Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1976 FHSAA Boys Track and Field Championships

Breaking news!

Class AAAA

220-Yard Dash
1. Cyril Wyatt (Orlando Oak Ridge) 21.2
2. Calvin Raley (Jacksonville Raines) 21.2
3. Alton Green (Titusville) 21.8
4. Larry Jackson (Miami Northwestern) 21.9
5. Charlie Brown (North Miami Beach) 21.9
6. Mike Richardson (St Petersburg Lakewood) 22.1

Sprint Medley Relay
1. Jacksonville Raines 1:55.8
2. West Palm Beach Twin Lakes 1:56.1
3. South Plantation 1:56.6
4. Jacksonville Ribault 1:56.7
5. Tampa Bay Tech 1:56.8
6. Tampa King 1:57.4

High Jump
1. John Burch (Daytona Beach Mainland) 6' 6"
2. Jeff Carnes (Jacksonville Fletcher) 6' 4"
2. Rick Sullivan (Lakeland Kathleen) 6' 4"
4. Ruben Flowers (Miami Central) 6' 4"
5. Dwayne McClairen (Daytona Beach Mainland) 6' 4"
6. Terry King (Vero Beach) 6' 4"
6. Charles Woods (Miami Jackson) 6' 4"

Mile Relay
1. Tampa Bay Tech 3:17.7
2. Miami Killian 3:18.7
3. Tampa Chamberlain 3:19.4
4. Fort Lauderdale Stranahan 3:20.0
5. West Palm Beach Twin Lakes 3:20.6
6. Miami Jackson 3:21.2

880
1. Robb Gomez (Boca Ciega) 1:52.9
2. Steve Biernacki (South Plantation) 1:53.5
3. Gary Wilburn (Miami Killian) 1:54.5

Two Mile
1. Brett Hoffman (St Petersburg) 9:11.7
2. Jim Wilson (South Plantation) 9:13.7
3. Sam Bergstresser (Orlando Boone) 9:17.4
4. Herb Wills (Leon) 9:19.5
5. Walter Boyer (St Petersburg) 9:25.0
6. Darryl Eastman (Daytona Beach Mainland) 9:25.1

880 Relay
1. Orlando Oak Ridge 1:26.5
2. Jacksonville Raines 1:26.5
3. Palmetto 1:27.0
4. Miami Northwestern 1:27.5
5. Miami Killian 1:27.9
6. Jacksonville Ribault 1:27.9
6. Tampa King 1:27.9

Pole Vault
1. John Stewart (Lake Worth Leonard) 15' 4"
2. James Spilios (Orlando Colonial) 14'
3. John Carpenter (Orlando Colonial) 14'

Discus
1. Dock Luckie (Fort Pierce) 177' 9"
2. Jackie Flowers (Jacksonville Raines) 177'
3. Arthur Scott (Brandon) 172' 3"
4. James Eddins (Sarasota) 166' 0"
5. David Galloway (Brandon) 165' 5"
6. Mike Repass (Orlando Boone) 160' 2"

Shot Put
1. Tommy Sparks (Orlando Edgewater) 64' 1-1/2"
2. Stan Simmons (Hialeah) 61' 7-1/2"
3. Dock Luckie (Fort Pierce) 60' 11-3/4"
4. David Galloway (Brandon) 60' 10-1/4"
5. Carlos Tandron (South Miami) 59' 2"
6. Jon Newell (St Petersburg Northeast) 54' 8"

Long Jump
1. Prelo Harris (Sarasota) 24' 1-1/2"
2. Stanley Holmes (Fort Lauderdale Nova) 24'
3. Melvin Colquitt (Jacksonville Fletcher) 23' 9"
4. Reggie Johnson (Sattelite Beach) 23' 7-1/4"
5. Reginald Fant (Tampa Hillsborough) 23' 6-34"
6. Nathaniel Dailey (Orlando Edgewater) 23' 1-1/2"

120-Yard High Hurdles
1. Eugene Miller (Dunedin) 13.5
2. Cedrick Singletary (Jacksonville Raines) 14.0
3. Steve Mitchell (St Petersburg Dixie Hollins) 14.1
4. Gil Brinson (Brandon) 14.4
5. Wallace Davis (Boca Raton) 14.4
6. Wyman Daniels (Miami Killian) 14.4

100-Yard Dash
1. Calvin Raley (Jacksonville Raines) 9.4
2. Cyril Wyatt (Orlando Oak Ridge) 9.5
3. Willie Strickland (Port Orange Spruce Creek) 9.7
4. John Walker (Pensacola) 10.0
5. Billy Gunn (Fort Lauderdale Boyd Anderson) 10.0
6. Larry Jackson (Miami Northwestern) 10.0

Mile
1. Tom Herron (Longwood Lyman) 4:10.4
2. Joe Weston (South Plantation) 4:12.4
3. Mike Warre (Largo) 4:15.5
4. Jim Wilson (South Plantation) 4:16.4
5. David River (Tampa Bay Tech) 4:21.6
6. William Lemnon (Miami Columbus) 4:23.8

440-Yard Dash
1. John Walker (Pensacola) 48.0
2. Walter McCoy (Daytona Beach Seabreeze) 48.4
3. Lawrence Marshall (Jacksonville Raines) 48.8
4. Wendell Smith (Miami Jackson) 49.1
5. Wyman Daniels (Miami Killian) 49.1
6. Isaac Levine (Tampa Chamberlain) 49.3

330-Yard Intermediate Hurdles
1. Edward Barnes (Jacksonville Lee) 37.8
2. Lester Jefferson (Orlando Jones) 38.5
3. Gary Holt (Pensacola Tate) 39.0
4. Oscar Hadley (St Petersburg Lakewood) 39.2
5. Mark Wyckoff (St Petersburg Northeast) 39.5
6. Linton Seymore (Miami Jackson) 39.8


Class AAA

Discus
1. Joe Voor (Titusville Astronaut) 175' 2"
2. Kenneth Hardy (Gulf Breeze) 171' 7"
3. Eddie Weaver (Haines City) 164' 1"
4. John Holder (Gulf Breeze) 153' 4"
5. David Anderson (Tampa Jesuit) 153' 2"
6. Dave Richards (Delray Beach Atlantic) 151' 11"

Long Jump
1. Theodore Manley (Lake Wales) 23’ 2-1/2”
2. Anthony Warrick (Bradenton Bayshore) 21' 11-1/2"
3. Ted Watts (Tarpon Springs) 22' 2-1/2"
4. Marcus Smith (Apopka) 22' 1/4"
5. Greg Kannon (West Orange) 21' 6-3/4"
6. Tim Cornelius (Delray Beach Atlantic) 21' 3-3/4"

Shot Put
1. Joey Warren (Panama City Bay) 59' 2-1/4"
2. Joe Voor (Titusville Astronaut) 57' 11"
3. Roy True (St Petersburg Catholic) 56' 11"
4. Eddie Weaver (Haines City) 55' 1"
5. Alonzo Johnson (Tallahassee Rickards) 54' 2-3/4"
6. David Kelly (Quincy Shanks) 53' 10-1/2"

120-Yard High Hurdles
1. James Hickey (Apopka) 14.0
2. Wayne Albright (Brooksville Hernando) 14.1
3. Elijah Thomas (Quincy Shanks) 14.3
4. John Richards (Haines City) 14.5
5. William Greenwood (Cocoa Beach) 14.5
6. Anthony Warrick (Bradenton Bayshore) 14.9

