Weekend round Up


David Yon,


Runners are, by and large, a fairly anal bunch. And while run times may vary some during the work week, on the weekends the overwhelming choice is morning. It just works better to get up and out the door and get the run in without having to navigate the conflicts of the day. So for many runners it is near impossible to wait until the afternoon on a Sunday to run. So, it was a bit risky for Beth Alexander and the folks at FSUCares and the FSU College of Medicine to stage their race at 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon. But boy did it pay off as the venerable Charlie Yates led 437 runners across the finish line, making it one of the bigger 5Ks of the year and great fundraiser for students’ efforts to secure equipment and supplies to serve populations without adequate medical care.

Ok so there is more than one way to lead, and in his 83 plus years Charlie has learned at least a half dozen or so that don’t include being the first person across the finish line. Tripp Southerland knew how to get from the start to the finish line in the least amount of time as he blasted the mostly flat course through the FSU campus in 16:09. Kyle Larson chased hard but finished in 16:46 for second place. Jay Wallace won the masters title with a 17:00 flat finish. On the women’s side, Lisa Johnson claimed yet another title, and a PR, with a time of 18:38. Stephanie Liles, working her way back from some tough injuries, took second in 20:33. Angela Dempsey was the masters winner in 20:53.

The race was a GWTC Grand Prix event and Southerland may have busted open a close competition as second place John Robida was away. On the women’s side, Liles added to her lead and, if she stays healthy, will be very difficult to catch as well. There are two grand prix races left – the 15K at Turkey Trot and the 10 Mile Challenge – and it is hard to see anyone catching the leaders.

A little north and a day earlier, Miles Gibson won his second South Georgia race. The winner of the Boston Mini Marathon captured the Veterans Day 10K in Bainbridge, Georgia in a time of 36:59. Shana Martin won the women’s title in 45:07.

A little further north, anal gave way to insane as the Ultra crew competed in two events, the Peachtree City 50K and the Pinhoti 100. Gary Griffin covered the multi-loop 50K course (six loops of 5.18 miles) in 4:21:17, good for seventh place in a very competitive field. It was the 101st time Gary has finished a race of marathon distance or longer. John Falk took 45 minutes of his previous best 50K time to finish in 5:18.

But even these guys were quite tame compared to Jeff Bryan. Jeff took on the Pinhoti Trail 100 mile race challenge. The inaugural race was held on a point to point course in the Talladega National Forest. Tough? The single track included a climb over the highest point in Alabama, starting at around 900 feet and rising to approximately 2400 feet. Tough? The course topographical map is found in Webster’s right next to the word. I counted at least seven “beyond category climbs” on the map. With the help of pacer extraordinaire Jolena Pace, Jeff finished the very difficult course in just a little over a full day – 25 hours, 25 min , 25 seconds, calling it the hardest course he has ever done. At least he did not have to choose the time of day to run!