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Saturday, August 23, 2008 -- Saint Albans, WV
Homeland Security 5k (iPO Event Id#: 10969)

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Dilley's Day

Homeland Security 5k, photo by George Gannon
Fine day for a 5K
Story and photos by George Gannon

On a course usually dominated by those who've run it before, a newcomer crossed the finish line first.

Erin Dilley's lead was never danger at the 2008 Homeland Security 5K in St. Albans on Saturday. She had plenty of competition and runners are now coming from across the region to tackle the flat and fast course that runs through the western Kanawha County town.

The 5K starts at the St. Albans Fire Department, shoots straight down Sixth Avenue, turns at the high school, and brings the runners back the way they came. Almost 70 runners and walkers participated in the race.

Dilley, from Charleston, took the lead at about the one mile mark and never looked back.

"This is a great location and a great day for the race," she said.

Dilley, who found the race by looking on, crossed the finish line in 20:52.1. A few seconds off her pace was last year's winner Mandy Musick (21:21). Rounding out the top three was Amy Adams 21.56.3.

Homeland Security 5k, photo by George Gannon
Young men lead the pack
For the men, youth was served. Fifteen-year-old Jonathan Benneker took the top spot with 17:44.1 Coming in second was 16-year-old Patrick Dugan with a time of 18:03.8. Andrew Shaffer, 14, came in third with a time of 18:27.4

The race benefits Family Readiness Group of the West Virginia National Guard's 35th Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction).

The mission of Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) is to support local and state authorities at domestic WMD/NBC incident sites by identifying agents and substances, assessing current and projected consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with requests for additional military support.

Stated in the March 2008 article "W.Va. National Guard Unit Trains For Weapons Of Mass Destruction" by Scott MacFarlane, WTOV-Channel 9:

[The unit didn't exist 10 years ago. West Virginia created it as a response to the increased threat of biological and chemical attacks. Lt. Col. Mike Cadle said the 35th Civil Support Unit includes 22 men. It is the only full-time unit in the West Virginia National Guard.

Cadle said, "We have chemical plants in the Charleston area. Manufacturing facilities in the northern part of the state could be targets. So it's important for us to be prepared for any scenario."]