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Saturday, May 12, 2001 -- Cross Lanes, WV
Poca River 15K (iPO Event Id#: 2985)
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]
[1998 Results] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

A hourse, of course
Horsing around at the Poca River 15K
Legend has it that the Poca River 15K is the oldest road race in the great state of West Virginia. That may or may not be true, but it definitely has some of the most interesting competitors. I'm not talking about local racing legends like Larry Taylor or the enchanting Ms. Robin "Fun" Young, I'm talking about horses. Not euphemistically either, there was an actual horse in this race. However, just to prove how great the racers in the Poca River 15K are, the horse did not win. It didn't even come close!

The course is a hilly, rolling, paved track that runs right beside the Poca River, and 123 (124 counting the horse) racers were up and ready for a brisk Saturday morning run. Although it was overcast the entire day, there was no rain during the race, nor did it ever get unbearably hot - a major factor in last year's race.

Cooling down
A hilly 15K... and still energy for a cool down
Steve Crowder, Kevin Williams, and Taylor got out of the gate fast, and Crowder and Williams were battling it out for the better part of a mile. Crowder, a Fincastle, Virginia, native did what he does best: run. Once Crowder got the lead, he never looked back. He finished with a time 48:44. After the race, Crowder said the hills at the end of the race "worked" on him, but he managed to shake it off and take the top spot.

Taking the number two spot was Williams (49:52), and rounding out the top three was Taylor (51:12). Taylor had great things to say about the race, citing that the weather was ideal, and that the competition was "excellent."

To the victors go the spoils
This year's race had the largest number of women competitors it has ever seen. And tops among them was Robin Cannon. Cannon was lagging behind until the four-mile mark, then the California native kicked it into high gear and never looked back. Taking top honors, and 20th place overall, Cannon crossed the finish line with a time of 1:03:25. After the race Cannon said the hills "made me feel like walkin'," but that the race was "beautiful." Crossing the line next was Connie Young (1:07:03). Rounding out the top three was Roxanne Carte (1:07:11).

Although no official time was taken for the horse, a guess puts it at about 1:30:07. It was last seen somewhere in Kanawha County.