(06/15/2007)

Although the area needs the rain, there are some hoping for a sunny weekend.

"We've done just about everything we can, now it's in the hands of the weatherman so to speak," Gaylen Duskey Director of the Appalachian Classic said. "We think we'll have between 100 to 125 entries and the folks that prepare the course have got it looking sharp."

The 11th Annual Appalachian Festival weekend is scheduled to get under way at the Calhoun County Park Saturday morning with a 5K Run/Walk hosted by the Calhoun Runners. The 5K event is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

According to Duskey most events are firmed up and the committee is waiting on race applications.

"We have our schedule ready and we think we are offering a good mix of activities for people to participate in and watch," he said.

The Appalachian Classic gets under way Saturday (June 16) at 10:30 a.m. with the Appalachian Classic 5K Run/Walk sponsored by the Calhoun Runners. Pre-registration for the event can be done by visiting www.appalachianclassic.com
or www.calhounrunners.org and downloading an entry form. Runners and walkers can sign up for the race at the park prior to the 10:30 a.m. start.

While the race is going on a family fun bike ride will start at 11 a.m. That will be followed by the kids bike race starting at 3 p.m. The afternoon's last event is the puddle jump. All participants in the puddle jump must sign a waiver of liability.

A concert by Dwayne McCormick and friends will cap off the evening. The concert should get under way at 7:30 p.m. and feature music from blue grass to blues. The event is free and open to the public.

"The return of the concert has seemed to stir a bit of attention," Duskey said. "I hope we get a good turnout for it. It's free and the music is good. I have heard the band and well, I liked what I heard."

The big event of the weekend will be held the next day when the 11th Annual Appalachian Classic Mountain Bike Race gets under way at noon. The race, for the top riders, is three laps of the 7.1-mile course.

"These guys - the pro class - are good," Duskey said. "If you want to see some exciting action you should come out and watch them. I think you'd go away impressed."

T.J. Platt of New Kensington, PA, won the pro class last year with a time of 1:50 around the 21.6-mile course. Cassie Smith of Morgantown won the women's pro class with a time of 2:10.

"A lot of the racers don't enter until they arrive," Duskey said, "so we're not sure if they are coming back or not. My guess is they are.

"Right now we're getting applications from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We're looking for some excitement.


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