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Sunday, February 11, 2001 -- Mineral Wells, WV
Couples Classic 5K Run
Story and photos by Pat Shreeves

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Matt Lilly
Running for the chocolate
The Couples Classic was the second race in the River City Runners Winter Series. It may have looked like a sunny spring day, but the thermometer told a different story. It displayed 22 degrees before the start of the race.

After the record crowd (for this event) had signed in and paid the very affordable four dollar entry fee, the participants made the short walk to Lincolnshire and the start/finish line. John Mike Nichols addressed the group before the start. He explained that the names of the racers to be paired as couples would not be released until after the event. Hopefully this would ensure that everyone would give the maximum effort. That's the interesting angle on this race. Names were drawn at random, one male and one female, and their times were combined at the end of the race. The combined time determined the couples winners.

As they left the starting line, a group including Larry Taylor and Randy Gibbs led the way. The field of mostly runners made their way down Lincolnshire, up a good size hill, past the Woodridge Club House to the turn around and back over the hill, and back up Lincolnshire to the finish line. First across the line was Larry Taylor with a time of 16:43 with Randy Gibbs on his heels at 16:48. Further back, but in even closer competition, was Aaron Kaylor and Mike Massey who crossed the line in 18:06 and 18:08 respectively. The Ladies competition was more evenly spaced. The top three places were separated by about two minutes each. Jessica Taylor turned in a 20:56 for first, followed by Jessica Hill with a 22:43 and Tonya Johns with a 24:57.

Race Pic
Finishing with the sun at your back
With the race completed, it was time to find out which times would be combined to take the couples title. In first, with a combined time of 39:04, was Jessica Taylor and Mike Massey. Second, with a combined time of 39:26 was Jessica Hill and Larry Taylor. Third was Mona Moore and Joe Wiltsey with a combined time of 46:39. For their efforts the couples received heart shaped boxes of candy!

After the race Nichols commented that he was glad to see a record turn out of 51 entrants for the event which had been averaging just over 30. Everyone was pleased to see the new participants like Stephanie Griffin who had just ran her first 5K at the age of 6!

Thanks goes to the River City Runners for putting on the Couples Classic. Also, thanks goes to Tracy Hendershot who was responsible for the refreshments.

The last race in the series is the Leprechaun Run. Check with the RCR for more details.