Runners climbed out of their cars April 1 to find a nice breeze and temperatures just a bit cooler than expected, starting out in the upper 50’s. The temperatures rose enough to make the last couple miles a bit warm, but the temperatures and blue skies made it a near-perfect day to draw a big crowd and celebrate the 25th running of the race. The 802 finishers of the 10K and 157 finishers of the one mile fun run milled about the park after the race enjoying the spring day and telling race stories. Shannon Sullivan brought the now traditional post race barrel of celebration to help top it all off.
Muchapiwa Mazano, last year’s winner, flew down the hills of the first mile in around 4:30. At that point the Tampa resident, formally from Zimbabwe, looked over his shoulder and broke out in a big smile when he saw nothing but air. The race for first was over and he coasted to the finish in 32:28 (last year he ran 30:56) to claim the $300 first place prize. The battle for second was close, however, as Aaron Caruso and David Ogletree raced each other. Aaron captured the second place prize of $200 by running 34:12, half a minute faster than David Ogletree’s 34:38. David captured the top spot in the GWTC Grand Prix race however, picking up 30 points to go with his $100 for third place. Tim Simpkins produced an outstanding sub 35:00 10K for the masters’ title. Bill McGuire kept his streak of running every Springtime race alive by winning the Grand Masters title.
The women’s race was also over early. Anna Pichrtova, from the Czech Republic originally and Panama City of late, ran a strong 36:05 to take the tenth spot overall, capture the women’s title and win $300. The battle for second place was close for a while as Sarah Docter-Williams and Kim Winn played tag for the first couple of miles. They arrived at the two-mile mark in under 12:00 minutes. The 10K distance turned out to be the key, as Sarah avenged her Cookie Run loss by pulling away to take second place and the top GWTC Grand Prix spot by running 37:19. Jane Johnson took fourth place, the Masters title and the $150 cash prize. Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day was Janice Hochstein’s time of 41:30ish. That might just be the best time ever by a 49-year-old at Springtime. Peggy Simpson won the Grand Masters title.
James Dexter and Maria Hampton captured the one mile race by running 5:21 and 5:53 on the downhill course.
Bob Wychulis, Healthplan Southeast’s CEO, spent the morning greeting runners and getting to see first hand what his company’s contribution produced. GWTC owes Bob and Heathplan Southeast a special thanks for stepping in at such a late date to assure this event remained a quality event.