By David Yon
So how many things can you name that have been done successfully once a year for 30 years? Well, 2005 marked the 30th time that Springtime Tallahassee has been run and the heavens smiled on the effort with a gorgeous day and crowd of 755 10K and 159 one mile finishers. Like so many things GWTC does, this event represents long lasting quality. In 1976, a club member named Dennis Fitzgerald created a four mile event that was sponsored by Gulf National Bank. Dennis and Gulf National would be swallowed up soon by Lewis State Bank, but all that meant was that Springtime would move downtown and become a 10K. It was an alliance (Lewis State would become First Florida) that would last until 1991 and through seven race directors. In 2005 Jeanne O’Kon and Tom Perkins directed the race for their fifth year continuing the tradition of great expertise and efficiency. To the best of my knowledge there is only one person who has run them all, including the four-miler in 1976, and that is Moondance star, Bill McGuire. So wasn’t the perfect way to cap off the 30th to hear the band blast its tunes out on Adams Street after the race? As a warm up, Bill captured the grand master’s title in a time of 39:24.
And speaking of consistent quality? Sarah Docter-Williams captured her third overall title and second straight, tying her for second most wins with Paula Johnson. Janice Hochstein leads the list with five wins, including the very first year. Sarah captured the 2005 event with a winning time of 36:51. She and second place finisher Michelle Krueger, from Jacksonville, battled almost step for step through four miles. At that point Sarah used her “home court” advantage and knowledge of the course to pull away for a thirty plus second win. While most of us keeping getting slower with age, Sarah has remained remarkable consistent in this race, running one second faster than her 1998 time.
On the men’s side Joey Zins, a volunteer coach for Bob Braman at FSU, ran away from the rest of the field to win in 32:43. Art Remillard continuing his return to top form was second in 34:20. Zins ran for Georgia Tech where he earned All-NCAA South Region honors in 2001 in cross country. He ran the 5,000 and 10,000 in track. Art, who has headed the GWTC lecture series the past few years, has returned from several years of injury with a big bang to take a commanding lead in the Grand Prix series.
The master’s titles went to Gary Droze, 34:55 and Jane Johnson, 41:09. Jane is a two time overall winner as well. Nancy Weidner took the women’s grand master’s title with a time of 51:41. Mae Cleveland, despite being half way to 70, turned in an impressive performance dominating the over 60 group with a 57:01 performance. Bill Hillison was the men’s winner in the group, despite hamstring problems, with a 41:40.
Springtime remains one of GWTC’s best events and for many Tallahasseans, it is the only race they run each year. It helps bring a crowd to downtown and kick off the festival. Once again, Capital Health Plan provided generous support as the presenting sponsor.