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Saturday, October 27, 2001 -- Kanawha State Forest, WV
9th Annual Great Pumpkin Road Race (iPO Event Id#: 4470)
Story and photos by George Gannon

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

Superpersons
A super (cold) day to play outside
The mercury might have been dropping at the ninth annual Great Pumpkin Race, but if anybody could have been compared to the Roman messenger for the gods, it was St. Albans native David Kline.

Fresh off a strong showing at the Columbus Marthon, Kline was back on his home turf and ready to show everybody all the new tricks he picked up during his excursion to the big city. However, it was not the other racers that posed the biggest challenge at the Kanawha State Forest on Saturday morning. That prestigious honor went to the elements.

To say it was cold would have been an understatement. As the gun sounded and the racers took off on the out-and-back course, a light snow drifted down from the heavens and the temperatures were well below freezing.

In costume
One of those always bashful blue M&Ms
Jared Smith got out to an early lead on the main road leading into the state forest and stayed well ahead of the pack until the one mile mark. Smith, who also competed in Columbus the previous weekend, was nursing some injuries and dropped behind Kline after a mile-and-a-half. At that point, Kline took over and never looked back.

Even facing a slight uphill grade and a constant headwind, Kline made it back to the finish line in 17:09, first for the second year in row.

"I'm still feeling Columbus." admitted Kline following the race. "But I just wanted to go out and run a good race."

Not too far off the pace, Smith pulled in at second with a time of 17:34.

"I just went out there and had fun." said a toboggan clad Smith

Cats
And the kittens came out to play in the Kanawha SF
Also posting strong numbers, Aaron Kaylor (18:31) rounded out the top three. (You know it must have been cold because Kaylor, who never wears a shirt, was wearing long tights and a sweatshirt!)

Not to be outdone, Charleston native Robin Cannon took first place for the ladies with a time of 20:09. Alone the entire way, Cannon managed to notice the scenic beauty of her surroundings.

"When we first started out it was snowing, that was beautiful." exclaimed Cannon.

Gina Hendrink (21:25) and Tonya Johns (22:50) finished two and three, respectively, in the women's division.

Following the race, the runners huddled together for warmth, knowing that they could all be proud of their accomplishments and bask in the glow of their own determination.