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Sunday, March 12, 2000 -- Boaz, WV
Leprechaun Run 5K
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Winter Series Results]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Race Start
The stampede begins on Old River Road in Boaz
The final race in the 2000 RCR Winter Series was held on a cool, breezy afternoon in Boaz, West Virginia. The morning snow showers had cleared and were just a reminder of the 1999 Leprechaun Run that had to be postponed because of nasty winter weather. On this day the sun was mixed with clouds for the double out-and-back course, on the fairly flat Old River Road that stretches along the Ohio River.

The racing got started just after 2:00pm with the father/daughter tandem of Larry & Jessica Taylor poised to make it a clean sweep for the overall female and male titles, respectively, in the three race series. The senior Taylor quickly took up his familiar spot at the front with only Concord College cross-country and track runner Brian Porter keeping with his pace early. By the first mile mark Porter found himself reeling back as Taylor's pace continued strong. From then on it was all Taylor's race and he took the race win in 16:30 along with the series overall title. Porter held on for second overall in 17:25.

Mike Massey
Mike Massey chases the leaders along the Ohio River
Meanwhile, the battle for third waged between, Mike Taylor, Kevin Boyce and Aaron Kaylor. To make things even more interesting, Taylor held a one point edge on Kaylor for second place in the series. With Boyce in the mix pushing the pace, it was Taylor who found the speed down the stretch to pull out an advantage and take third in 17:42. Boyce kept it close finishing fourth at 17:47 with Kaylor taking fifth in 18:03. This settled the series titles for the men with Taylor taking second and Kaylor taking third.

For the women it was no surprise to see 16 year-old Jessica Taylor (20:13) lead from start to finish to make it three for three and capture the women's series title. Also finding a familiar place in the standings was 17 year-old Kristin Daugherty (22:19) who for the third time in as many races found herself finishing second only to Taylor. Daugherty was rewarded with the second place overall series award.

Emily Butcher
Emily Butcher makes the finish look easy
Third overall for the race went to Emily Butcher (22:42) who was able to hold off another Concord College runner in the crowd, Brandy Parker (22:55). Parker took fourth place even after fighting through bouts of asthma that forced her to stop more than once, not to mention the tendonitis in her knee. However, since neither of these ladies completed all three series races, Teresa Pickens (23:37) took home the third place series title after another solid race.

As the final racers crossed the line, and the sun began to prevail over the clouds, it signaled the end of the 2000 River City Runners Winter Series. However, all those that participated throughout the winter months can be sure they'll have an extra edge as the racing season heads into spring. Certainly they'll all have an extra smile in their arsenal as they will truly be able to appreciate the warmer weather.