Pine Run 2001
By David Yon
As you enter International Paper’s property, you roll up and down hills that make you wonder if the pine trees on the side of the road shouldn’t be mountain furs. As you summit peak after peak driving to the start line you see signs that give a number of trees planted count. The number climbs from 1,000,000 to over 6,000,000 (or maybe it was over 8,000,000). The majority of those trees were planted after the Pine Run was launched in 1977. Trees are supposed to help improve the quality of the air and you will need all that improvement as you tackle this course. Yet year after year folks come back for this wonderful South Georgia experience. The course was in immaculate condition for the 25th running of this race – even the big rocks from last year were gone. And speaking of folks returning for this run, while I can’t say for sure they are the same person, in 1980 a less than fifteen-year-old Gregg Waddell ran the course in 1:31:42. An older (we won’t say how much) version finished in 1:26:07 this year.
Tim Unger grabbed the men’s title with a time of 1:20:57, while Sarah Docter-Williams took the women’s title and second place overall with a time of 1:24:03. The master’s winners were right behind as Reid Vannoy finished third overall in 1:24:10 and Jane Johnson (fresh off her third place master’s finish in the Chicago Marathon) finished fourth overall in 1:25:26.
You know you are in for something different in this race. Five dollars gets you a t-shirt, access to a keg of beer, live music by Moon Dance and a beautiful course. It will also get you a lot of pain as you climb the same peaks on foot that you drove over to find the start. There are people who would rather rip a hamstring, compound a stress fracture or suffer heat stroke than miss this run though.
Based on a story compiled by Rex and Mae Cleveland last year (December 2000 Fleet Foot), Dave Sheffield still has the most Pine Runs at 22, even though he has not run the race for a while. After Saturday’s race Tony Kronenburg is only one short of tying Dave with 21 finishes. Next in order are: Rex Cleveland 19, Bill de Grummond 18, Joe McGlincy (this year’s race director) 17, Art Ward 17, Christy Koontz 16, Mae Cleveland 16, Ray Spindler 14, Mike Schneider 13, David Yon 13, Fred Deckert 12 and Margarete Deckert 12.
Here are the top ten men and women from Saturday’s race, perhaps the slowest top ten all time in this race. Full results are, hopefully, on the way.
Top Ten Men Tim Unger 1:20:57 Reid Vannoy 1:24:10 Greg Waddell 1:26:27 Tom Ratliffe 1:27:07 Mike Sims 1:27:30 Jack McDermott 1:27:58 Jay Silvanima 1:28:29 Felton Wright 1:29:03 Bill Hillison 1:29:15 Jeff Nielson 1:30:42
Top Ten Women Sarah Docter-Williams 1:24:03 Jane Johnson 1:25:26 Kate Remillard 1:30:20 Julie Clark 1:38:44 Carrie Weyant 1:39:07 Lisa Whitworth 1:39:31 Mary Jean Yon 1:39:57 Carol Hageseth 1:47:45 J.J. Meadows 1:48:24 Sue Hensley 1:50:45