BRIDGEPORT -- Hardee's-Benedum Festival 5K started with a record number of participants, and when it was finished, a new record in the men's division was set.
West Union's Daniel Edgell broke the course record with a time of 16:10, more than a minute faster than Kenny Beerbower's first-place time of 17:12 last year, and held off fellow West Union residents Robert Casteel and Josh Weekley to win the sixth race of the Clarksburg Area Racing Series.
In the women's division, Bridgeport's Tracy Hoare won with a time of 19:43 to outdistance second-place finisher Ashley Wilson. Julie Dyer finished third.
"We were probably close to 200 (runners)," race organizer Darrell Moorhead said. "The weather held off so we were happy for that. It may have scared some people off, but actually it came out real well for us."
Edgell and Casteel may have scared off the competition early in the race. They stretched a lead that wasn't threatened.
"It was a tough course (Saturday)," Edgell said. "A couple guys pulled out real early, and it pulled the field out. It really helped (with my time) because I believe I would have been around the 17-minute mark."
The deciding point of the race was at the 1 1/2-mile mark, according to Edgell. He was able to pass Casteel at that point with no competition near them.
Edgell finished the race 22 second ahead of Casteel. Weekley finished at 17:23.
For Hoare, who runs collegiately for Liberty University, the competition came from the male runners.
"Some of the guys were pushing me," she said.
Hoare was 44 seconds faster than Wilson and just less than two minutes faster than Dyer.
Hoare, who didn't run track at during high school at Bridgeport, is preparing for the upcoming cross country season at Liberty.
"This was training for school," Hoare said. "(The Greater Clarksburg) 10K will be another training session where I don't have to be real focused."
For the race, Moorhead was pleased with its continued growth.
"The weather played a difference (in times)," Moorhead said. "We had probably three or four finishers that beat last year's winning time.
"Last year, it was hot, but I think the quality of the field is improving each year."
Assistant sports editor Danny Carpenter can be reached at 626-1444.