100-Yard Dash
1. Cris Collinsworth (Titusville Astronaut) 10.0
2. Dennis Smalls (Bradenton Bayshore) 10.0
3. Alfonse Brown (North Marion) 10.0
4. Michael Andrews (Lake Wales) 10.0
5. Tommy Dawson (Lake Wales) 10.1
6. Ray Jones (Leesburg) 10.1

Mile
1. Doug Overfelt (Titusville Astronaut) 4:20.2
2. Bryan Artz (Venice) 4:20.8
3. Robert Roarty (Tampa Catholic) 4:23.5
4. Bob Upcavage (Tampa Catholic) 4:24.0
5. Lynn Johnson (Quincy Shanks) 4:24.1
6. Henry Baber (Haines City) 4:24.3

880 Relay
1. Lake Wales 1:28.2
2. Leesburg 1:28.9
3. North Marion 1:29.6
4. Bradenton Bayshore 1:30.0
5. Quincy Shanks 1:30.1
6. Bartow 1:30.4

440-Yard Dash
1. Lynn Brown (Quincy Shanks) 48.7
2. Lewis Brown (Inverness Citrus) 48.9
3. John McKnight (Gainesville East Side) 49.2
4. Harold Willis (Titusville Astronaut) 50.1
5. John Smith (Venice) 50.1
6. Henry Monroe (Delray Beach Atlantic) 50.3

Pole Vault
1. Michael Bush (Tampa Catholic) 13' 6"
2. Doug White (Titusville Astronaut) 13' 6"
3. Mike Duncan (Titusville Astronaut) 13'
4. Frank Selph (Tampa Jesuit) 13'
4. Pat Sadler (Naples Lely) 13'
6. Michael Hanson (Gulf Breeze) 13'

330-Yard Intermediate Hurdles
1. Woody Rice (Titusville Astronaut) 39.3
2. Anthony Warrick (Bradenton Bayshore) 39.8
3. Gerald Morris (Palatka South) 40.4
4. Larry Bradley (Madison) 40.7
5. James Ganzy (Riviera Beach Suncoast) 40.7
6. Richard Cobb (Lake Wales) 41.3

Sprint Medley Relay
1. Lake Wales 1:57.6
2. Titusville Astronaut 1:59.9
3. Haines City 2:00.7
3. Rockledge 2:00.7
5. Tallahassee Rickards 2:00.8
5. Quincy Shanks 2:00.8

Two Mile
1. Scott Dixon (Gulf Breeze) 9:32.2
2. Jeff Milliman (Punta Gorda Charlotte) 9:41.8
3. David Buell (Jacksonville Bolles) 9:41.8
4. Michael Hatcher (Haines City) 9:47.3
5. Paul Waldron (St Petersburg Catholic) 9:47.9
6. Doug Overfelt (Titusville Astronaut) 9:49.4

220-Yard Dash
1. Alfonse Brown (North Marion) 21.9
2. Dennis Smalls (Bradenton Bayshore) 22.0
3. Derek Crocker (Miami Curley) 22.3
4. Michael Andrews (Lake Wales) 22.3
5. Ken James (Gainesville Eastside) 22.3
6. Melvin Jackson (Madison) 22.4

Mile Relay
1. Titusville Astronaut 3:20.6
2. Quincy Shanks 3:21.0
3. Madison 3:23.6
4. Gainesville Buchholz 3:24.3
5. North Marion 3:24.5
6. Monticello Jefferson 3:24.8

High Jump
1. Richard Crane (Cocoa Beach) 6' 8"
2. Milton Baker (Starke Bradford) 6' 4"
3. Richard Whitaker (Tampa Jesuit) 6' 4"

880
1. Earl Hill (Gainesville Buchholz) 1:52.8
2. Levi West (North Marion) 1:53.1
3. Robert Robbins (Venice) 1:59.8


Class AA

880
1. Alphonse Williams (Avon Park) 1:59.5
2. Thad McNulty (Trinity Prep) 2:00.0
3. Crawford Easterling (Jacksonville Episcopal) 2:01.2
4. Ronnie Jones (Flagler Palm Coast) 2:02.2
5. Blaine Day (Miami Pace) 2:02.3
6. Emmet Jackson (Dunellon) 2:02.5

Sprint Medley
1. Pahokee 2:03.5
2. Graceville 2:03.6
3. Eustis 2:03.7
4. Jasper Hamilton County 2:04.3
4. Pensacola Catholic 2:04.3
6. Chiefland 2:05.2

220-Yard Dash
1. Houston McTear (Baker) 22.1
2. Leroy Love (Pahokee) 22.5
3. David Kileen (Clermont) 23.0
4. Mike Pittman (Pahokee) 23.1
5. Reginald Roundtree (Palmetto) 23.3
6. Ricky Smith (Quincy Carter-Parramore) 23.3

Two Mile
1. John Hodge (Tallahassee Lincoln) 9:39.9
2. Mark Scavelli (Clearwater Catholic) 9:46.0
3. Jerry Carnes (Gainesville P. K. Yonge) 9:51.0
4. Mike Fronsoe (Boca Raton St Andrews) 9:54.5
5. Julio Varona (Miami LaSalle) 10:07.6
6. Paul Kent (Pensacola Catholic) 10:09.7

Mile Relay
1. Pahokee 3:26.7
2. Jasper Hamilton County 3:29.2
3. Miami Westminster 3:30.0
4. Chiefland 3:31.1
4. Palmetto 3:31.1
6. Florida High 3:31.2
6. Trinity Prep 3:31.2


Taken mostly from the Gainesville Sun, although I've corrected some of their errors by going to FHSAA records. Some weirdnesses remain, however.

Links:

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Good Job!"

I do quite a bit of running on the Lake Overstreet Trails in Maclay Gardens State Park, sometimes five or six times a week. During the fall it's infested with high school cross-country runners. That's okay; the trails are wide enough. But they have a common greeting:

"Good job!"

Sometimes they're running hard enough that they don't really have enough breath to say anything at all, but they manage to gasp it out as they go by.

"Good job!"

I've found that it doesn't really matter whether I'm actually doing a "good job" or not. I can be jogging a two-mile warm-up, thinking about surviving a session of repeat miles on the trail, and I'll still get the same evaluation.

"Good job!"

In those circumstances it's almost insulting. Do I really look like I'm going flat out and giving it my best when I'm doing a warm-up shuffle? The years are never kind, but I didn't think that I had reached the point where I couldn't go slow enough to look like I was loafing.

Obviously, they don't actually mean it. "Good job!" seems to be the distance-running equivalent of "Have a nice day!" George Carlin has already dissected "Have a nice day!" Too bad he's no longer around to do the same to "Good job!"

Somehow, though, I didn't get the memo informing me that the standard runner-to-runner greeting on trail was now "Good job!" I'm not the only one, though. No even all the high school runners will "good job" you. It seems to follow team lines. This makes me imagine a scenario where part of the orientation for new runners on certain teams is learning to "good job" other runners.
"Now we train every day, rain or shine. Don't skip practice then come back the next day and say you thought it was canceled because there was a hail storm. This is cross country; we run in all kinds of conditions. If you miss practice then you're letting down the other runners on the team, and cross country is a team sport. Always remember that. I want each of you to support and encourage the other runners on the team. You see one of your teammates running, tell him 'Good job!' In fact, anyone you see running, tell him 'Good job!' This is a tough sport and we've got to encourage one another."
I could see that. That's the kind of thing I remember from team meetings, back when I had to go to team meetings, and before I stopped paying attention during them.

Although I don't "good job" other runners, I confess to using equally mindless greetings on the trail. "Go get it!" "Hang in there!" "Be tough!" "Looking good!" "Way to go!" If there's a cult, I've flunked giving the recognition signal. I don't know the secret handshake, either.

