CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At first, Michael Capriolo's plans for last year's Labor Day weekend seemed a little empty.
"I was looking for something for that weekend,'' Capriolo recalled recently.
Keep in mind that Capriolo is a confirmed member of the road-running community and, in making plans to fill the weekend void, his thoughts inevitably turn to a good, hard footrace anywhere within a day's drive of his Akron, Ohio, home.
Browsing the Internet, he learned that a 15-mile race would take place a few days later in Charleston and that the race appeared to fit nicely into his marathon preparation.
"I stumbled upon it,'' he said.
He made last-minute plans, drove down I-77 and, all things considered, his debut in the Charleston Distance Run went well. He finished third in one hour, 25 minutes, 51 seconds.
He said it was enjoyable - a relative term in the running world - and he plans to try it again on Saturday morning, though this time he's more familiar with the course and will adjust his plans accordingly.
"This year,'' he said, "I'll have a little better strategy as far as how to run the race. Mainly, I'm just going to go out a little more controlled.''
Amid high humidity last year, Capriolo stayed close to the leaders, Jeff Weiss and Bryan Morseman, for the first three or four miles but suddenly found himself unable to keep pace through South Hills.