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Ron Pokraka completes his 30th Falmouth Road Race

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hip replacement surgery--nor prostate cancer--can stop Ron Pokraka '60, who has competed in the Falmouth Road Race every year since its inception in 1973, along with a small group of race veterans affectionately called the "Falmouth Five." This year, Pokraka used two canes to complete the seven-mile course on Aug. 11, and managed to beat his goal of 21/2 hours, despite pain and partial paralysis of his right leg.

Pokraka, who played football and baseball at WPI, has run the Boston Marathon 20 times and used to complete the Falmouth race in a respectable 42 minutes. He competed in 2000 only two months after surgery for prostate cancer ("Just another bump in the road," he told Cape Cod Times sports editor Bill Higgins). This year, after the replacement of his right hip caused infection and nerve damage, Pokraka underwent a second operation to replace the artificial joint. He initially planned to enter the 2002 race in a wheelchair, but intense training and therapy enabled him to walk across the finish line.

Pokraka was also the winner of the 2002 Michael Denmark Award for significant achievement in the face of personal challenges.

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