The City Magazine Since 1975

Life In the Fast Lane

Life In the Fast Lane
April 2013
Ashley Hall math specialist Rives Poe is being inducted into the Bridge Run Hall of Fame this year for her notoriously quick finishes

When it comes to running, Rives Poe has been putting her math knowledge to good use—subtracting minutes and seconds off her race times and adding to her trophy collection. A frequent top finisher in local races, Poe has received the Marcus Newberry Award for the fastest local female in the Cooper River Bridge Run five of the last six years, and in 2011, she was named the South Carolina USA Track and Field Female Long Distance Runner of the Year. On April 5—one day before she competes in another race over the Cooper—she’s being inducted into the Bridge Run Hall of Fame. Find out what keeps her on the go.

CM: When did you start running and how did you get so fast?
RP: I’ve always enjoyed running, but I didn’t compete at all growing up. Once I was in college, I started running to stay in shape and entering races for fun. Then I began doing track workouts with friends when I moved to Charleston in 2004, and my times just started going down quickly. Track completely helped me get faster.

CM: What do you love about the sport?
RP: It clears my mind. And I like it for staying healthy and working out with friends. Now I want to see if I can get faster, so I set new goals and try to reach them. I don’t know if I can get any faster, but it’s fun to try.

CM: Do you still get nervous before races?
RP:Always. I’m nervous about meeting my goal and doing my best.
CM: Where are your favorite places to run in Charleston?
RP: I run from my house downtown a lot, through my neighborhood and around Hampton Park. I enjoy running in the older parts of downtown, too, around Tradd Street and the Battery. When I meet up with friends, we usually start in Mount Pleasant. I love the I’On trail and going out to the Pitt Street Bridge.

CM: You’ve received several acknowledgments for all the races you’ve won. How do you feel about all the attention?
RP: I’m honored and at the same time overwhelmed because I don’t think of myself as an elite runner. It also makes me put a little more pressure on myself because I feel like I have to live up to everyone’s expectations. So mentally, that’s a challenge I’m struggling with. I’m not flying under the radar anymore.

CM: Do you have any advice for the thousands of runners in the Bridge Run this year?
RP: Enjoy it. Look out over the bridge when you get to the top—don’t forget. And hang in there on Meeting Street, because it is probably the hardest part to get through.

CM: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not running?
RP: When I’m not running, I love to  paddleboard or go to the beach in warm weather, do yoga, swim, lift weights, walk my dog, and really anything that allows me to be outside.

Hometown: Atlanta
Occupation: Math specialist at Ashley Hall
Best Race Times: Turkey Day 5K: 17:30; Hell Hole Swamp Gator 10K: 36:59; Charlie Post Classic 15K: 57:49, Kiawah Half Marathon: 1:25:51; New York City Marathon: 3:11:50
Favorite Race Distance:  
“I run mostly 5Ks because there are so many and they’re convenient. But they’re not my favorite because I feel like it’s all-out for all three miles and you never get settled in. I like the longer stuff—10Ks to half marathons.”