Save the Date for Springtime 2022

David Yon, March 8, 2022

Runners spread racing wings ahead of Springtime 10K

The opportunities for racing are everywhere again but we want you home for the Springtime Races on April 2, 2022.

This past weekend was full of things that reminded me of a few of the things that make running fun. First, there is the opportunity to travel. Second, there are opportunities to join friends and family in training to accomplish a goal.

This weekend many Tallahassee runners took to the sky and to the highway as they traveled to out-of-town races in Napa Valley, Jacksonville, and Albany.

Napa Valley Marathon

Tallahassee runner Ann Centner went to Napa Valley, California, to run the Napa Valley Marathon, undoubtedly the longest trip of the weekend. In addition to exploring new cities and places, not only was Napa Valley beautiful, but Ann won the race running a personal best of 2:38:29 and leaving runner up Clara Peterson more than 8 minutes behind. It also shows that Ann is getting very close to running an Olympic marathon trials qualifier.

Ann described her adventure: “So the course was very rolling, and the first half had much more downhill than the second. I was hoping to run quicker, maybe 2:35-2:36.” (That would most likely be fast enough to qualify for the Olympic trials.) “So going out in 1:17 low to 1:18 was the plan for at least a relatively even split! I felt great until halfway and was in a good pack of runners. Around mile 16, it began to get more challenging. By mile 18, I began feeling nauseous and the temperature was rising quickly. and the sun was brutal! I could not get in much water or a full gel from then on. The wind changed to a headwind and more uphill/ less downhill. I really struggled the last 4 miles so unfortunately didn’t quite hit the OTQ. But I did run a 4-minute PR so progress towards the big goal!”

Gate River Run in Jacksonville

Much closer to home, the Gate River Run team was hoping to return to pre-COVID numbers. While the event did not approach its record number of participants in 2012 (over 16,000 15K runners), more than 12,000 runners completed the 2022 15K race.

A large group of Tallahassee runners made the journey across I-10 to Jacksonville. The race, which starts by the Gator Bowl, crosses the St. Johns River on the Main Street Bridge, and winds its way through a multitude of neighborhoods where volunteers directed traffic, handed out water, played music and loudly cheered the runners.

In the back of every runner’s head in the River Run, is the Green Monster, waiting for them somewhere around mile 7 to 7.5 miles. It peaks somewhere around mile 8.

Saturday, the wind was light. Some days it feels like it can lift a runner up and drop them into the river. On other days it conspires with the grade of the climb to break a runner. But if you can keep plugging away the tallest point is the start of a great downhill sprint to the finish. Well, maybe not the finish as it actually flattens out near the 9-mile mark – with the longest three tenths of a mile you have ever run.

The first Tallahassee runner I can confirm that finished the race was Chris Haynes, Leon High School assistant coach. He did so in 47:11 placing 40th overall. Behind him was Katie Sherron who was the top female master in a time of 57:36 beating the second-place woman by one second. Katie relayed two of the reasons she made the trip.

One, she was looking to run in a big group of fast runners. Second, she was able to mingle with the elite runners at the start of the race. Emily Sisson, from Phoenix, Arizona was doing leg swings obviously a key to winning the women’s 15K race and the “equalizer” race. The “equalizer race” allows the elite women in the race to start 6 minutes before the men.

None of the men were able to catch Sisson, so in addition to the $10,000 she received for winning the women’s race, she earned another $5,000 for finishing first overall and not letting the first male catch her.

Snickers Marathon

Another group of runners traveled a short distance north to Albany, Georgia, to take on the Snickers Marathon. Yes, that seems almost an oxymoron – marathoners and Snickers? That is almost as unexpected as running a marathon in Albany. But everything I have heard about the race has been positive.

Chris O’Kelley thought carefully about whether to stay home and run the Tallahassee Marathon in early February or wait for this one. He decided on Albany, in part, because of his training schedule.

He was rewarded with an 8-minute personal best finishing the marathon in 2:42:49. David Too was the top Tallahassee runner who placed second overall finishing in 2:21:58. Amy Hines had a great race earning a $1,000 prize for finishing as the 3rd female with a time of 2:54:17.

Other Tallahassee marathon finishers include Jason Gram (3:03:28), Sherrie Wise (3:46), Kory Skrob (3:45:44), Kendall Meikenhouse (3:53:44), Nathan Stidham (3:54:31), Mark Tombrink (4:03:43), Birgit Maier-Katkin (4:08:31), Andrew White (4:11:41), John Dew (4:25:16), Heather Zdyb (4:25:33), Wendy Rude (4:41:17), Karen Godbey (4:55:07) and Heather Fuselier (5:15:23).

Shamrock Scurry

And for those who wanted to stay home, there was the Shamrock Scurry, a Tallahassee mainstay that begins and ends at the Killearn United Methodist Church, the group that puts on the race. 383 runners finished the 5K and 122 finished the unusually competitive 1-mile race. Charlotte Sikes won the mile in a time of 6:39, just edging out second place Annabelle Wiktorski who finished in 6:42. The top male, third overall, was Lowell Mick with a time of 6:54. Lowell was followed by Landon Heitmeyer who ran 6:57.

These are some future running stars in our community if they stay with it. Their respective ages: 11, 12, 13 and 8. The course is a hilly one! The 5K winners were Wyatt Stafford (18:01) and Alison Wells (18:36.)

Register now for Springtime race

Saturday, April 2, is hopefully a race-at-home day for Tallahassee runners. Among Tallahassee’s most prestigious races, The Springtime 10K/5K/1M races, are back and ready to go.

However, like so many other events it is still struggling to put the COVID chains aside and return to full strength. It was cancelled two years in a row due to COVID. Now is the time to register for the Springtime 10K/5K/1 Mile at runsignup.com.

More than any Tallahassee Race, the Springtime 10K/5K/1M races show off Tallahassee. The azaleas are blooming. The hills may not climb as high as the Green Monster, but they will give you something to talk about after the race. So put April 2 on your calendar and help bring back the Springtime Races.

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