But enough. This is starting to read disturbingly like an Andy Rooney whine. Thanks for hearing me out. Oh, you've made it to the end?

Good job!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Springtime 10K, Tallahassee, Florida

Photo of David AltmaierTwo days of rain in Florida's capital pumped up the relative humidity to a new high for the year, but the showers paused long enough for 657 runners to complete the 34th annual Springtime 10K in Tallahassee. David Altmaier led the field over the finish line clocking 35:00, a good 100 meters ahead of his nearest challenger, Vince Molosky (35:21). Top master honors were captured by Jay Wallace, who ran fourth overall in 35:55.

Photo of Lisa JohnsonPhoto of Jane Johnson
In the women's division, the overall title was won by Lisa Johnson, the 2008 runner-up. Johnson improved on her 2008 time as well, taking off 16 seconds to record a 38:34. Jane Johnson won the female master title, registering a 42:12 for the ten kilometers.


In spite of a net elevation drop between the race's start (at the Leon County Courthouse) and the finish line (in front of the Florida Departement of Transportation), the Springtime 10K course is quite challenging, with dramatic elevation changes as it winds through residential neighborhoods close to downtown Tallahassee. For those not up to such challenges, a 5K race was added in 2008. Daniel Lee was this year's winner of the shorter event in 16:44, while Allison Eagen ran 18:48 to capture the women's title.

Links:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Office of Greenways and Trails Castrated and Lobotomized

This is from an e-mail sent out by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy:
I'm shocked at the irony, and hope you are too.

Within weeks of the Florida Governor's office proclaiming March as Bicycle Month and celebrating our trail victories, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) announced devastating cuts to the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT), effectively eliminating this nationally renowned program.

Act now to protect Florida's greenways and trails:

http://support.railstotrails.org/site/R?i=34gLxSIcVgG8rYSZ11kJMg..

These cuts are excessive and disproportionate to FDEP's other proposed cuts. While other FDEP program budgets are being cut 20 percent, this proposal would, among other things, eliminate more than 80 percent of OGT's Tallahassee staff! In addition to rolling back the pro-bicycling clock 10 years, this measure risks nearly $50 million in hard-earned development money for Florida's future trails.

RTC understands that cuts are required, and should be fairly distributed. However, the OGT program reduces our dependence on oil, improves health, betters our environment and strengthens our communities. Eliminating it does far more harm than good, and for generations to come.

Please speak up for trails now:

http://support.railstotrails.org/site/R?i=SLl8qzOMmUGy_u_qoHwadA..

Thank you.

Ken Bryan, Florida State Director
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
It would be nice to believe that other personnel in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection could take up the slack, I can't imagine that's possible because of all the other cuts that have been made. This is unfortunate, because trails impact Florida financially in at least three areas:
  • Tourism. A part of the fiscal crunch is due to the loss of tax revenue when there was a slowdown in Florida's tourism industry. I've travelled to Alabama to explore the Chief Ladiga Trail and look forward to vacationing in Georgia for a similar tour of the Silver Comet Trail. If the Office of Greenways and Trails isn't promoting Florida's trails, how will potential tourists find out about the trails?
  • Health Care. Health care costs are hurting business, government, and individuals everywhere. Trails give people a place to exercise, exercise that results in better health and reduced need for health care.
  • Carbon Emissions. An expanded and properly promoted trail system would cut down on short automobile trips. This would reduce the amount of money going out-of-state to purchase fuel, improve the air quality (there's health costs, again), and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming and rising sea levels are a serious threat to Florida, where Orlando is the only major city not likely to become a reef.
So a functioning system of trails may not be such a luxury. If the Office of Greenways and Trails is essential to such a system, then it should be saved.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Eat a cookie, save a trail

I eat Nature Valley Granola Bars. I have no illusions about them. They are cookies. I like cookies. I also eat Famous Amos cookies. Sometimes I take Nature Valley products with me on a hike, usually as part of lunch. I suppose that it's convenient that they're already separately packaged. I also sometimes take Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chunk cookies. You have to put those in a plastic bag, though, unless you're planning on eating the whole package on trail (which might not be a bad idea).

But then I looked at the back of the box. This is not something I usually do, altho' I used to read breakfast cereal boxes at the table to see what plastic toy I was in danger of swallowing if I ate too recklessly. It seems that I am saving trails when I eat my granola bars. I don't have to write checks to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy or the Florida Trail Association, I can just stay at home and eat cookies. Oh, wait. It says here, "You can also help Save The Trails by volunteering at one of more than 1,200 local American Hiking Society Events." Uh-oh, it sounds like I need to volunteer for a work crew, too. Maybe I could buy an extra box of cookies instead?

Kudos (not the cookie) to General Mills for giving back a little. No credit to anyone who thinks that eating a cookie is enough to preserve and expand our trails.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cross Country, the Once and Future Olympic Sport

Cross-country running is going to be in the Winter Olympics!

Well, maybe not.

These seem to be the facts. The movement started with distance runners Haile Gebreselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, and Paul Tergat. The trio drafted a letter setting out the case that cross-country running, an ancient and beautiful sport, should return to the Olympic Games after being absent since 1924. Copies of the letter went to the president of the International Olympic Committee (Jacques Rogge) and the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (Lamine Diack).

AN OPEN LETTER to the

President of the IOC, Mr. Jacques Rogge and president of the IAAF, Mr. Lamine Diack

We the undersigned global champions and record breakers would like to invite your two highly esteemed federations to consider the re-introduction of cross country running into the Olympic Games programme, either as a summer or a winter sport.

Cross country running is of course the most natural, indeed elemental of all sports. It is a fascinating discipline whose roots are lost in the earliest history of mankind.

In the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, cross country running was so far seen for the last time with the victory of one of the greatest ever Olympians, Finland’s Paavo Nurmi.

The official report at the time noted that a combination of unseasonal hot weather and the effects of the heat of a near-by industrial chimney - yes we had global warming in those days too! - meant that the air temperature on the course was as high as 36 degrees Centigrade (96.8 Fahrenheit). As such, of the 38 starts, 23 failed to finish. The problems of 1924 were certainly unique.

So we humbly and respectfully ask, what is your opinion about returning cross country running to a future Olympic Games, either on the programme of a summer or winter celebration?

We think it would be wonderful to give the worlds best cross country runners the chance to compete in the greatest of all sporting festivals, and are hopeful of a positive response.

Yours in sport,

Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Paul Tergat

Diack Photo of runnerswas enthusiastic about seeing another IAAF sport added to the Olympics, but Rogge was not so warm to the idea. Somehow the focus has come to be the Winter Olympics, and the IOC's position was that Winter Olympic events had to be those contested on ice and snow. Later reports had Rogge more open to the idea, but indications were that representatives of winter sports already on the Olympic program would be less than friendly to the proposal. Meanwhile, cross country will certainly not be in the 2010 Winter Olympics (Vancouver), but could possibly be added to the 2014 games (Sochi). Given the fate of softball, I'm not optimistic.

Aside cross country runnersfrom its history as an Olympic event until 1924, cross country has had a toehold in the summer games from 1912 to 2008 as part of the Modern Pentathlon, a bizarre contest involving fencing, horseback riding, swimming, pistol shooting, and a 3 km cross-country run. However, following the 2008 Olympics (Beijing), the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne decided to combine the running and shooting events (but not to change the name of the contest to the tetrathlon). While Diack and the three distance-running greats were trying to add cross-country running to the Olympics, it was quietly being removed.

