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Saturday, May 11, 2013 -- Charleston, WV / Cross Lanes, WV Near Charleston off Doc Bailey Rd.
Poca River 15K Run (iPO Event Id#: 14608)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2006] [2009] [2010] [2011] [2012]

Story by Tracey Todd with photos by Daniel Todd.

It was one of those Saturday mornings where if you hadn't promised a friend you'd meet him at the starting line, you'd have woken up to hear the rain coming down and promptly rolled over and gone back to sleep. But for those dedicated souls who didn't pull the covers back over their heads, it was a great morning full of friends and fun.

Race Start
Click image to see more photos by Daniel Todd
The rain held off for most of the morning but with the threatening skies, race organizers didn't mess around getting the 2013 Poca River Run underway. This was a relief to the one dog contestant, Charlie, who was so excited to get racing that he could barely contain his excitement!

Once the start was given by WK Munsey, it didn't take long for the pack of 108 runners to spread out. The race, known as the oldest road race in WV, starts on Doc Bailey Road and winds in a loop as it traces the edge of the river for most of its 9.3 miles. Ample rain in the days leading up to the race made for swift moving high waters on Saturday morning as the runners made their way through the course.

When not following along the river, runners are treated to rolling stretches of hills, valleys and beautiful expanses of grassy fields. A friendly rooster even greeted runners with a crow or two as they ran past one of the residences. Many runners had finished up their races before the skies truly opened up, first with big welcome drops and finally with a full on, can't-keep-your-eyes-open-long-enough-to-see-where-you're-going downpour.

Thumbs Up!
Click image to see more photos by Daniel Todd
The men's pack was led by Jason Pyles (52:49), Marshall Spradling (57:46), and Brandon Merritt (59:35). Allison Cox took Women's Overall with a time of 59:39 and was followed by Robin Weiner (1:14:36) and Tracey Campbell (1:16:57).

The atmosphere at the finish was festive, with everyone catching up and enjoying the fellowship. Age group finishers put their beach towel awards to good use as they dried off from the morning's cloud burst. Other lucky participants won gift certificates to Robert's Running and Walking Shop. (And in true WK fashion -- you had to be present to win!) One runner noted that thanks to Robert's, the footwear of today's local runner has significantly improved over years past.

Several runners (including pup Charlie) were using the 15K challenge as a training run for next weekend's 10th Annual Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run at Kanawha State Forest. Special thanks goes out to all the race organizers and volunteers for putting on a fantastic race morning.