Saturday, April 1, 2017

Haynes and Veltcheva are the young winners of an old race, the Springtime 10K

If an annual race has been around long enough, then event is liable to be older than the participants. For instance, the 121st Boston Marathon is scheduled for 17 April 2017, and no one expects an athlete more than 121 years old to be lining for the start in Hopkinton. On Saturday morning, 1 April 2017, Tallahassee, Florida's Springtime Road Race was run for the 42nd time. That's not as old as the Boston Marathon, so there were still a few runners older than the event itself competing in the ten-kilometer race. Up front, though, the competition belonged to athletes who hadn't been born when the first Springtime was run. 24-year-old Chris Haynes was the overall winner of the 10K, covering the course in 32:51. Twelve-year-old Ani Veltcheva finished atop the women's standings at 37:21, becoming the youngest Springtime 10K champion ever.

Chris Haynes
Chris Haynes

The morning was cool and cloudless, conditions perfect for Chamber of Commerce photos, or for running a road race. The race started at 8:10 AM on Monroe Street in front of the Leon County Courthouse. As in the 2016 race, Matt Mizereck of Capital City Runners went right to the front. This time Vince Molosky went with him, and the pair set a torrid early pace. As the two leaders finished the first mile, Jacob Robbins of Westlake High in Saratoga Springs, Utah followed in their wake, as did Tallahassee triathlete Charlie Johnson. Much farther back, Chris Haynes trailed in fifth.


"I think they were 5:04 at the first mile," said Haynes. "I was 5:16."


The first mile had included a steep descent to Franklin Boulevard. The second mile saw the runners climb into the Myers Park hills. That was when Charlie Johnson grabbed the lead. Johnson was just two weeks away from racing the Boston Marathon, and that figured into his race plan at Springtime.

2017 Springtime 10K
The leaders near the mile mark

"I really want to push it today," Johnson said before the race. "Rather than hanging back and picking people off like I usually do. I think I can be recovered in time for Boston."


Feeling the effects of the fast early pace, Molosky and Mizereck faded as the race entered the Myers Park neighborhood. Johnson became the new front runner, but Chris Haynes was coming.


"I knew the course was hilly and I had never run it before," said Haynes. "So I kept the first mile under control and tried to run even splits. There was a pack of four guys ahead of me at the mile mark. I began to pick them off one by one after the first mile, and I passed the last one about 5K."

Matt McCurdy, Chris Haynes
Matt McCurdy and Chris Haynes

Haynes hit the 5K mark in 16:33, five seconds ahead of Johnson. Haynes ran the second half of the race even faster, running the final 5K in 16:18 as he posted a winning time of 32:51. Johnson was second in 33:39. While Haynes was moving up from fifth to first, Matt McCurdy moved up from sixth to third, then held on to finish third in 34:45. Jacob Robbins was fourth in 35:07, Molosky fifth in 35:16, and Mizereck sixth in 35:59. Mickey Moore was the fastest master runner in the race, placing eighth overall in 36:37.


The 2017 race would be the last Springtime 10K directed by Amanda and Sean Hudson. Tom Perkins, a former Springtime race director, was at the starting line in 2017 chatting with Ani Veltcheva.


"Before the race this guy asked me my best 10K time," recalled Veltcheva. "I told him I had run 38:11 at the Rose City Run in Thomasville. He said his best time on this course was 37:45. I thought, okay, I'm going to break 37:45."


Once the race was under way, though, Veltcheva discovered that the the Tallahassee course was a bit more challenging than the one she had run the previous year in Thomasville.

Ani Veltcheva
Ani Veltcheva

"There was one hill at the Rose City Run they called 'Heartbreak Hill,'" the Abraham Lincoln Middle School student explained. "And that was a tough hill. But here, every time I went around a corner, there was a hill just as tough."


Veltcheva was tougher than the topography, though. She led the women's field from start to finish and finished eleventh overall, meeting her pre-race goals with a 37:21, her best 10K yet. Just two weeks earlier, Veltcheva had run her best 5K time, a 17:17 at the Clermont Waterfront Parkrun. That mark was also the single-age world record for twelve-year-old girls.


"I was hoping I could win today," said Katie Sherron. "But I'll take second place to a world-record holder any day."

Katie Sherron, Sheryl Rosen
Katie Sherron and Sheryl Rosen

Sherron and two-time Springtime women's champ Sheryl Rosen fought for that runner-up spot through most of the first half of the race. Just before the 5K mark, Sherron opened a gap on Rosen, then widened that gap on the way to the finish line. Sherron took second in the women's standings and seventeenth overall in 38:49. Rosen was the third woman and 23rd overall with a 39:28. Katie Sack (29th, 41:25) placed fourth on the women's side and Carrie Seiberlich (36th, 41:57) fifth. Donnelly Howard of Mobile, Alabama was the top woman master and sixth female finisher, 38th overall in 41:57.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Springtime 10K
  1. 32:51, Christopher Haynes (M, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 33:40, Charlie Johnson (M, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 34:45, Matthew McCurdy (M, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 35:07, Jacob Robbins (M, 17) Saratoga Springs, UT
  5. 35:16, Vince Molosky (M, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 35:59, Matt Mizereck (M, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 36:22, Chris O'Kelley (M, 23) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 36:37, Mickey Moore (M, 47) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 37:04, Jim Halley (M, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 37:14, Connor Stevens (M, 26) Marietta, GA

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Springtime 10K
  1. 37:21, Ani Veltcheva (F, 12) Gainesville, FL
  2. 38:49, Katie Sherron (F, 35) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 39:28, Sheryl Rosen (F, 32) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 41:25, Katie Sack (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 41:57, Carrie Seiberlich (F, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 41:58, Donnelly Howard (F, 40) Mobile, AL
  7. 42:53, Ann Centner (F, 25) Blakely, GA
  8. 43:20, Christine Trice (F, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 43:43, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 43:58, Lauren Aronson (F, 20) Tallahassee, FL

For the tenth year in a row, a Springtime 5K was contested at the same time as the Springtime 10K. Havana, Florida athlete Nick Loffer successfully defended his 2016 title in the shorter race, running 18:36. Eleven-year-old Patrick Koon was the overall runner-up with a 19:18. Also running 19:18. Bryan Koon was the first master runner and third overall.