But it's not like cross country really needs the Olympics. This weekend, the 2009 World Cross-Country Championships will be held in Amman, Jordan. This is billed as the 37th annual championships, but actually goes back to 1903 as the International Cross-Country Championships (although until 1907, the "nations" were limited to England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland). Whichever date you use, cross-country world meet is older than track-and-field's, and nearly as old as the modern Olympics. The 2009 World Cross-Country Championship also has one thing that no Olympic event has--US$280,000 in prize money.

I'm not saying that adding cross country to the Winter Olympics is a bad idea. Actually, the weather being what it is at the summer games, I'd like to see the marathon moved to the Winter Olympics program. Maybe some other road running events, too. Indoor track, anyone? But if cross country doesn't join curling as a Winter Olympic sport, it will be no great tragedy for cross country.

Links:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

25 March 2009 Tallahassee 100-Mile Race Calendar

This is the Tallahassee vicinity road-race schedule for 25 March 2009. If that's more than a week ago, the latest schedule is always available via this link:


This is a listing of upcoming races within 100 miles of Tallahassee, Florida, roughly the area in the map below. If a race isn't listed, I probably haven't heard of it, so post a comment and let me know about it.

Map

Here are some upcoming races within 100 miles of Tallahassee, Florida, roughly the area in the map above. If a race isn't listed, I probably haven't heard of it, so post a comment and let me know about it. An updated version of this schedule is posted to http://troubleafoot.blogspot.com/ every Wednesday, except when it isn't. If you want to link to this schedule, use this address, which will always give you the most recently posted calendar: http://troubleafoot.blogspot.com/search/label/calendar?max-results=1

28 MARCH 2009
  • 34th Annual Springtime 10K, Publix 5K & Fun Station 1-Miler. 8:00am ET. Leon County Courthouse, 301 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Event web site. Online registration at active.com. USATF certified course FL96048DL (10 km).
  • 2nd Annual A.R. Inspirational 5K. 9:00 am ET. Bainbridge High School, 1301 E College Street, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Mandi O'Mara 229-400-3750 or omara@dcboe.com
  • Fire Ant Festival 5K. 8:00 am ET. Turner County Special Services School, College Avenue and Gilmore Street, Ashburn, GA 31714. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
4 APRIL 2009
  • FAMU-FSU Engineers Without Borders Spring 5K. 9:00 am ET. FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, 2525 Pottsdamer Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32310. Entry form and flyer.
  • Draggin’ Tail Ultra Trail Challenge 25K / 50K. 8:30 am ET. Torreya State Park, 2576 NW Torreya Park Road, Bristol, FL 32321. Registration form and flyer.
  • 5-A-Day 5K Trail Run. 8:00 am CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303. Event web page.
  • Nancy Parrish Bridges Memorial Run 12K / 5K / 1 mile. 8:00 am ET. Crisp County Middle School, 1116 E 24th Ave, Cordele, GA 31015. 229-938-1222
11 APRIL 2009
  • 35th Annual Palace Saloon 5 km. 8:00am ET. James Messer Fields Park, Jackson Bluff Road and Dupree Street, Tallahassee, FL 32304. USATF certified course FL99027DL. Registration form and flyer. Online registration at active.com.
  • Freedom Sports "Run For Reina." 8:00 am CT. Pier Park, 16150 Front Beach Road
    Panama City Beach, FL 32413. Online registration at active.com.
18 APRIL 2009
  • Autism Research 5K and one mile. 8:00 am ET 5K / 9:00 am ET one mile. Southwood Commerce Center, Merchant's Row Blvd at Four Oaks Blvd, Tallahassee, FL. veronica.jones@med.fsu.edu
  • Planting New Hope 5K. 9:00 am ET. Tom Brown Park, Tallahassee, FL. Event web site. Entry form and flyer. Online registration at active.com.
  • 3rd Annual Hahira United Methodist Church Hope and Faith 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run. Hahira United Methodist Church, 100 East Stanfill Street, Hahira, GA 31632.
  • Mayhaw Festival 5K. 8:30 am ET. Colquitt, GA.
  • Festival on the Rivers 5 Mile. 7:30 am CT. Geneva High School, 505 Panther Dr, Geneva, AL 36340. Event web page.
25 APRIL 2009
  • 32nd Annual Rose City Run 10K and one mile kids' run. 8:00 am ET 10K / 9:30 am ET one mile. North Broad Street and Monroe Street, Thomsaville, GA. USATF certified course GA92011WN (10K). Entry form. Event web site.
  • Junior League of Tallahassee 5K Run for Reading. 8:00 am ET. Tom Brown Park, Tallahassee, FL. Entry form and flyer. Alison Voorhees, 850-933-9038 or run.for.reading@gmail.com
  • Brian Dowling Memorial 5K Trail Run. 8:00 am CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303. Event web page.

1 MAY 2009
  • 22nd Annual Gnat Days 5K. 7:00 pm ET. Courthouse Square Park, Camilla, Georgia. Entry form and flyer.
2 MAY 2009
  • Tails & Trails 5K / 10K / 1 Mile. 8:30 am ET. Animal Service Center, 1125 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32311. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
  • Spring Fling 8-Mile / 5K / 1 Mile. 7:00 am ET 8-mile and 5K, 9:30 am ET 1-mile. Bainbridge Country Club, 312 Country Club Road, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Entry form and flyer. springflingrun@gmail.com
  • Moultrie Technical College Classic 5K / 10K / 1 Mile. 7:30 am ET 5K & 10K, 9:00 am ET 1 mile. Packer Park, 343 Darbyshire Rd, Moultrie, GA 31768. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
  • 24th Annual Race Judicata 5K. 8:00 am CT. Bay County Courthouse, 300 East 4th Street, Panama City, FL 32401. Online registration at active.com.
  • Downtown Endurance 5K. 8:00 am CT. First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 West Main Street, Dothan, AL 36301. 334-792-3217 or bjones@fbcdothan.org
8 MAY 2009
  • River Town Days 5K. 8:00 am ET. Earle May Boat Basin, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Info at active.com. Blaine Palmer 229-400-3674
9 MAY 2009
  • 6th Annual Marzuq Shrine Mothers Day 5K. 8:00 am ET. Maclay Gardens State Park, 3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32309. Keiff Lindsey, (850) 212-2926 or romanroch@hotmail.com
  • Colony City Chase 5K. 8:00 am ET. Fitzgerald High School, 601 West Cypress Street, Fitzgerald, GA 31750. 229-423-5048
16 MAY 2009
  • Run for Wakulla Springs 5K Trail Run and 1 Mile Fun Run. 8:00 am ET (one mile), 8:30 am ET (5K). Wakulla Springs State Park, 550 Wakulla Park Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327. Entry form and flyer.
  • 3rd Annual Missionette 5K / 10K Extraordinary Run. 8:00 am ET. Family Worship Center of Cairo, 1400 South Broad Street, Cairo, GA 39828. USATF certified course GA09001WC (10K) and GA09002WC (5K). Entry form and flyer. Katina Stewart 229-378-0970.
  • Army 10-Miler. 7:00 am CT. Fort Rucker, Alabama. Event web page. 334-255-3794
  • Bay County Association of Realtors 5K Fun Run/Walk. 8:30 am CT. Front Beach Road & Back Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL. Nancy Palmer 850-625-7433
23 MAY 2009
  • Dothan Fire Department / Dothan Runners Club “Fit to Fight” 5K / 10K. 8:00 am CT. Dothan Fire Department Station #1, 600 Columbia Highway, Dothan, AL 36301. Entry form and flyer.
25 MAY 2009
  • 3rd Annual Memorial Day 5K Night Race. 7:00 pm ET. 1500 East Shotwell Street, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Entry form and flyer. Mandi O'Mara 229-400-3750 or omara@dcboe.com
  • Cordele Kiwanis Memorial Day 8K. 7:59 am ET. Crisp County Middle School, 1116 24th Avenue East, Cordele, GA 31015. USATF certified course #GA07012WC. Entry form and flyer.
13 JUNE 2009
  • Potluck Bash 4-Mile Run. 6:00 pm ET. Forestmeadows Athletic Center, 4750 N Meridian Rd, Tallahassee, FL. David Yon, 850-425-6671 or david@radeylaw.com
20 JUNE 2009
  • Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition “Run for One, Run for All” 5K. 8:00 am ET. Southwood State Office Complex on Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL. Erica Higgins, (850) 922-3498 or HigginsE@leoncountyfl.gov
  • Melon Run 5K. Old Jefferson County High School gym, Monticello, FL. USATF certified course #FL06044DL.
27 JUNE 2009
  • Hot Trot 5K. 7:30 am CT. Washington-Holmes Technical Center, 757 Hoyt Street, Chipley, FL 32428. Stan Owens 850-547-2244
  • Summer Sizzler 5K / 1 Mile. 6:00 pm ET. St. George Island, FL. USATF certifed course #FL99035DL. Entry form and flyer. Hobson Fulmer, 850-927-2510 or hobson@fairpoint.net
4 July 2009
  • Firecracker 5K. 7:30 am ET. Greensboro, FL. Greensboro Kiwanis, PO Box 97, Greensboro, FL 32330.
18 July 2009
  • Critter Run 5K. 6:00 pm CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303.
1 August 2009
  • Possum Trot 5K. 7:30 at CT. Wausua, FL. Frank or Carol Kreis 850-773-2030

