More Racing

David Yon, May 2, 2021

Saturday was a beautiful day to run a race through two of the city’s best parks.  It was one more indication that something close to normal is returning to the racing scene. And while the Animal Shelter Foundation’s (ASF) “Tails and Trails” race was a scaled down version, cleverly called “Tails and Trails Lite” it was still a success, especially on the fund-raising side. It also succeeded in raising awareness.

The battle to control the spread of the coronavirus was still evident in the social distancing protocols being implemented, the limited number of participants and the reduced number of races. This year the 10K was the only distance offered for the live version of the race.  It was nice to hear so many runners shouting: “I have been vaccinated!”

The following comes from the ASF’s website:

“The Animal Shelter Foundation  is a non-profit organization created by volunteers to support the animals in the care of Tallahassee Animal Services, more commonly known as the Animal Shelter at Tom Brown Park. We exist, through the help of community events and charitable donations, to make a positive difference in the lives of homeless animals.”

The ASF has a special place in the Yon household.  During our almost 35 years together we have been hosts to ten cats, ___ of which five  were prior residents of the Animal Shelter at Tom Brown Park. They have all enriched our lives greatly.   Current residents of the Yon House, Paka, Mia and Vinny made the move from the Shelter to Charleston Road.  Roho skipped the stay in the Shelter and moved into to our  home without the aid of a middleman.

Special thanks to Dana Stetson, Jeff Nielsen, Kate McFall, Cara Fowler and all the other dedicated volunteers who make this event go every year and especially for helping get runners back to racing.

Back to the runners.  How many races have you run with a turnaround point in the middle of a beautiful lake?  This one does as runners turn off of the Heritage Trail and run out one of the levees that jut out into Lake Lafayette.  This year’s changes saw the start of the 10K moved to Pavilion 13 inside Tom Brown Park and run along the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park. 

I am fairly sure I was the first runner to hit a root and go down.  As I was laying on the ground thinking how much hitting the ground hurt and whether I had an excuse to exit the race, friendly hands reached down and lifted me up.

Leonardo Canete was the overall winner in a time of 39:01.  Micky Moore was second and the top master. Brittney Barnes was the top female finisher (46:43) easily beating Melanie Leitman (51:29).  124 runners finished the race compared to 648 in 2019.

The trail is beautiful, but it presents some challenges.  In addition to the root hazards, the winding, uneven trail creates slow racing times.  It is hard to maintain a rhythm and to stretch out legs.  As a result, finishing times are slow. 

I can assure you however that Paka, Mia and Vinny appreciate every one of the runners, supporters and volunteers who kept this event going this year!