taking 3rd place, recording a time of 19:01.1

Pirie & Josh Mason were 1st & 2nd among the 24 runners who ran the “long combo”, which consisted of the 10K & the 5K. Mason, a former North Marion High School cross country runner and later a coach at his alma mater, was 8th, finishing in 20:09.9.

Matt Strand won the inaugural 1600 track run with a time of 4:43.5. Strand, who will be a junior this fall at Fairmont Senior High School, finished 6th in the 1600 this past spring at the state track meet. The 9 entrants in the 1600 voted to make left hand turns instead of right hand turns. The 10K & 5K ended with runners & walkers going the “wrong way” on the track.

A trio of 60 year olds battled for honors in the 5K race walk. Jean Cottrill of Walker, WV, won in a time 40:11.8. Men’s winner Rudy Vincent was 2nd finishing in 40:27.0 while Linda Keller was 3rd overall with a time of 41:00.1.

Michael Wilson, 74 years young, finished the 5K in 36:28.2. The Fairmont resident is the only person to have participated in all 15 Run to Read events. Joey Herron & Stephen Griswold have each participated 14 years. This year, both completed the 10K and both completed the 5K.

The evening’s activities concluded with a free swim for all participants and their entourage at the 12th Street Pool.

Jen Sober won the2013 Run to Read Triple Crown and earned free entry to all Run to Read events in 2014. Bridgeport’s Amanda Anderson edged Morgantown’s Brittney Crain for 2nd and will receive free entry to both events in the summer Run to Read, tentatively scheduled for July 25.

Veteran runner Jim Banks won the men’s Triple Crown while Christopher Pirie was 2nd. The Triple Crown consists of the Run to Read Half Marathon and the 2 summer races. The next Run to Read half is scheduled for January 5. Commemorative long sleeve tech shirts will be available at that time for all 17 runners who completed the 2013 Triple Crown. We still have a few unclaimed tech shirts for those who completed the2012 Triple Crown.

Thanks to all our sponsors including MCPARC. Thanks to the Marion County Police Reserves and the Fairmont City Police. Thanks to all our race volunteers. Thanks to all those runners and walkers who supported this event.

Age group records and top ten lists are available at . Those lists are for both all years and certified years. Please email me at with any comments or concerns.

Jim Woolfitt

Race Director, Run to Read Races