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tung Blossoms

If Flowersyou're wandering in the woods while the dogwoods and Cherokee roses are blooming, you might also spot the blossoms of a Chinese tung tree.

Huge groves of tung trees were planted in north Florida at one time as part of a flourishing tung oil industry. I never thought of them as a flowering plant until I ran across a blooming tung tree in Maclay Gardens State Park in the spring of 1978. "I know where there are acres of these!" I babbled to the girl I was with. We drove east to Jefferson County, where we parked the car and strolled through a tung orchard, white flowers falling down around us like soft rain. It was very Disneyesque.

Since then Florida's tung orchards have been bulldozed and the land has become pasture, planted pines, or suburbs, and there are few traces of the once-thriving tung oil industry. Tung first came to Florida in 1906. The poisonous green "nuts" that the trees produced were crushed and an oil was extracted, useful in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. World War II cut off the supply of tung oil from China (where tung trees had been cultivated for four millennia) and the Florida industry boomed like never before. By the 1950s 12,000 acres of Jefferson County alone were planted in tung trees. But then synthetic oils and soybean oil began to replace tung oil. During the 1970s the last of Florida's tung mills went silent and the domestic tung oil industry was gone.

For a few years, outside of Capps you could see an imposing "TUNGSTON" sign for the old Tungston Plantation, but it was demolished when US 19 was widened. You can still find a vagrant tung tree in the woods, though, often in a location surprisingly far from the original orchards. Soon, someone will probably declare them an invasive species, but in the meantime enjoy the flowers (and don't eat the nuts).

Links:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brackets

Once again, I didn't fill out my bracket.

It's a measure of success of the NCAA men's basketball tournament that I don't need to explain what a bracket is. For money or for glory, millions of Americans have filled out a diagram of the single-elimination tournament with their predictions of game winners and the eventual champion. Beat your friends! Win big bucks! And now the nation is experiencing a annual dip in productivity as workers take time from their jobs to check scores and see how their brackets are doing. To some extent, the excitement has spilled over in the NCAA women's hoops tournament as well as the men's and women's NIT basketball tournaments, where you can also fill out a bracket.

I'm jealous, of course.

Track and field also has single elimination. That's what heats are. If you don't make the cut in the quarter-finals, you don't advance to the semi-finals. Losers in the semis don't get to run in the final. There isn't, though, the kind of drama you get with the head-to-head competition in a basketball tournament. There's enough drama on the track as it is, but people have to be at the track to see it. Would a track "bracket" enlist more fans?

On the chance that it will, I propose Sprint Week.

The Sprint Week competition would invite the 64 best sprinters in the world to compete in a single-elimination tournament of one-on-one match races over 100 meters. It doesn't really matter how you pick the 64 racers as long as you get, say, the ten best in the world in the field. In fact, if a few deserving sprinters get left out while some less deserving sprinters are invited, so much the better. After all, sports journalists need something to write about and sports fans need injustices that they can vent about over a pitcher of beer. For the same reason, the seeding of the tournament doesn't need to be perfect either. Make the selection and seeding processes complicated and secret; encourage conspiracy theories of favoritism and corruption.

The first round would be on Monday, 32 100-meter races of one sprinter versus another. Ideally, these would be at 32 different venues, but this is going to be televised, so you might want to limit it to, say, eight stadiums hosting four races each. Each venue would pay its expenses through ticket sales and concessions and merchandising, which might not be an easy sell in the early years of the tournament, or at least not in the opening rounds. In the first round, each sprinter would receive expenses and $5,000, part of the production costs of the two-hour broadcast of the event. 32 losers would go home after the first round of sprints, 32 winners would travel to a new location for their second round races on Tuesday. My bracket already looks sad.

For round two, let's stick with four races per venue, so four stadiums need to be lined up for the 16 second-round races. Each of the 32 sprinters in round two is paid $10,000, so the athletes' payroll is the same as for round one. There are only sixteen races in round two, so it's possible that you might want to go with a shorter broadcast. Alternatively, you could go with the Dancing With the Stars model, and pad out the two hours with replays from round one, interviews, and talking heads babbling endlessly about what may happen in each race. Hey, it works for football. By now, only two runners in my bracket are still in the competition.

Wednesday is round three. 16 more sprinters have gone home, and eight races are scheduled for the 16 survivors, who receive $20,000 each. Two new venues host four races each. There's a lot more buzz now, so ticket sales will pick up and television viewership will increase. Live bloggers will try to get in on the action, but how much can you write during a ten-second race? Eight losers go home, eight victors advance to round four. I've shredded my bracket.

There are only four races in round four, so only one venue is needed on Thursday. The eight runners each pick up a $40,000 check for this race; we're starting to get into golf tournament kind of money. After the four races, four winners advance, and the other four runners go home.

Round five is Final Four Friday! We'll keep the same venue for the Friday night and Saturday night races; that will make the championship that much more attractive to bid for. This one needs to be in a media center, New York or Los Angeles. I don't care that USATF has their offices in Indianapolis; they don't publish any newpapers or own any networks. Only two races on Friday, but the two winners advance to the championship. I think that I'd really insist on cutting this broadcast to an hour, unless you want to see a lot of interviews where sprinters talk about how exhausting it is to run a 100-meter race every evening for five days. Why, if they kept that up for two weeks, they'd have run almost a whole mile! The payout for Friday is $80,000 per runner. The losers go home having collected a total of $155,000 each.

Sprint Saturday! One race for the title. Each runner gets paid $160,000, but the winner also collects some sort of ridiculously large purse--maybe $685,000 to bring his earnings up to an even million. By now there's lots of stories and slow-motion footage to fill up the broadcast with. The runners walk to the starting blocks amid dancing lights and music. The gun goes off, and ten seconds later there's a new champion. Fireworks erupt. The talking heads babble incoherently. Fans curse at their bracket choices.

