What is going on here? - Flash 12K 2006By David Yon, February 2006
“Pathetic Earthlings… Who Can Save You Now?” (Ok that is from another Flash – Flash Gordon, but who says superheroes can’t work together.) The most common remark made by runners before the start of the 2006 Flash 12K was “what happened in between the time I picked up my paper this morning (when it was warm and calm) and the time I got of my car (when it was windy and cold)?” One possible answer is that The Flash blew through J. Lewis Hall Park while trying to save the Human Race from destruction by Ming The Merciless. (Yes, that is Flash Gordon’s job normally, but he was a bit short on rocket fuel and needed a bit of help.) A less believable response was that the leading edge of a front started blowing through town causing temperatures to drop and the wind to pick up. Whatever, it was enough to convince at least two runners, who will go nameless, it was not the day to race. Eighty-nine others decided to help defend the earth from the evil tyrant Ming, or at least brave the elements, while running the pancake flat route on the St. Marks Trail. I am pleased to report that, at least for today, Earthlings still rule the planet. (Should I really be pleased?)
The top three earthlings separated themselves quickly from the pack with eventual winner Vince Molosky taking the lead before reaching the late-marked second mile (it was probably about 25-30 seconds beyond where it should have been) and going on to win in a time of 42:49. The first 12 earthlings missed a short detour through the park which race directors, Joe and Nadine Dexter, estimated saved them about 22 seconds on average. It was not enough to affect the order of finishers, although the 13th place finisher was heard whining and complaining. (There are reasonable grounds to suspect that Ming may have been at the race venue and perhaps not only moved the two mile mark from its correct location, but also used some evil delusion to cause the lead runners to miss the turn into the park thereby allowing Ming to escape capture by Flash.) GWTC 30K champion Michael Douma tuned up for the Tallahassee Marathon with a second place finish in a time of 43:31, just enough to hold off Chris Holland, the GWTC 15K winner, who finished in 43:36. Tim Unger grabbed the masters title with a time of 45:10.
On the women’s side, Lisa Johnson built a big lead early and kept on going to win in a time of 50:21. (I am not sure whether Lisa ran the park loop.) Second place belonged to Julie Clark, whose time of 55:45 won the women’s masters title as well. Christy Pardieck was third and right on Julie’s heels at 56:14.
Proceeds from the race go to purchase rocket fuel for Flash Gordon and Dale Arden to help them return to the Planet Mongo.