Meadows, Kerns victorious in Battle of Hancock 5K

January 7, 2012


2012 results

Photos by Lindsay Brill and Sam Judge

HANCOCK, Md., Jan. 7, 2012 — Mike Meadows found himself all alone early on in the inaugural Battle of Hancock 5K run on Saturday in Hancock.

So the veteran runner decided to do the only reasonable thing: challenge himself. Meadows, 54, of Martinsburg, W.Va., stopped the clock in 19 minutes and 24.7 seconds to lead a small but dedicated group of runners and walkers to the finish line in front of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

Meadows ran negative splits — the second half of his race was faster than the first half — despite a grueling climb along High Street from North Pennsylvania Avenue to the finish line.

“My third mile was actually faster than my second,” Meadows said. “You got a lot of downhill (in the third mile) …”

Meadows motioned towards the High Street incline.

“Except this hill … was killer,” he said.

Paul French, 51, of Warfordsburg, Pa., placed second overall in 21:38.5 while Ryan Knorr, 38, of Martinsburg, took third in 22:54.1.

Knorr wasn’t too far ahead of the first female finisher. Alicia Kerns, 28, might have benefited from home course advantage. She finished fourth overall in 23:13.4. It appeared second place belonged to Melanie Deneen, 17, of Crystal Spring, Pa. But the teenager dropped out near the halfway point after experiencing abdominal stress.

The second woman to the finish line turned out to be 60-year-old Mary Means, of Hagerstown. Means finished in 27:45 and earned the women’s masters title as the first female 40-and-over finisher.

Casey Adams, 34, of Martinsburg, and others agreed with Meadows that the climb to the finish along High Street served as the low point of the event — morale-wise, at least.

“It was miserable,” Adams said.

But Adams, in the fashion of a true runner, admitted he’d run the same course again next year, given the chance.

Nearly two dozen runners and walkers took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather at the 9 a.m. start. The thermometer showed 44 degrees and the sky was blue. It was almost too warm for John Means, 67, of Hagerstown. He prefers the colder, wintry weather.

“I’d come again,” Means said, dismissing the last hill on the course. “This is my season to run.”

The 3.1-mile road course began on High Street at the intersection of Baptist Road. Runners and walkers looped around the cemetery behind St. Thomas Episocapal Church, which served as a hospital for a time during the Civil War.

The 5K run and 1.25-mile walk served as only a part of the three-day Battle of Hancock Sesquicentennial commemoration organized by Lily Wolford, Hancock Mayor Dan Murphy and many other key volunteers. Proceeds from the run are to be donated to the Hancock Historical Society to assist with the cost of operating the Hancock Visitors Center and Museum.

A huge thanks to Murphy, Wolford, the town of Hancock, the Hancock Police Department and representatives of St. Thomas Episcopal Church for their help in planning and staging the event easily and safely.

Complete results and race-day photos by Lindsay Brill and Sam Judge can be found online at, the Internet home of the Potomac Highlands Distance Club.


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