Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Courtesy David Rader
Annalee Rader (center) hooked this tarpon and Patrick Graham, David Rader and Graham's father Doug Graham helped pull it ashore at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Patrick Graham had been fishing for a total 25 hours during his vacation to Hilton Head, faithfully standing in the surf, catching stingrays and hoping something more interesting would gobble his bait.
When here came surf caster Annalee Rader, taking a spot on the beach near the rising college freshman from Lake Norman, N.C.
Annalee put a piece of cut mullet on her hook, cast into the surf and stood at the ready.
"It hadn't been five minutes after I cast when the fish hit," said Annalee, a 15-year-old from Fincastle who was vacationing with her family on the South Carolina coast last week.
A day earlier Annalee had battled a 4-foot shark to the beach.
But whatever she tied into Thursday afternoon made the shark seem like a minnow.
"We never had a fish run line off the reel like that," said Annalee, who often float fishes the James and New rivers for smallmouth bass with her dad, David Rader. "Then it started pulling me out."
With no interest in being yanked out to sea, Annalee passed the rod to her dad.
He eventually passed the rod to Patrick's dad, Doug Graham, who, after a while, passed it back to Rader.
Rader eventually handed the rod to Patrick Graham, who was happy to finally be battling something other than stringrays.
After more than an hour and in front of a large crowd of curious spectators, the team pulled a 100-pound-plus tarpon ashore.
"It was crazy," said Annalee, a rising sophomore at Lord Botetourt High School and the Roanoke Valley Governor's School.
Summer fishing on the South Carolina coast is usually predictable, David Rader said.
"All we catch are stingrays and sharks, for the most part, this time of year," he said.
When the tarpon engulfed the bait and took off, the Raders assumed Annalee had hooked a bigger-than-usual shark.
"Once it jumped four times I said, ‘That can't be a shark,' " Rader said.
Annalee was surprised.
"Until then I didn't even know what a tarpon was," she said.
In fact, David Rader said, a local marina operator later told him that he hadn't heard of a surf-caught tarpon in the area in 30 years.
Annalee said her dad's turn with the rod lasted about 45 minutes.
"My dad got really tired and he was afraid he might lose it," Annalee said.
During the fight, someone asked Annalee if she was ready for another turn.
She politely declined.
"There were about 150 people standing there watching," she said. "After all that, I didn't want to lose it."
David Rader shot some video with his iPhone as the team slid the fish through the breakers.
The fish measured 74 inches long, Rader said, and weighed an estimated 100 to 120 pounds.
After snapping a few pictures the crew went to work reviving the fish so it could be released.
David Rader said he is looking in to getting a fiberglass replica made to commemorate the catch.
"I kind of wanted to keep it," Annalee said. "But I knew it would be a really mean thing to do."
After 15 minutes, the fish had recovered well enough to swim back out to sea, leaving behind a team of proud anglers and a crowd of onlookers thrilled by the unusual catch.
Star City Women's 5K turns 30
Running is in the midst of another boom, and women deserve much of the credit.
According to statistics from USA Running, women accounted for 55 percent of the finishers of road races in 2011.
Some credit for that momentum likely goes back to events such as the Women's Distance Festival, a series of events launched in 1980 to help show that women could not only run road races, they could run them well.
Roanoke first Women's Distance Festival race was held on July 23, 1983.
The Star City Striders will host a celebration Tuesday evening to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the event, which is now called the Star City Women's 5K.
The anniversary event will be at the Woodmen of the World Office (2306 Peters Creek Road NW). The event starts at 6 p.m. with a low key run, with refreshments to follow at 7 p.m.
Several runners who participated in the inaugural race will attend and offer brief remarks.
Those guests including Beth Dillinger Howell, who won that first race and went on to run in the 1984 and 1988 marathon Olympic trials.
Howell's 17:44 in the Roanoke event remains the race record.
Amy Rockhill, the race director, said that the first women's 5K in Roanoke attracted about 120 runners.
"It was almost like a protest event," said Rockhill, a Roanoke orthodontist and a Striders club leader.
The run has moved to the fall, when weather is better for running. This year's race will be held on Oct. 5, on a 5K course through Roanoke's Raleigh Court neighborhood.
Last year's event had 186 finishers, down slightly from 220 in 2011.
Rockhill said that the race was struggling about 10 years ago, with attendance lagging. The club made a concerted effort to keep it going.
"This race is historically important," she said. "I thought, ‘We can't let this race die.'"
Tonight's celebration is free and open to the public.
For more information on the race, contact Rockhill at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.starcitystriders.com.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?