I really hope that the Sprint Week tournament takes off, because the next logical step is Miler Month. I know that I can fill out a killer bracket for that one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

18 March 2009 Tallahassee 100-Mile Race Calendar

This is the Tallahassee vicinity road-race schedule for 18 March 2009. If that's more than a week ago, the latest schedule is always available via this link:


This is a listing of upcoming races within 100 miles of Tallahassee, Florida, roughly the area in the map below. If a race isn't listed, I probably haven't heard of it, so post a comment and let me know about it.

Map

Here are some upcoming races within 100 miles of Tallahassee, Florida. If a race isn't listed, I probably haven't heard of it, so post a comment and let me know about it. An updated version of this schedule is posted to http://troubleafoot.blogspot.com/ every Wednesday, except when it isn't.

21 MARCH 2009
  • Student Dietetic Association National Nutrition Month 5K. 10:00 am ET. Woodward Avenue Statue, Florida State University, North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32304 (about 0.2 miles south of West Tennessee Street (US 90)). Registration form and flyer.
  • SouthWoodstock 5K & one mile. 4:30 pm ET one mile / 5:00 pm ET 5K. Terrebonne Drive and Grove Park Drive, Tallahassee, FL. Race web site. Registration form and flyer. Online registration at active.com.
  • Wild Chicken Run 5K and one mile. 8:00 am ET 5K / 8:30 am ET one mile. South Main Street and West Magnolia Street, Fitzgerald, GA 31750. Registration form and flyer.
  • Torreya State Park 5K. 9:00 am ET. Torreya State Park, 2576 NW Torreya Park Road, Bristol, FL 32321. Susan Chafin (850) 643-2415. Online registration at active.com.
  • Leprechaun Chase 5K Trail Run. 9:00 am CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303. Race web page.
  • Caring Hands, Caring Heart 5K. 8:00 am CT. Middlebrook Park, Banfill Avenue, Bonifay, FL 32425. Event web page. Entry form and flyer.
  • Pilot Fun Run for Brain-Related Disorders 5K and one mile. 7:00 am CT. Frank Brown Park, 16200 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL 32407. Online registration at active.com.
  • Kiwanis Club Annual 5K and one mile. 8:30 am ET 5K / 8:40 am ET one mile. Memorial Stadium, Massee Post Road, Adel, Georgia 31620. Registration form and flyer.
22 MARCH 2009
  • Race Judicata 5K. 8:00am ET. Florida State University College of Law, 425 W. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301. USATF certified course FL02044DL. Registration form and flyer.
28 MARCH 2009
  • 34th Annual Springtime 10K, Publix 5K & Fun Station 1-Miler. 8:00am ET. Leon County Courthouse, 301 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Event web site. Online registration at active.com. USATF certified course FL96048DL (10 km).
  • 2nd Annual A.R. Inspirational 5K. 9:00 am ET. Bainbridge High School, 1301 E College Street, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Mandi O'Mara 229-400-3750 or omara@dcboe.com
  • Fire Ant Festival 5K. 8:00 am ET. Turner County Special Services School, College Avenue and Gilmore Street, Ashburn, GA 31714. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
4 APRIL 2009
  • FAMU-FSU Engineers Without Borders Spring 5K. 9:00 am ET. FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, 2525 Pottsdamer Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32310. Entry form and flyer.
  • Draggin’ Tail Ultra Trail Challenge 25K / 50K. 8:30 am ET. Torreya State Park, 2576 NW Torreya Park Road, Bristol, FL 32321. Registration form and flyer.
  • 5-A-Day 5K Trail Run. 8:00 am CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303. Event web page.
11 APRIL 2009
  • 35th Annual Palace Saloon 5 km. 8:00am ET. James Messer Fields Park, Jackson Bluff Road and Dupree Street, Tallahassee, FL 32304. USATF certified course FL99027DL. Registration form and flyer. Online registration at active.com.
  • Freedom Sports "Run For Reina." 8:00 am CT. Pier Park, 16150 Front Beach Road
    Panama City Beach, FL 32413. Online registration at active.com.
18 APRIL 2009
  • Autism Research 5K and one mile. 8:00 am ET 5K / 9:00 am ET one mile. Southwood Commerce Center, Merchant's Row Blvd at Four Oaks Blvd, Tallahassee, FL. veronica.jones@med.fsu.edu
  • Planting New Hope 5K. 9:00 am ET. Tom Brown Park, Tallahassee, FL. Event web site. Entry form and flyer. Online registration at active.com.
  • 3rd Annual Hahira United Methodist Church Hope and Faith 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run. Hahira United Methodist Church, 100 East Stanfill Street, Hahira, GA 31632.
  • Mayhaw Festival 5K. 8:30 am ET. Colquitt, GA.
  • Festival on the Rivers 5 Mile. 7:30 am CT. Geneva High School, 505 Panther Dr, Geneva, AL 36340. Event web page.
25 APRIL 2009
  • 32nd Annual Rose City Run 10K and one mile kids' run. 8:00 am ET 10K / 9:30 am ET one mile. North Broad Street and Monroe Street, Thomsaville, GA. USATF certified course GA92011WN (10K). Entry form. Event web site.
  • Brian Dowling Memorial 5K Trail Run. 8:00 am CT. Westgate Park, 801 Recreation Road, Dothan, AL 36303. Event web page.

1 MAY 2009
  • 22nd Annual Gnat Days 5K. 7:00 pm ET. Courthouse Square Park, Camilla, Georgia. Entry form and flyer.
2 MAY 2009
  • Tails & Trails 5K / 10K / 1 Mile. 8:30 am ET. Animal Service Center, 1125 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32311. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
  • Moultrie Technical College Classic 5K / 10K / 1 Mile. 7:30 am ET 5K & 10K, 9:00 am ET 1 mile. Packer Park, 343 Darbyshire Rd, Moultrie, GA 31768. Event web site. Entry form and flyer.
  • 24th Annual Race Judicata 5K. 8:00 am CT. Bay County Courthouse, 300 East 4th Street, Panama City, FL 32401. Online registration at active.com.
  • Downtown Endurance 5K. 8:00 am CT. First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 West Main Street, Dothan, AL 36301. 334-792-3217 or bjones@fbcdothan.org
8 MAY 2009
  • River Town Days 5K. 8:00 am ET. Earle May Boat Basin, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Blaine Palmer 229-400-3674
9 MAY 2009
  • 6th Annual Marzuq Shrine Mothers Day 5K. 8:00 am ET. Maclay Gardens State Park, 3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32309. Keiff Lindsey, (850) 212-2926 or romanroch@hotmail.com
16 MAY 2009
  • Run for Wakulla Springs 5K Trail Run and 1 Mile Fun Run. 8:00 am ET (one mile), 8:30 am ET (5K). Wakulla Springs State Park, 550 Wakulla Park Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327. Entry form and flyer.
  • 3rd Annual Missionette 5K / 10K Extraordinary Run. 8:00 am ET. Family Worship Center of Cairo, 1400 South Broad Street, Cairo, GA 39828. USATF certified course GA09001WC (10K) and GA09002WC (5K). Entry form and flyer. Katina Stewart 229-378-0970.
  • Army 10-Miler. 7:00 am CT. Fort Rucker, Alabama. Event web page. 334-255-3794
23 MAY 2009
  • Dothan Fire Department / Dothan Runners Club “Fit to Fight” 5K / 10K. 8:00 am CT. Dothan Fire Department Station #1, 600 Columbia Highway, Dothan, AL 36301. Entry form and flyer.
25 MAY 2009
  • 3rd Annual Memorial Day 5K Night Race. 7:00 pm ET. 1500 East Shotwell Street, Bainbridge, GA 39819. Entry form and flyer. Mandi O'Mara 229-400-3750 or omara@dcboe.com
  • Cordele Kiwanis Memorial Day 8K. 7:59 am ET. Crisp County Middle School, 1116 24th Avenue East, Cordele, GA 31015. USATF certified course #GA07012WC. Entry form and flyer.
13 JUNE 2009
  • Potluck Bash 4-Mile Run. 6:00 pm ET. Forestmeadows Athletic Center, 4750 N Meridian Rd, Tallahassee, FL. David Yon, 850-425-6671 or david@radeylaw.com
20 JUNE 2009
  • Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition “Run for One, Run for All” 5K. 8:00 am ET. Southwood State Office Complex on Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL. Erica Higgins, (850) 922-3498 or HigginsE@leoncountyfl.gov
  • Melon Run 5K. Old Jefferson County High School gym, Monticello, FL. USATF certified course #FL06044DL.
27 JUNE 2009
  • Hot Trot 5K. 7:30 am CT. Washington-Holmes Technical Center, 757 Hoyt Street, Chipley, FL 32428. Stan Owens 850-547-2244
  • Summer Sizzler 5K. 6:00 pm ET. St. George Island, FL. USATF certifed course #FL99035DL. Hobson Fulmer, 850-927-2510 or hobson@fairpoint.net

