By David Yon
Picture perfect weather brought out a great crowd and a lot of smiles for the 2002 Springtime 10K and One mile run. Conner Holt ended Muchapiwa Mazano three year winning streak with the fastest Springtime finish since 1999. Holt ran 31:18 to beat Mazano by just under one minute. Mazano ran 32:15. The women’s title went to Larisa Timchina who lives in Gainesville and beat Olga Nikolaeva for the title by running 36:40. Nikilaeva ran 37:43.
The top local finishers were Tim Unger (35:49) and Sarah Docter-Williams (38:15) who finished fifth and third respectively. Tim’s finish was good enough to take top masters, while Jane Johnson claimed that spot for the women with a 39:53. Phil Yon survived a crash on Call street to capture the wheel chair win. This year Springtime offered prize money to the top wheel chair finishers in addition to the top over all runners in an effort to attract a better wheel chair turnout. Unfortunately it did not work this year, but hopefully word will get out about this great idea. The team with the most finishers was Julie Clark’s “Monday Group” which had 39 runners cross the finish line.
James Dexter won the one mile in 5:14 before heading to Chiles High School to compete in the Capital City Classic meet. Katrina Unglaub won the race for the women’s title with a time of 6:28.
The 10K race had 731 finishers, while the One mile race had 142 finishers. Both numbers were up slightly from last year (717 and 120). On Friday night running-author Jeff Galloway spoke to a large crowd at Premier Health Club about all kind of running topics but the main topic was about mixing in walking with running to improve endurance. Galloway, one of GWTC’s founders, also ran the race Saturday morning in 39:25 to capture the 55-59 age group title. The theme for the day seemed to be runners enjoying the morning and not “the gut wrenching” finishes of some years. Good weather certainly helps with that, but it does bring up an interesting comparison to past years. The tenth place finisher in Saturday’s race ran 37:30. That time would have placed a runner in 31st place in 1990 and in 32nd place in 1997. Thirty-second place on Saturday was 40:34.