By David Yon
The 2001 Sickle Cell 5K was a bit like a Sunday political rally or afternoon dinner on the grounds. Over 200 runners finished the 5K with Tony Pearson claiming the title in 17:05 after listening to music, speeches and tributes. Renada Strakova was the women’s winner with a time of 19:39. Tim Unger (17:46) and Mary Jean Yon (22:13) were the masters winners.
The race, celebrating its 20th anniversary, benefits the Sickle Cell Foundation. The Tallahassee Boys Choir tuned up for future trips to the White House and Dallas Cowboy stadium by putting on a stirring performance for the runners just before the gun went off. The race organizers also named the one-mile race the “Tim Simpkins One Mile Fun Run for All” as a way of paying tribute to Tim Simpkins who recently died from cancer. Tim’s brother Jonny was on hand to run the races and to accept a plaque. Lynnette Brown, one of the race organizers stated that “Tim always supported this race and we would like to do something special to remember him and his efforts to promote our cause.”