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Saturday, May 15, 1999 -- Cross Lanes
Poca River 15K
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2 [Pic Set 3]

Poca River 15K
Running through the Poca River valley
There are a few places around that still have that "down-home" feeling to them, and Cross Lanes, WV is one of those places. Maybe it's the way everyone seems to know each other, or the petting zoo down the street, or the rich tradition of the oldest running race in West Virginia, The Poca River 15K. It was a brisk morning, and Robin Baldwin, (wife of Glen Baldwin), fired the start gun that sent 85 people running over the new Poca River bridge. Out in front,Glen Baldwin held the lead until the very end to finish in 1st place with a time of 52:10. His thoughts on the race, "My time was better than I thought it was going to be. I think the cool air helped."

The New Poca River Bridge
The race start over the Poca River bridge
Glen wasn't the only one who was cruising easily through the cool air, Tim Howard was not far behind with a time of 55.33. Tim finished 2nd overall and was the Male Masters Champ! When asked about the race he replied, "The course was good and challenging. Glen is my counter-partner." Finishing 14th overall, Lina Detrick ran away with the 1st Place Female trophy, with a time of 1:03:06. The course was a huge loop that winded itself through the beautiful mountains and neighborhoods of the Poca River valley. Friendly neighbors cheered from their front yards as the racers ran by.

Hello everyone!
Lionel North & Robin "Fun" Young enjoying the view
Everyone seemed to know everybody, and after the race people hung around talking about races coming up and different ways to train and prepare yourself for runs. It was like a high school or family reunion. Many people have been running the 15K every year, almost since the race first started. The first place and second place winner happen to be such good friends that after the race they went to eat together at the local Bob Evans! In fact, there were 15-20 people from the race there, sitting together, talking about Poca River races of the past. Race director Pat Board has made sure that "down-home" feeling stays, by keeping the race going for years. WVOutside plans to cover this race for many, many, more years to come.