By David Yon
It is hard to imagine a more perfect morning for the 880 Springtime finishers, 694 for the 10K and 186 for the one mile. The total was more than 100 runners above last year’s turnout and the clear cool morning under classic deep blue skies produced many more smiles than last year’s warm humid day. The Perkins-O’Kon plan played out to near perfection as race directors Tom and Jeanne pulled off another top notch performance. The morning was Tallahassee springtime at its best – and that is pretty darn good. In addition to 40 degree temperatures at sunrise, the flowers and new green growth put on a show that out did the best running performance. And what better place could one find to experience it all than in Meyer’s Park?
Caleb Carmichael, an alumnus of Florida High who runs for the University of West Florida’s cross country team, came home to win the 2004 Springtime race in a time of 33:22, a strong win over second place Sean Daniels who finished in 33:51. Sarah Docter-Williams won her second Springtime title in dominating fashion with a 37:01 and tenth place finish overall. That was exactly the same time she ran to win in 1999. Kate Remillard ran 39:10 to shatter the 40:00 minute barrier and grab second place. Gary Droze won the masters trophy with a fifth place finish in a time of 34:39. Tim Unger was close behind, finishing in 35:01. Boston Marathon bound Jane Johnson was the women’s masters winner with a time of 40:48.
There were several outstanding performances in the one mile race. They were aided by the downhill course, but nonetheless the 5:20 time of 13 year old Whitney Strickland and 6:10 finish of 13 year old Katie Devick were very impressive efforts. Not far behind was another spectacular performance as 7 year old Cecelia Williams (daughter of 10K winner Sarah) ran a 6:45.
The WYSYWG’s lived up to their pre-race press by capturing the team title with 15 points as their top five (Mike Lily, Gary Droze, Tim Unger, Bill McCord and Jack McDermott) all finished in the top 9. Second place went to the Half Fast runners (Bill McGuire, Matt Minno, Jerry Ongley, Bill Hillison and Jane Johnson.
This was the 29th running of Springtime and it was a fine performance to set up the next year’s 30th.