Springtime – Still a Cornerstone

David Yon, February 21, 2016

“The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” (Wikipedia, March 21, 2016) The perfect description for the Springtime 10K race and the local running community. I marveled at its consistency in 2005 on its 30th birthday and thought it was worth a look back at that year.

The Springtime 10K remains my favorite race to run and the one I have in fact run the most often (at least 25 times since my first in 1984). It truly is the cornerstone race for Tallahassee and Gulf Winds Track Club (“GWTC”). It has character and it has history. On those perfect spring Saturdays when the azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom and the temperature is a clear blue sky 42 degrees, it is simply Tallahassee and racing at its best as 1500 to 2000 runners take off on Monroe Street. The race starts on Monroe Street in the center of town and runs up and down the hills in one of Tallahassee’s oldest communities and that probably says it all. It is hard to believe the 30th running of the race was 11 years ago in 2005. I ran 38:37 and finished in 22 second place – 10 seconds behind Jack McDermott. Here are some words I wrote in 2005

Thirty Years and Running – Springtime 2005

So how many events can you name that have been held successfully once a year for 30 years? This year (2005) marked the 30th time that Springtime Tallahassee has been run and the heavens smiled on the effort with a gorgeous day and a crowd of 755 10K and 159 one mile finishers. Like so many things GWTC does, this event represents long lasting quality. In 1976, a club member named Dennis Fitzgerald created a four mile event that was sponsored by Gulf National Bank. Dennis and Gulf National would be swallowed up soon by Lewis State Bank, but all that meant was that Springtime would move downtown and become a 10K. It was an alliance (Lewis State would become First Florida) that would last until 1991 and through seven race directors. Jeanne O’Kon and Tom Perkins directed the race for their fifth year continuing the tradition of a race directed with great expertise and efficiency. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one person who has run them all, including the four-miler in 1976 and that is Moondance star, Bill McGuire. So wasn’t the perfect way to cap off the 30th to hear Moondance blast its tunes out on Adams Street after the race? As a warm up, Bill captured the grand masters title in a time of 39:24.

And speaking of consistent quality? Sarah Docter-Williams captured her third overall title and second straight, tying her for second most wins with Paula Johnson. Janice Hochstein leads the list with five wins, including the very first year. In what appears to be a master’s record, Sarah captured the 2005 event with a winning time of 35:51. She and second place finisher Michelle Krueger, from Jacksonville, battled almost step for step through four miles. At that point Sarah used her “home court” advantage and knowledge of the course to pull away for a thirty plus second win. While most of us keeping getting slower with age, Sarah has remained remarkably consistent in this race, running one second faster than her 1998 time.

On the men’s side Joey Zins, a volunteer coach for Bob Braman at FSU, ran away from the rest of the field to win in 32:43. Art Remillard continuing his return to top form was second in 34:20. Zins ran for Georgia Tech where he earned All-NCAA South Region honors in 2001 in cross country. He ran the 5,000 and 10,000 in track. Art, who has headed the GWTC lecture series the past few years, has returned from several years of injury with a big bang to take a commanding lead in the Grand Prix series.

The masters titles went to Gary Droze, 34:55 and Jane Johnson, 41:09. Jane is a two time overall winner as well. Nancy Weidner took the women’s grand masters title with a time of 51:41. Mae Cleveland, despite being closer to 70 than 60, turned in an impressive performance dominating the over 60 age group with a 57:01 performance. Bill Hillison was the men’s winner in the group, despite hamstring problems, with a 41:40.

Springtime remains one of GWTC’s best events and for many Tallahasseans it is the only race they run each year. It helps bring a crowd to downtown and it kicks off the festival. Once again, Capital Health Plan provided generous support as the presenting sponsor.

Back to 2016

It took me 56 plus minutes in 1996 to finish the race, so I have seen the race from many vantage points and all have been good. I have never run the 5K, but many have since its introduction in 2008. I have seen a variety of weather from hot to cold and beautiful sunshine to stormy rain showers. This morning (the 21st of March) is a near perfect one for running Springtime; here is hoping for the same weather on April 2. Mandy and Sean Hudson are the conductors of this event and they want you to know you will always be part of the cornerstone.

You can get more information at www.gulfwinds.org or http://springtime10k.com/.