Races also get shorter and start earlier in the morning. It's hard to find anything longer than a 5K on the road race schedule before autumn.
In Columbus, Georgia, Big Dog Running Company goes against that trend. Their mid-July race is a full five miles. The race doesn't start till 8:00 AM, well after the sun has come up. The Big Dogs aren't coy about the kind of conditions you can expect at their race, either. They proudly call their race the Heatwave Five Miler.
David Marley of Columbus won the sixth annual Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile on Saturday morning, 9 July 2016, running 26:46 and successfully defending his 2015 title. Marley is an assistant track coach for the Columbus State University Cougars, and the runner-up spot went to a recent alumnus of that program, Cody Mallchok. Mallchok was second in 27:22. Colin Johnson of Clarksville, Tennessee was third in 27:31. Aaron Totten-Lancaster, a two-time winner of the Heatwave 5K, was the fastest master runner on the course in 2016, placing fourth overall in 27:51.
Columbus master runner Stephanie Whitis captured the women's crown, coming in 29th overall in 37:39. Grace Mullins was runner-up on the women's side and 31st overall in 37:44. Rachel Riegel placed third in the women's standings and 43rd overall in 38:59.
The Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile course is point-to-point starting near the Lake Oliver Marina and heading south to Big Dog Running Company in Uptown Columbus. The route parallels the Chattahoochee River going in the downstream direction. That means there's a net elevation loss along the way, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's all downhill. The Heatwave Five Mile was the third race in the Columbus Roadrunners' 2016 Summer Series. The two earlier races on the circuit were the Summer Solstice 5K on 17 June 2016 and the Rails-to-Trails 5K on 27 June 2016. Next up is the Flat Rock Park 5K on 25 July 2016, and the series concludes with the Lakebottom Park 5K on 20 August 2016.
274 athletes finished the 2016 Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile. Lightning Sports Racing of Columbus, Georgia timed the race.
Top Ten Men, 2016 Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile
- 26:45.03 ~ David Marley (M, 29) Columbus, GA
- 27:21.45 ~ Cody Mallchok (M, 23)
- 27:30.46 ~ Colin Johnson (M, 24) Clarksville, TN
- 27:50.09 ~ Aaron Totten-Lancaster (M, 41) Hamilton, GA
- 30:43.60 ~ Carl Corely (M, 16)
- 31:13.80 ~ Vladimir Volodin (M, 38) Moscow, GA
- 31:30.68 ~ Matthew Whitis (M, 48) Columbus, GA
- 33:40.90 ~ Alex Salgado (M, 15) Ft Benning, GA
- 33:54.63 ~ Timothy Thompson (M, 22) Midland, GA
- 34:14.63 ~ Joe Paull (M, 32)
Top Ten Women, 2016 Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile
- 37:38.39 ~ Stephanie Whitis (F, 40) Columbus, GA
- 37:43.20 ~ Grace Mullins (F, 26)
- 38:58.90 ~ Rachel Riegel (F, 28) Columbus, GA
- 39:18.18 ~ Rhonda Bechard (F, 46) Midland, GA
- 39:19.10 ~ Paola Dunaway (F, 32) Columbus, GA
- 39:36.82 ~ Olivia Salgado (F, 27) Midland, GA
- 39:46.29 ~ Erin Divinski (F, 29) Fort Benning, GA
- 39:52.18 ~ Amanie Bussey (F, 40) Columbus, GA
- 39:52.28 ~ Heather Harlow (F, 31) Columbus, GA
- 40:08.21 ~ Susan Lancaster (F, 45) Hamilton, GA
|Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile winners, 2011 - 2016|
|16 July 2011||26:22, Roger Hagues||36:04, Katie Walden||112|
|14 July 2012||27:34, Jason Veclotch||31:55, Jessica Ridley||105|
|13 July 2013||27:11, Aaron Totten-Lancaster||34:42, Hannah Coyle||223|
|12 July 2014||27:06, Aaron Totten-Lancaster||34:33, Morgan Ryffe||292|
|11 July 2015||27:02, David Marley||31:18, Taylor Ward||379|
|9 July 2016||26:46, David Marley||37:39, Stephanie Whitis||274|
- Complete results of the 2016 Big Dog Heatwave Five Mile
- Columbus (Georgia) Roadrunners
- Any size dog can find a race on the Trouble Afoot! calendar