Seconds after the start

Shannon Turner of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was the first woman in the 5K, twelfth overall in 20:53. Jenna Flemons edged Channel Jordan for second in the women's standings, 21:05 to 21:06. Flemons and Jordan were fourteenth and fifteenth overall. Francee Laywell was the first woman master and fourteenth female finisher, 50th overall in 25:44.


909 athletes finished the 2017 Springtime 10K. Another 582 finished the 5K, and 83 completed the kids' mile. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed all three races.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Springtime 5K
  1. 18:36, Nick Loffer (M, 33) Havana, FL
  2. 19:18, Patrick Koon (M, 11) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 19:18, Bryan Koon (M, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 19:33, Donald Kunish (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 19:34, Andrew Treat (M, 30) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 20:02, Michael Martinez (M, 51) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 20:17, Philip Culver (M, 21) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 20:22, Filippo Aldrovandi-Reina (M, 12) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 20:39, Bryce Redfern (M, 22) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 20:46, Jesse Dyer (M, 28) Monticello, FL

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Springtime 5K
  1. 20:53, Shannon Turner (F, 18) Fort Lauderdale, FL
  2. 21:05, Jenna Flemons (F, 19) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 21:06, Channel Jordan (F, 32) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 21:59, Kate Harrison (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 22:18, Rebecca Landry (F, 19) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 22:23, Lisa Johnson (F, 35) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 22:51, Sarah Miller (F, 19) Jacksonville, FL
  8. 23:00, Kristi McPherson (F, 19) Jacksonville, FL
  9. 23:40, Haleh Rush (F, 15) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 23:55, Alysa Malcolm (F, 23) Atlanta, GA

Springtime 10K Champions, 1976 - 2017
DateMenWomenFinishers
1 April 201732:51, Christopher Haynes37:21, Ani Veltcheva909
2 April 201634:06, Roger Schmidt39:09, Adriana Piekarewicz942
28 March 201532:59, Stephen Cox37:30, Sheryl Rosen986
29 March 201432:03, Kevin Sullivan38:09, Seeley Gutierrez716
6 April 201331:42, Kevin Sullivan36:05, Stefanie Slekis993
31 March 201233:29, Chris Lake37:33, Lindsay Zeiler905
2 April 201132:34, Chris Lake34:52, Pasca Cheruiyot934
27 March 201033:09, Chris Lake38:23, Sheryl Rosen850
28 March 200935:00, David Altmaier38:34, Lisa Johnson658
29 March 200831:59, Joey Zins38:16, Sarah Docter-Williams820
31 March 200733:27, Matthew Dobson37:23, Lara Shaw867
1 April 200633:25, Joey Zins34:36, Vicky Gill663
2 April 200532:43, Joey Zins36:51, Sarah Docter-Williams758
3 April 200433:22, Caleb Carmichael37:03, Sarah Docter-Williams694
5 April 200330:56, Joseph Zepherinus34:52, Larisa Timchina634
6 April 200231:18, Conor Holt36:40, Larisa Timchina732
31 March 200132:18, Muchapiwa Mazano34:46, Tatyana Maslova717
1 April 200032:28, Muchapiwa Mazano36:05, Anna Pichrtova770
27 March 199930:56, Muchapiwa Mazano37:01, Sarah Docter-Williams681
4 April 199831:07, Randy Hollinger34:09, Breeda Dennehy789
12 April 199731:12, Juri Punda35:30, Tamara Karloukova847
13 April 199632:21, Jessie Close37:11, Jane Johnson610
1 April 199531:43, Matthew Dobson37:27, Jane Johnson
199432:17, Matthew Dobson37:37, Lisa Herman
199333:11, Andy Palmer36:54, Paula Johnson
199232:09, Jessie Close37:38, Paula Johnson
199132:02, Jessie Close38:29, Paula Johnson
199031:48, Jessie Close38:16, Vikki Saga
198930:49, Paul Waldron37:54, Janice Hochstein827
198831:22, Paul Waldron38:18, Karen MacHarg
5 March 198731:52, Jessie Close35:30, Carla Borovicka757
22 March 198631:15, Dennis Rice37:16, Karen MacHarg
30 March 198530:30, Paul Waldron35:32, Carole Rouillard
7 April 198430:03, Larry Greene35:57, Carla Borovicka
9 April 198331:21, Noel Shumann38:15, Janice Hochstein
3 April 198232:11, George West39:56, Pam Ledbetter
4 April 198132:06, Mabry McCray37:14, Janice Gage
29 March 198032:35, Rick Swiderski40:02, Lisa Kinch
7 April 197933:10, David Ferrell37:14, Janice Gage
1 April 197831:43, George West38:03, Laura Ledbetter
197731:24, Morrison Reid40:57, Nancy McCormac
24 April 1976*20:30, George West,Donnie Cook25:27, Janice Gage
* The 1976 race was a four-mile run on the FSU campus.


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