Three hundred and forty two runners found the meaning of true happiness on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Tallahassee Community College – Running for Girl Scout cookies! Some of them even got to chase Grand Prix points, as this was the third GWTC Grand Prix event of 2000. Tom Perkins and Jeanne O’Kon have built a first class event that raised around $3,000 for the Erica Davey Wilder Opportunities Scholarship Fund. Rob Pautienus took command of the men’s race fairly early and held everyone else off by finishing in 16:23. David Ogletree finished just behind in 16:40. Tim Simpkins captured the masters title with a 16:48.
The women’s race was much more exciting and was not decided until Kim Winn moved away from Sarah Docter-Williams in the parking lot with less than half a mile to go. Sarah, the 1999 GWTC Female Runner of the Year, had been the top GWTC finisher in every grand prix race she has participated in since at least since the 1998 Women’s Distance Festival. Kim Winn broke that streak with a strong finish and a 17:54 personal best. Sarah was three seconds back in 17:57. I had a great view of the whole thing finishing another five seconds behind Sarah. Jane Johnson took the master’s title with a 19:01 finish.
Times in general seemed slow, despite very good conditions. It did warm up as the race went on, however, and runners faced a head wind on the way back to the finish from the turnaround. Tom and Jeanne have succeeded in creating one of Tallahassee’s top 5Ks with this event.