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Saturday, May 20, 2000 -- Beckley, WV
10th Annual Rhododendron Run
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [1999 Rhododendron Run]

Race Start
Getting things started on the streets of Beckley
"It hurt me!" That was Larry Taylor's assessment of the course for the 10th Annual Rhododendron Run. It must not have been too painful. He crossed the finished line almost two minutes before anyone else and, according to the race director, may have broken the course record.

The course is a 5K out-and-back that twists and rolls throughout downtown Beckley, West Virginia, with a tricky uphill for the last leg of the race. Once the Beckley City Police halted traffic (no small order in the narrow corridors of that city) the race was on! Taylor (16:20), whose plan was to "run like I always run," got out to a quick lead. Once he passed the half-mile mark, he was running alone. Aaron Kaylor (18:12), also posting very impressive numbers, took the number two spot. Rounding out the top three was Jonathon Feddock (18:26).

Larry Taylor
For Larry Taylor, it hurts so good...
For the women, Lori Hager (22:51), who accused the course of being "sneaky," did not let any of the trickery being tossed her way stop her from grabbing the top spot. Thirteen year old prodigy Kallon Weaver (23:15) nabbed the number two spot. According to Hager "if it wouldn't have been uphill, she (Weaver) would have beat me." Taking the number three spot, and nabbing top honors in the warding-of-any-vehicular-traffic-with-a-single-yell category, Robin "Fun" Young finished with a time of 24:46.

At the end of the race, Shoemaker Square was filled with some hot, but happy runners. The awards were presented and bananas and oranges filled some bellies. A great day for the 10th anniversary of a great race. Make it a point to hit this one next year. You will not be disappointed. A WVOutside shout-out goes to Jay Rutledge for the prompt handling of the results and for putting on a great race.