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Saturday, May 31, 2008 -- Philippi, WV
Blue & Gray 5K (iPO Event Id#: 10893)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

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Reliving History at the Reunion

Story and photos by Maria af Rolén

Photo by Maria af Rolen
Running through the Covered Bridge
With dozens of gentlemen and ladies dressed up in their finest Civil War period clothing looking on, the participants of the annual Blue and Gray 5K snaked their way through the town of Philippi, West Virginia.

The early rain that came off and on that day held off just long enough for the 5K to be run. The race started behind the Barbour County Courthouse and snaked around buildings, up and down hills, and along the Tygart river, culminating with a sprint through the historic Philippi covered bridge before turning a corner to the finish line.

The smell of cotton candy and hot dogs in the air and over 170 racers were greeted by cheering and clapping as they made their way to the finish line.

Traveling from Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, some 1,023 miles, was first place overall finisher Dane Moreland. Edging out West Virginia runner, David McCollom, Dane finished the race in a fast 16:04, 5 seconds ahead of David.

Philippi local John King emerged as the third overall finisher in 17:32.

Photo by Maria af Rolen
Blue and Gray Reunion Race Day
Heather McDaniel of Grafton, WV crossed as the first woman with a flat time of 20 minutes. Katie Wolpert took second, and Sarah McCauley rounded out the women's top spots.

Ed Thurman was the first finish walking the 5K. It took Thurman 34:28 to complete the course.

One of the defining moments of American history was the Civil War, and Philippi, WV had a unique part in that war. Philippi was the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. To remember this significant battle, the people of Philippi commemorate with the Blue and Gray Reunion.

Tents were set up, selling authentic recreations of clothing and other various items from that time period. The festival displayed plenty of antiques. Quilts, yard decorations, dolls, drinks, and a large assortment of guns adorned the tables.

There was even a doctor's kit (complete with saws and whiskey) ready for purchase.

The re-enactors spared no expense and overlooked no detail in order to accurately portray what men and women dressed like from that period. With the hoop skirts, tents and cannons it was easy to forget that this is 2008 and not 1861!

Chartered in 1844, Philippi is the site of the first land battle of the Civil War and sections of Philippi have been awarded "historic district" status. Read more at