By David Yon
Just under 800 runners invaded downtown Tallahassee and took over Monroe Street and Myers Park Saturday morning. March 27. The temperature climbed just above 40 degrees as the 8:00 a.m. start time arrived. Race director Paul Hiers fired a shot from a rifle or musket to send the runners off on a beautiful morning. The early pace was brisk, as runners raced for position for the right-hand turn on Call Street. Many of them continued the rush down the hill to Franklin Boulevard.
First time participant Muchapiwa Mazano quickly moved to the front. He and Mike Williams, from Gainesville, joined one other runner to form a lead pack that stayed together until around 4 miles. Muchapiwa decided enough was enough shortly thereafter and took off. His first place finish of 30:56 is a record on the current course and was good enough to earn him $500. Williams earned $250 for his second place finish in a time of 31:14. Malcolm Campbell was third in 31:43 ($150), well ahead of first Tallahassee finisher David Ogletree. David’ s time of 33:25 earned him $75 and a one year membership to Gold’s Gym. Jeff Nielsen picked up the masters $250 prize with a time of 35:28. Bill McGuire ran the fastest last two tenths of anyone in the field, storming by David Yon and Sarah Docter-Williams and earning the Grand Master title with a time of 36:58. Bill, by the way, is the only runner I know that has run every single Springtime race.
On the women’s side, Breeda Dennehy, last year’s winner, was off battling the mud and a world class field at the World Cross Country Championships. So Sarah Docter-Williams went out to improve on last year’s second place finish. Her main competition for first woman took the forms of Kimberly Wynn and Jane Johnson. Sarah went out in 5:47 with Jane only a few steps behind. Two miles went by in around 12:02. From there she kept pretty close to 6:00 minute miles until dipping under a little in the last two miles. Sarah claimed the $500 prize with a time of 37:00 – one step behind grand master winner Bill McGuire and 4 ahead of club president David Yon. Jane improved on last year’s time to finish 2nd and win the masters division with a time of 38:49. She pocketed the masters winning of $250, allowing Kimberly Wynn to pick up the same amount for second overall with a time of 39:18. Janice Hochstein was next and Carrie Weyant brought home the 4th place prize money with her 5th place finish time of 41:27. Got that? Peggy Simpson won $150 and the Grand Master title for the women.
The cool weather was a PR Gold mine. Bonnie Wright (49:03), Greg Waddell (36:47), Mike Sims (37:18), and Allan Katz (50:03) led the parade. Felton Wright had his best race in many years running 36:15, just besting a great effort by Karl Hempel of 36:17. The winning time of 30:56 is a superb time and course record. It is not a record for Springtime however. Larry Greene ran 30:03 in 1984 on the course that finished up the hills on Gaines and Calhoun Street. Paul Waldron broke 31 minutes twice, 30:49 in 1989 and 30:30 in 1984 on the harder course. My research went back to 1984. The 30:03 was reported on the cover of the Fleet Foot as a record at that time and I was unable to find a faster time reported since then. I did not have complete results for several years. If anyone is aware of any other times under 31:00 minutes please let me know.