By David Yon
“What we have here, is organized chaos,” spoke Ray Hanlon. And then – there was this year’s madness. I don’t know if Ray called it “organized” or not. Four different races with runners heading in four different directions would be enough to get some race directors hung from a very tall tree, but this was Thanksgiving and the weather was spectacular. And so, mostly what we saw were smiles and what we heard was celebration and “thank you.” Another record crowd, 2254, brought the state office complex to life on a holiday and got Thanksgiving off to a great start for a lot of families in Tallahassee. The wave of runners moving through SouthWood included 207 finishers in the 15K, 295 in the 10K, 1232 in the 5K and 523 in the Turkey Gobbler, new records in every race except the 15K.
Matthew Dobson weaved his way through the crowds to take the featured 15K, besting crowd favorite Jessie Close, 50:24 to 52:58. Dobson’s time was the fastest ever run on the SouthWood course. Sheryl Rosen, tuning up for a run at the Jacksonville Marathon, won a battle with Amy Paine to take the women’s title. Sheryl ran 58:24, while Amy ran 59:52. The masters titles went to Miles Gibson (55:19) and Jane Johnson (1:02:48).
The 10K had good races also. Alex Brickler beat his high school coach Gary Droze to win the 10K title in 33:52. Alex was fresh off a 17th place finish in Division II South Region Cross Country NCAA Regional on behalf of Morehouse. Gary Droze took second with a time of 34:17. Michael Martinez, who has been dominating the GWTC grand prix, ran 34:45 to win the masters’ award. Breeda Dennehy-Willis won the women’s title in another course record time – 35:20. Second place went to Stephanie Liles (the women’s grand prix leader) who ran 38:36. Fran Mclean was masters champ, despite spending her warm up time running registration forms back and forth between the registration area and the data entry mobile. Fran ran 44:27.
Calvin Vannoy, who just helped Chiles High School to a state cross country championship, won the 5K by running 16:40, just beating teammate Stan Reecy who ran 16:59. Sarah Docter-Williams dropped down from her usual 10K distance to win the women’s title in 18:16. Second place went to Jana Stolting who ran 18:57. The winners in the masters divisions were Tim Unger, 17:56, and Krista Killius, 21:43.
The WYSIWYG’s (Bill McGuire, Tim Unger, Justin Dickenson and Steve Barraco) won the 5K team title. Second place went to the Hensley Racers (Jerry McDaniel, Bill Perry, Cole Hensley and Noah Hensley). Tri-Stables won the 10K (Kelbe Beck, Gary Lienbert, Kaitlyn Crandall and Nikki Sanguiliano) and 15K (George S Palmer, Dana Stetson, Gary Griffin and Julie Clark) team titles. Killearn Lakes Elementary School had the most students show up, while Roberts took the runner up position.
Brian Corbin and Judy Alexander had a huge haul in the U-Haul (donated by University Center U-haul and Malysa Bautum) again making it a good day for the Shelter and the Refuge House. Killearn Lakes Elementary School was the elementary school that donated the most to the cause, while Gretchen Everhart took the prize for most donations for any middle school.
So maybe Chaos isn’t just a bad thing every now and then…
Turkey Trot Photos by Tom Scott