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dutch & Faye Trail, Ebro, Florida

The Dutch & Faye Trail is located just south of Ebro in the Sand Pond Recreation area of the Pine Log State Forest. The Pine Log State Forest was established in 1936 as Florida's first state forest, but apparently did not require a park ranger until 1978, when Edgar "Dutch" Tiemann stepped into the job. Before retiring in 1992, "Dutch" laid out the campground and the original trail system in the Sand Creek Recreation Area. When I first visited the recreation area several years ago, the large loop trail was named the "Dutch Tiemann Trail" in his honor. Since then, the name has changed to the "Dutch & Faye Trail" to include Mrs. Tiemann.

To get to the trail head, turn west onto (unpaved) Environmental Road off of Highway 79, 1.4 miles south of the intersection of state road 20 and state road 79. (This turn was a bit hard to find on the day of our visit because of construction on Highway 79. ) Make the first right onto Longleaf Road. Drive past two ponds, one on the left and one on the right. Trail head parking will be one the left, near an elaborate picnic pavilion (stone fireplace, sunken floor, ceiling fans...yeah, it's elaborate). The information board and trail head for the Dutch & Faye Trail will be to the right of the picnic pavilion, next to one of the ponds. Two other trails pass by here--the red-blazed Campground Boardwalk Trail and the orange-blazed Florida National Scenic Trail. The Dutch & Faye Trail is marked with blue blazes and blue metal arrow signs. Most of the trail is in fact very well marked.

We did the trail clockwise, so we took the blue-blazed trail to the right. We were immediately in a forest dominated by pines, which does not change during the 5-3/4 mile length of the trail, except for a few plunges into swamp titi. Even if you don't look up, you'll notice changes in the species of pine by the size and shape of pine cones littering the path.

Soon after starting, at 0.14 miles the trail passes a open area with picnic shelters on the right. After that we were alone in the woods, with only an occasional glimpse of Crews Lake Road on the left to spoil the illusion of wilderness. Well, that and the fact that the pines seemed to be planted in rows, and that the forest has been well-managed with regular prescribed burns. We crossed a forest road at 0.42 miles and reached a bench on the left side of the trail at 0.91 miles. By now the trail was taking us south along state road 79, and you could make out cars through the trees behind the bench. Farther along, the trail and the highway angled apart for a while, so that the traffic was no longer visible from the trail even if it was still audible.

At 1.12 miles a side trail on the right goes first to the red-blazed Campground Boardwalk Trail and then crosses it to go to the campground. Past the side trail, the trail crosses a rough blacktop road at 1.27 miles, followed by some rare downhill. Most of the Dutch & Faye Trail is extremely flat, so any sort of uphill or downhill is unusual, and the slopes that do exist are barely noticeable.

The trail makes a very close approach to state road 79 around a mile and a half, running next to the highway right-of-way. This may not have been the case until recently, when work to four-lane highway started. The trail hurriedly turns away from the road and heads onto a foot bridge over a small creek. After the bridge the trail is going through a swampy area, and gravel has been added to the path to keep it from becoming muddy. This is not so bad for foot traffic, but can't be fun for the off-road bicycles that also use the trail. Pitcher plants grow along the trail here.

At 1.75 miles the trail crosses Enviromental Road near its intersection with state road 79. South of Environmental Road the trail skirts some depressions that look like they may have been borrow pits for the highway. Whatever their origin, they must make things more interesting for the cyclists. Past the pits, a bench is on the right side of the trail at 1.89 miles. Here the trail turns a bit to the west and away from state road 79. At 1.99 miles the trail crosses the orange-blazed Florida National Scenic Trail, which seemed somewhat overgrown on the day of our visit. After crossing the Florida Trail, the Dutch & Faye Trail went over another small footbridge at 2.02 miles. To the left of the trail there is a thick wall of swamp titi indicating the margins of Pine Log Creek.

At 2.48 miles the trail crosses Longleaf Road. Leaving the trail and turning left onto the road will take you to a primitive camp site on Pine Log Creek. Forging ahead on the trail takes you to an annoyingly pointless series of curves taking the trail away from the creek. If there was an appreciable slope here, I'd call these switchbacks and praise them, but the change in elevation here is too subtle to require switchbacks. Were the curves added to entertain bicyclists? To add extra distance to the trail? I can think of other possible reasons, but I lack the imagination to come up with a good reason.

The trail eventually straightens out, though, and at 3.01 miles you go over a very long bridge over a small tributary to Pine Log Creek. Coming off the bridge, the trail turns left into a recently logged area. In this clear area, the trail passes three short lengths of fence, or Fences Of No Obvious Utility. The first two F.O.N.O.U.s are two upright posts connected with two horizontal rails. The third is larger, with three upright posts. They are not old, nor do they appear to have ever been part of a larger structure. They are a mystery.

After the third F.O.N.O.U., at 3.21 miles the trail crosses a forest road and leaves the area that was logged. Once again the trail is a path with trees on either side, and remains so until 3.47 miles where it intersects with another forest road. This time the arrows direct you to turn left and head south on the forest road. At 3.65 miles the trail turns right off the road and back into the woods, but if you continue a short distance farther south on the road you'll reach primitive camp site #3 on Pine Log Creek. Camp site #3 features a picnic table, a charcoal grill, a fire ring, and Pine Log Creek.

Back in the woods, the trail continues west for a short ways and then turns to the north. At 3.87 miles the trail crosses a short footbridge and reaches a bench on the left side of the road at 3.96 miles, the first bench for over two miles. This bench had been staked out by a family of carpenter bees, one of which buzzed around our heads menacingly. However, his threats were empty--male carpenter bees have no sting, and any females were inside the bench, chewing out new tunnels and laying eggs. The rest of the benches on the trail were similarly inhabited.

Heading north, the trail runs along a creek, as evidenced by the thick growth of swamp titi to the left. Pines remain dominant, but there are a few magnolias sprinkled through the forest here. At 4.28 miles a forest road intersects the trail on the right, on the left it disappears into the titi. The trail crosses another small foot bridge at 4.52 miles, followed by a bench at 4.89 miles. The vegetation seems more upland on this stretch with more scrub and less palmetto. The wall of swamp titi has faded off into the distance. Too soon for another rest, the trail passes the last bench at 5.15 miles. At 5.26 miles the trail crosses a wide, dirt road, Environmental Road. By now you are headed northeast, almost straight toward the trail head.

