|Women's 6K at the 2016 NCAA-D1 South Region at Apalachee Regional Park|
The six-kilometer distance may be a staple in cross-country, but it's not nearly as common in road racing. In 2016, though, the South Florida Heroes In Recovery 6K had their course USATF certified. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida race had joined Saint Augustine's Character Counts 6K and Palatka's Ravine Gardens 6K in the state's elite group of races on certified six-kilometer courses. With 2017 approaching, Gulf Winds Track Club obtained USATF certification for the course of the Flash 6K in Saint Marks, Florida. So we should see four 6K races on USATF-certified courses in 2017. Here's how those events have stacked up from 2013 to 2016:
|A comparison of four Florida 6K road races, 2013 - 2016|
|Year||Date||Race||Male Winner||Female Winner||Finishers|
|2013||9 February||Character Counts 6K||21:33, Yaro Middaugh||26:24, Beth Sweeny||205|
|16 February||Flash 6K||21:54, Michael Martinez||25:09, Jessica Gillard||70|
|27 April||Heroes 6K||21:30, Luiz Souza||27:13, Sara Devi Pierson||466|
|2014||8 February||Character Counts 6K||23:02, Mike Beaman||26:53, Katie Dingler||123|
|15 February||Flash 6K||21:56, Jon Mason||28:15, Sarah Taff||85|
|3 May||Heroes 6K||22:37, Harrie Olsthoorn||28:56, Rachel Bush||397|
|25 October||Ravine Gardens 6K||22:30, Dan Stoner||26:50, Talisa Fletcher||32|
|2015||7 February||Character Counts 6K||24:15, Bryan Thompson||26:36, Zahra Crim||218|
|21 February||Flash 6K||23:30, Duane Evans||24:20, Katie Gorman||98|
|25 April||Heroes 6K||21:44, Christopher Mills||23:53, Danielle Kleppan||302|
|24 October||Ravine Gardens 6K||23:47, Peyton Snyder||28:34, Sally Chappell||49|
|2016||6 February||Character Counts 6K||21:32, Yaro Middaugh||23:54, Ani Veltcheva||253|
|20 February||Flash 6K||23:17, Travis Parks||32:26, Leah Kiros||87|
|4 June||Heroes 6K||20:24, Scott Byers||24:07, Abidemi Charles||391|
|22 October||Ravine Gardens 6K||26:53, John Wisker||33:09, Leigh Doran||23|
|2017||4 February||Character Counts 6K|
|18 February||Flash 6K|
|3 June||Heroes 6K|
|21 October?||Ravine Gardens 6K|
|The Character Counts 6K was held on USATF certified course FL12089EBM from 2013-2016.|
The Ravine Gardens 6K was held on USATF certified course FL14061EBM from 2014 to 2016.
The Heroes In Recovery 6K was held on uncertified courses from 2013 to 2015, and on USATF certified
course FL16048EBM in 2016.
From 2011 to 2016 the Flash 6K was held on an uncertified course in Saint Marks, Florida; the race will be
run on USATF certified course FL16069TY in 2017.
You can see that the newly-certified course at the 2016 Heroes 6K produced both the fastest and the largest race of the year, as Scott Byers led a field of 391 athletes with a 20:24--which could very well be the fastest time ever on a USATF-certified course in Florida. Chicago State alumna Abidemi Charles won the women's title at the 2016 Heroes 6K with a very fast 24:07. It was only Florida's second-fastest women's time of the year, though; Abraham Lincoln Middle School's Ani Veltcheva had already gone 23:54 at the 2016 Character Counts 6K. Veltcheva's time is likely Florida's women's record for 6K on the roads.
In 2017 six-kilometer road racing in Florida opens with the the fifth annual Character Counts 6K in Saint Augustine on 4 February 2017. Two weeks later, Florida athletes get another crack at the distance in Saint Marks at the 29th annual Flash 6K on 18 February 2017. The fifth annual South Florida Heroes In Recovery 6K in Fort Lauderdale is scheduled for 3 June 2017. As of this writing no date had been posted for the fourth annual Ravine Gardens 6K.
Actually, it's Gulf Winds Track Club's Flash 12K that will be the "29th annual." The 6K has only been around since 2009, so this will be the ninth running for the shorter race. Still, the Flash 12K will be the oldest six-kilometer road race in Florida during 2017. Largest and fastest? Those remain to be determined.
- Florida's USATF-Certified six-kilometer road courses
- Character Counts (Saint Augustine)
- Flash 6K (Saint Marks)
- Heroes 6K (Fort Lauderdale)
- Ravine Gardens 6K (Palatka)
- Character Counts (Saint Augustine)
- “Six kilometers, a tale of three races”
- “Schmidt and Sherron fly through the Flash”
- Find upcoming races of six kilometers and other distances on the Trouble Afoot! calendar