PoeHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/7/17) — Parents of a city police officer and U.S. Marine veteran served as their son’s support crew during his victory at a 255-mile endurance race recently.

The athlete navigated the waters in a kayak along the Kentucky River near Beattyville that ended three days later in Carrollton last month.

William Poe of Madisonville ended up finishing the KR255 River Race course in record time — 17 hours quicker than the previous titleholder — in 74 hours and 48 minutes. Teams or solo boaters were allowed 100 hours to complete the scenic course.

He is set to begin another race this week at the Missouri American Water MR340.

“We made sure he had his supplies and what he needed at the 14 checkpoints to get him water and food,” said William’s father, Danny Poe.

His mother, Judy, said they tried to stay ahead of him during the race, noting their navigation skills improved after missing one of the stops.

“He worked very hard for it,” Judy said. “We support him in whatever he does. We always have.”

The parents said they plan on being his support group at the upcoming race on the Missouri River.

“We probably didn’t sleep much more than he did,” said his father. “We made sure he had his supplies and what he needed … he was doing the river miles and we were doing the road miles.”

William said out of 11 boats that started out, four made it to the finish including a four- and two-man canoe team and another solo kayaker.

He credits his parents for helping make the feat possible.

“It’s an epic event in your life, and it makes it more special when you experience it with your family,” William said.

The kayaker said competitors had to carry their canoes or kayaks around locked dams at each checkpoint, where their support teams provided things like food, Gatorade and protein shakes.

Noting he began entering endurance races two years ago, the soloist competes in his 18-foot kayak designed for long distance runs and speed.

During the last race, he grabbed at least a couple of one-hour naps.

“I really like a difficult challenge where you can do things when you feel like your body says you can’t do anymore, and all you can do is keep going,” he said. “I’ve always liked extreme things and doing things other people don’t do.”

The avid rower also explained how the challenge relates to his career as a police lieutenant, saying it is good to maintain physical fitness, especially in instances when an officer’s own life or the lives of others are on the line.

As far as the prize for winning the endurance race last month, he said he selected a tent from the door prize selection table.

“You don’t win anything more than bragging rights,” he said. “It was a very brutal race, especially since there was practically no current.”

His parents say they are ready for the next 340 miles along the Missouri.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

 

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