Before you get back to the trail head you cross the Florida Trail again at 5.67 miles. The red-blazed Campground Boardwalk Trail also runs nearby, and you may notice hikers on it. At 5.75 miles the trail arrives back at the information board and trail head; the loop is complete.

The Dutch & Faye Trail is an easy hike, and would make for a relatively tame trail run. As mentioned earlier, the trail is also open to off-road bicycles, and any sort of fat-tire bike would do well here. As on any shared-use trail, pedal traffic needs to watch out for foot traffic and vice versa. Portions of the trail run through a part of the Pine Log Wildlife Management Area, that is open to bow-hunting, so everyone needs to look out for archers during bow-hunting season. A few miles away, the Crooked Creek Trail offers a 4-1/2 mile option and a nine-mile option to off-road bicycles as well as foot traffic. None of these trails is open to horse-riding, but the 12.5-mile Crooked Creek Trail has been established for equestrian use. If you're trying to earn a patch by collecting ten trails in the Florida Division of Forestry's Trailwalker Program, the Dutch & Faye Trail will count toward your total, as will the Campground Boardwalk Trail and the Crooked Creek Trail. Visitors to the Sand Pond Recreation Area are required to pay a day-use fee of $2.00 per person (as of 1 March 2009), or hold an Annual Day-Use Permit which the Division of Forestry issues for $30.00. The Annual Permit should be displayed in a car windshield and covers the driver and up to seven passengers--it's not a bad deal for regular visitors to Florida State Forests.

Links:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fort Braden Trails (Central Loop) Tallahassee, Florida

Having discussed the West Loop of the Fort Braden Trails, let's move on to the Central Loop. Like the West Loop, I'll describe a clockwise circuit of the loop.

At 2.98 miles, the Central Loop is the shortest of the three hiking loops at the Fort Braden Trails. The trail head is the same as that for the West Loop, a wooden gate north and a little west of the Fort Braden Trails parking area. However, a few feet past the trail head, at the first fork in the path, you need to take the right fork to follow the Central Loop. You're still sharing treadway with the West Loop, but you're on the Central Loop. Don't worry if I haven't made this clear--just make sure to take the right fork. Starting off, the trail heads downhill in a wood of mostly young oaks seasoned with a few southern magnolias. As the trail gets lower, the trees increase in size and a stream appears on the right, which the trail crosses at 0.16 miles. 200 yards farther on, the trail passes a small steephead on the left.

At 0.34 miles the trail arrives at another intersection. The left fork takes you across a bridge and counter-clockwise around the West Loop, so you'll want to avoid the bridge and take the right fork to continue clockwise around the Central Loop. Some signs on the bridge explain this, but confuse matters by mentioning the East Loop.

At 0.51 miles a small footbridge takes the trail over a stream, after which the terrain becomes mostly flat. There is still some elevation to lose before the trail arrives at the banks of Lake Talquin, but the downhill isn't noticeable. The trail crosses another footbridge at 0.66 miles. At 0.74 miles a larger, meandering stream appears on the left. As the trail runs along this stream, you cross the pink-blazed horseback-riding trail, which crosses the stream at a ford here. After that, the hiking trail moves away from the stream and crosses a footbridge over a smaller stream at 0.79 miles.

The going is still mostly flat when the trail intersects the pink-blazed horse trail again at 0.90 miles. A little bit farther on, just past the end of the first mile, you can start to make out Lake Talquin through the trees. The trail turns to the right to follow the lake shore, which will be on your left. At 1.1 miles the hiking trail's orange blazes are joined by the riding trail's pink blazes, and the trails share a treadway along the lake front for a while. Traffic isn't so heavy on the trails that you're likely to run into any horses, but it's possible.

Still sharing a treadway with the horse trail, the trail crosses a forest road at 1.16 miles, then emerges into an open, grassy area, a kind of park on the shore of Lake Talquin. There is a shelter here with picnic tables, a charcoal grill, a couple of benches with a view of the lake, and hitching rails for horses. This is not a bad place to stop and have a drink, a snack, lunch, or a look at Lake Talquin.

The trail exits on the other side of the picnic area, still sharing a treadway with the horse trail. About a hundred yards farther on, you pass a "MILE 4" sign. You haven't gone four miles; this is a mile marker for hikers doing the nine-mile loop that combines parts of all three loops. Your actual progress up to this point is about 1.24 miles. A little farther on, at 1.29 miles, the shared treadway ends, and the horse trail continues along the lake while the hiking trail heads to the right and inland. A little later, the trail heads back to the left and the lakeshore, crossing the horse trail at 1.39 miles. From here, the hiking trail has the view of the lake while the horse trail goes farther inland. To the best of my knowledge, no horse has ever said anything positive about the view of the lake, anyway.

Around a mile and a half, the trail heads away from the lake briefly and uphill to skirt the mouth of a creek flowing into the lake. Looking to your left, you can see where the creek meets Lake Talquin, and below the trail you can see a steephead spring that feeds into the creek. At 1.57 mile you make a bridgeless crossing of the creek, then turn left back toward the lake. As the trail regain the lake shore, at 1.60 miles you come upon a sign and blue blazes leading to a primitive campsite. Amenities are limited to a fire ring and a great view of Lake Talquin. Campers are required to have a Forest Use Permit, available at the Florida Division of Forestry offices at 865 Geddie Road. Shortly after the primitive campsite, the trail turns to the right and heads away from Lake Talquin for good. At 1.70 miles the trail crosses a north-south forest road, giving you one of your last views of Lake Talquin to the left.

At 2.02 miles a foot bridge takes the trail over a small stream. There's another sign for a primitive camping area on the right side of the trail at 2.12 miles, but this one is not as easy to find. A small arrow on the signpost points west; follow it if you want to visit the campsite. This will take you uphill and onto an east-west running forest road. The road is easy enough to follow, but there are no blazes to assure you that you're going the right way. After over 100 yards of trudging uphill, you arrive at the campsite. This is the one referred to on the maps of the Fort Braden Trails as the group campsite; it includes a picnic table, charcoal grill, fire ring, and a lot of hitching rails for horses.

Back on the Central Loop, the trail drops after the primitive camping area sign to cross a small stream on a foot bridge. Climbing away from the stream, the trail arrives at an intersection with the East Loop at 2.17 miles. Go right here, following the signs directing you back to the trail head. The trail crosses the pink-blazed horse trail, after which there will be a ravine on your right and a ridgetop to your left. That would be a small ravine and a small ridge; this is not the Appalachian Trail. Shortly the trail arrives at another intersection with the East Loop. Once again follow the sign directing you to the trail head and turn right, down into the ravine. At the bottom of the ravine the trail crosses a small stream on a foot bridge at 2.39 miles, then turns left to climb out of the ravine.

Once out of the ravine, the trail once again crosses the pink-blazed riding trail. After passing a stand of recently-planted longleaf pines, you descend into another small ravine. At the bottom of the ravine, at 2.60 miles you once again cross a small stream on a foot bridge. Shortly after that you cross the last foot bridge of the Central Loop and climb out of the ravine. At 2.75 miles you reach the top of the climb and an intersection, follow the orange blazes and turn left here. At 2.79 miles the trail makes another left to follow a torturously sandy road for about 60 yards. After the loose sand, though, the trail returns to a firm-surfaced path in the woods. A sign along the path proclaims "MILE 9," but that's for the combined loop, not the Central Loop. Just around the corner from the sign is a wooden gate marking the end of the loop (but not the same gate you started at). Go through the gate and turn left to return to the parking area. You might also want to check yourself for ticks; at times the Fort Braden Trails have been plagued with them.


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