Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cox, Switzer winners at a chilly Bowlegs 5K

Stephen Cox ran a 17:21 5K around Tallahassee's Innovation Park, leading a field of 84 runners who braved race-time temperatures in the 20s to run the 26th annual Bowlegs 5K Run For Scholarship, the first Gulf Winds Track Club race of 2010. Matt Minno was the top master in the race, finishing seventh overall in 20:44. Top woman honors went to Lauren Switzer, ninth overall in 21:01, a former soccer player for the Florida State University Lady Seminoles. For the third time in the race's history, Fran McLean was the top master woman, finishing 21st overall in 22:52.

The initial charge away from the FAMU / FSU School of Engineering was led by Charles Kemeny, who led the early stages of the race. Cox was never far behind, however, and eventually caught Kemeny and won going away, ending the race with a lead of over 200 meters. There was less drama in the women's competition as Switzer led almost from start to finish, crossing the line about a quarter mile ahead of women's runner-up McLean.

At 84 finishers, the field was the smallest it had been in five years. It's possible that some runners were discouraged from coming by dire predictions of temperatures in the teens. Weather forecasts, though, always tend toward the apocalyptic, and the actual temperature during the race was 26 to 27 °F. This is indeed cold for north Florida, but it's all what you're used to. The women's winner, Lauren Switzer, is from St. Charles, Illinois--she probably thought it was an early spring.

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