Double Bridge Run-Cajun Fest 2001
By Tim Unger
The GWTC travel team competed for the first time this year by running in the Pensacola Double Bridge Run 15k. The Sunday edition of the Pensacola News Journal website declared the GWTC racing team the winners of the Corporate/Club team competition. Several Tallahassee runners received individual awards for outstanding performances. GWTC members were overwhelmed at the number of people who wanted to convey their most positive thoughts and prayers for Tim Simpkins. Scott Hoxie from Louisiana, Winston Howell from Alabama, and virtually the entire population from each the West Florida clubs wanted us to let him know he is on everyone’s prayer list.
A couple thousand runners and their families huddled up in a huge circus tent set up for “Double Bridge Run-Cajun Fest 2001” at Pensacola Beach. Mardi Gras was the theme while an awesome Zydecko band pounded out live tunes. I learned that a hat is a necessary accessory to prevent injury from flying beads at the West Florida awards ceremonies! The first runner to receive an individual award at the chaotic awards scene was top 15 finisher Dwayne Maddron. Dwayne’s 56:30 effort put him in line to receive his last big race award before becoming a masters runner. He was grinning widely when they put the 3rd place age medallion around his neck. Dwayne had wrestled his way to the top of his age group that fielded sixty runners. Bill McGuire mentioned that he and Dwayne were in a pack of runners early in this huge race looking and feeling good running together in their new GWTC racing singlets. Dwayne’s performance was outstanding enough to have won an award in almost any age group. He was having such a great time at the festival I think he decided to stay the rest of the weekend! Well, how about at least until the Budweiser truck pulled up stakes?
Bill and I were the next winners to be announced. We claimed the overall Masters and Grand Masters title and the announcer made sure everyone knew we were from Tallahassee. I had what amounted to a solo run of 53:52 for sixth place overall. The announcer noted that this was Bill’s third consecutive Grand Masters victory in this 15k event. His time of 55:37 was an impressive improvement from his last win here leaving no hope for anyone dreaming of future Grand Masters wins. We were honored with a couple of impressive medallions and a bag of nutritional supplements for our efforts. I did not see if they were giving out the supplements to the younger runners or if they were trying to tell us something? Other GWTC members finishing times were: Mara Fair-1:13:16; Bob Keller-1:17:52 (first in age group); Lisa Unger-1:20:20 (P.R. by a bunch)
Thanks for everyone’s effort for our first team race and first team victory! For full story, and an excellent picture of talented American distance runner Everett Whiteside destroying the field for his fourth consecutive win in 46:29 (4:59 pace!) go to www.gulfcoastgateway.com