Sheer Madness – on Miller Landing

David Yon, September 1, 2008. Photo by Fred Deckert

Tom Perkins and Mike Sims peered out from under a tent that offered only limited protection from the driving wind and rain and watched the tree tops bend far past what seemed the point where they might break. To send runners scrambling under such swaying giants would have been sheer madness. Maybe the fact they were even out there considering it, showed a temporary loss of sanity. And so the rain soaked co-race directors made the only decision they could – cancel the race. Well, actually it wasn’t the only decision as the following Saturday, August 30, offered a chance to do a “make up” and that is just what they did, despite all the extra work it involved.

Despite the Labor Day weekend, the second chance at Madness was a success. A slow start to registration had Tom Perkins wondering if the decision was a good one, but it didn’t take long before the crowds began pouring in as the high school teams showed up for the 5K, the general public for the 8K and the middle schools for the 3K. When it was all said and done, 262 finishers made their way across the finish lines.

This race was held at the Miccosukee Greenway from 2004 until 2007. 2008 was its debut at Eleanor-Phipps Park after the county park officials raised objections to holding the race on the Greenway. While there was a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of holding race events on the Greenway, Tom and Mike when looking for another forum and found a very cooperative Chuck Goodheart ready to host the event. The registration was set up under a group of beautiful old oaks and a course was mapped out. There was plenty of parking and a loop course was designed that was pretty and reasonably fast. The 5K runners took two loops around the course before finishing, while the 8K participants did three loops then finished with a curve through a field. The three loops received mixed reviews, but gave the 8K runners the chance to get to know the course.

David Altmeier took charge of the 8K and won in a time of 28:56. Gary Droze was the masters champion in a time of 29:02. Gary was a critical part of keeping the race alive both after the storm and after the county made it unlikely the event would be held at the Greenway. Steve Barraco had a very strong race to grab the grand master title with a time of 31:31. Sheryl Rosen was the winner on the women’s side with a time of 32:47. Jane Johnson was the masters winner in 34:47 and Karen Laiche took the grand master title with a time of 45:85.

In the 5K, Jana Stolting showed she is ready for a good cross country season as she ran 18:45 to take the women’s crown. She was followed by Shelby Solimone (20:31) and Lindsey Thomas (20:52). Laura Welch was the masters winner in 24:31. Austin Stevens ran 17:12 to take the men’s title. Conner Sweeny (17:40) and Andrew Orr (18:23) were second and third.

In the 3K Will Henderson (11:20), Cody Stevens (12:53) and Orien Ohlin (13:03) were the top three boys. Camille Baker (12:44), Autumn Noble (13:13) and Lindsey Welch (13:56) were the top three girls.

Complete results on the way.