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Saturday, July 25, 1998 -- Mullens
15th Annual Bear Hole 10K Road Race

[10K Results] [5K Walk and Fun Run Results]
[10K Pictures] [5k Walk and Fun Run Pictures]

It was a beautiful morning at Twin Falls State Park, the site for the 15th Annual Bear Hole races. The first participants to take to the course were the 5K walkers. Their day's race/recreational walk, took them out the park road and up a long hill. After heading up the hill, to the halfway point at just over a mile and a half, they turned around for the descent back down to the start/finish. As the walkers took to climbing the hill, Robert Crawford was able to gain a slight lead as they reached the turnaround. However, he had the group of Jim Reed, Threase Riggs and Robert Craft close behind. As they descended toward the finish, Threase and Jim were able to keep close to Robert's lead as Robert Craft (4th overall in 36:02) dropped slightly off the pace. Threase Riggs (3rd overall in 34:51) made great efforts to keep it close, but she too could not challenge the speed of Robert Crawford and Jim Reed. After chasing Robert most of the entire walk, Jim Reed was able to overtake Robert Crawford (2nd overall in 34:38) by a stride, to finish in a first place time of 34:37.

The next race was the 10K run over an extension of the same course used by the walkers. The additional mileage had the runners crest the top of the hill at just over 1.5 miles. From there it was down the other side, with a slightly steeper grade, to a short flat section at the bottom. Once turned around for the second half of the race, the racers had to climb back up, and over, the mountain to return to the start/finish.

The 10K run was quick to develop into a two man race with Aaron Kaylor and James Kneeland setting a blistering early pace. As they started up the long climb, a group of four runners, Heath Damron, Jared Fox, Chris Woodruff and Nick Johnson, paced themselves in a second group behind the leaders. As the climb continued, James Kneeland was able to gain a slight lead over Aaron, while the chase grouped dropped to three runners as Heath could not maintain their pace. At the crest of the hill, Aaron made a charge to close the gap on the lead and Chris Woodruff and Jared Fox were able to hold a slight edge over Nick Johnson in the second group. However, pacing himself nicely, Doc Weiss was closing on the lead runners as they headed down the back side of the mountain.

As they began the descent, Aaron was able to briefly move into the lead position but James quickly countered to take the lead back. By the time the leaders reached the base of the mountain and headed back at the turnaround, James, with a 5K split time of 17:05, had stretched his lead to 30 seconds over Aaron (17:35 split). Back another 30 seconds, running side-by-side in third and fourth with an 18:06 split, Jared and Chris had managed to pull away from Nick. Nick (18:24 split) was also being reeled in by Doc Weiss (18:28 split) who had closed the gap to just 4 seconds on Nick's 5th place position. The battle for the top female finisher saw Jennifer Conner and Johanna Stump running together with a 19:55 split and holding the 10th and 11th positions overall.

The second half of the race saw James Kneeland (35:40) extend his lead to finish almost a minute ahead of the second place Aaron Kaylor (36:31). The real race was for third and fourth where Jared Fox (37:02) edged out Chris Woodruff (37:03) with a wild sprint to the finish. The charging Doc Weiss (37:33) was able to overtake Nick Johnson (38:49, sixth overall) to finish fifth overall. On the women's side of the race, Jennifer Conner (39:49) eventually pulled away from Johanna Stump (40:18) to take the women's overall title. Both women had impressive races as they both overtook several runners during the second half of the race to finish seventh and ninth overall, respectively.

After the completion of the 10K event, the 1 Mile Fun Run for the children was held. All the participants ran a great race and were justly rewarded for their efforts. Just like all those that ran and walked in the day's earlier events, everyone that participated was a champion at the 15th Annual Bear Hole Road Races, and we'll be looking for even more champions next year!