By David Yon
It could almost be said that the 10 Mile Challenge has gone home. Well, not quite. But this race did begin as a 20K that started at Silver Lake. After several years “in the forest” it moved to Killearn Estates and then in 1984 to Killearn Lakes where it remained until this year’s debut at Tiny’s Barbecue on highway 20. It started on Jackson Bluff Road and worked its way out to Aenon Church Road and soon runners were making their way not too far from the lake. One thing did not change – there was still an abundance of hills. While I think the course might be a touch easier than the Killearn Lakes version, there were still lots of tough hills to climb. Eighty-four runners completed the 5K course and 126 finished the 10 miler. Both races were grand prix events, the last events for 2006. Directors Brain Corbin and Judy Alexander were looking for a place with less traffic than the Killearn Lakes route and they found it here.
Jay Wallace ran away from the 10 mile field early and by the 5 mile turn around had complete control of the race. He went on to win in a time of 59:13, the only runner under an hour. The 2006 Grand Prix leader, Michael Martinez, took second in a time of 1:02:19. Mike was tuning up for the Jacksonville Marathon to be run on the 17th of December. He will be joined in that race by the women’s winner, Sheryl Rosen who ran a very strong time of 1:02:27. Kim Likens took second in a time of 1:15:53.
Gary Droze also won with a convincing margin in the 5 mile race. His time of 28:53 was more than a minute ahead of runner up Tim Unger who finished in 30:13. Fritz Stopplebien was the first “non-master” in a time of 32:19. The top woman was Amy Paine who finished in 30:46. Angela Dempsey was second at 36:13. Top master for the women was Fran McLean in a time of 36:37.
Barbeque plates were the special of the day as Tiny display his special skills. The race helped benefit the Tallahassee Area Crew.