Springtime 2023 - A Good Year

David Yon, April 2023

Sometimes it feels like I wait most of the year for the Springtime 10K race to come around. It seems a long way off most of the time, with plenty of time to train.  And then  “poof” the race has come and gone.  And so too another year of life.  While the race course has changed over the years, the basic “soul” of the race has remained. (Except for the Call Street Hill)

I ran the 10K race for the first time in 1984 at age 28, the best I can tell. I missed 1985 but have raced the 10K almost every year since then.  I was 67 when I ran on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

Because it is the Springtime 10K, I wanted to do well when I raced it. But the race is run  on an up and down course which usually dishes out a good dose of humility. This year was no different. But if  you have run the course enough and you pace right, you know it offers a chance at rehabilitation in the second half with the last mile being the fastest one.

This year I finished in 52:35 in the middle of the pack but I am pretty happy with how I got there. My start was slow – it did not feel like anything was working.  As I went by the 5K (halfway) mark this year, the hills were beating me up, pounding my legs. There is a long hill to climb right after the halfway point. It looked as ugly as ever. But the course began to smooth out after that and show its more gentle side. And my legs still had a little bit of life left.  I thought “what a great time to stuff Parky in the closet and lock him up for the rest of the race.” April happens to be “Parkinson’s Awareness Month.”

The rest of the run was hard, but the hills were now my friends. I pushed it all the way to the end – fast enough to place in my age group. Slower than my “perfect day” I had hoped for but good enough to keep Parky in the closet for awhile longer.  Here is hoping we get to battle on the Springtime 10K course again next year.

The temperature for the Springtime racers was a little bit on the warm side this year with plenty of humidity to make sure runners were appropriately challenged.

Alberto Mena followed up his Tallahassee Half-Marathon win earlier this year with a first-place finish in the Springtime 10K. He crossed the finish line in a time of 34: 32. Last year he ran 33: 12 to finish second. William Whelan, his training partner, ran with Mena step for step the entire way and also finished in 34:32. They determined who was to be first across the finish line with a quick game of rock, scissors, paper, right before the finish line.

The top runner in the female category in the 10K was former FSU runner Jennifer Lima. Lima pulled away from Katie Sherron to take the top spot in 36:40, while Sherron finished in 36:48.

In the 5K, Ryan Ziskinder grabbed the top spot finishing in 16:09. Second place went to grandmaster (age 52) Brian Erb, who ran 17:49. In the women’s category, the win went to Amelia Bryant with a time of 21:36. Megan Noonan was next in 22:14.

I believe it is safe to say the Springtime Races have transitioned past the COVID days. Of course, that could change in a minute but this year the race had excellent leadership with race directors Jackie and Jerry McDaniel, a lot of great volunteer help, and more than 1,200 participants registered for the race. There were 516 finishers in the 10K, 484 in the 5K, and 96 in the one-mile race. The total number of finishers was 1096, an increase from last year and hopefully a sign of more growth to come.



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