Saturday, January 30, 2010

Victory for Beggs, McMeekin at First Responders 5K

During the Florida's Territorial period, the last resort of Tallahassee's criminal justice system was Gallows Hill, west of town at the end of Clinton Avenue. The town grew, Clinton became College Avenue, and Florida State University's Westcott Building replaced the scaffold. And it seems as if just about every road race course on the FSU campus makes at least one climb to the peak of Gallows Hill. A lot of runners would prefer the noose to the climb--it's that kind of hill.

In spite of being from table-flat Tampa, FSU sophomore Raley Beggs handled Gallows Hill easily enough during the second kilometer of the FSU First Responders 5K on Saturday morning, 30 January 2010. Beggs was already well ahead of the rest of the field when he turned onto Copeland Street to climb Gallows Hill, and he continued to build his lead after cresting the hill. Beggs won in 17:40, over 400 meters ahead of the runner-up. Beggs is a graduate of Tampa Blake High School, a fine arts magnet school.

In the women's division, though, Katherine McMeekin had to fight for the win. Finishing third overall, McMeekin finished at 19:14, a few seconds ahead Lyndsey Spragins (19:18), with Kirsten Hagen (19:21) not much farther back. As a member of the FSU cross-country team, because of NCAA rules McMeekin was not able to accept the first-place award, a restaurant gift certificate. Her team-mate Spragins also had to refuse the award, and it went to Hagen, a FSU cross-country alumna. Strangely enough, the NCAA allows members of the losing football team in a bowl game to receive rings and other expensive gifts, but I don't doubt that there's a good reason for that. Hagen, by the way, was the top woman at the 2009 Jingle Bell Run.

After a wet night, the rain stopped in time for the 9:00am start of the race. Course marking seemed minimal, but no one complained about not being able to follow the course. Having maps available at registration had to have helped. Traffic control seemed adequate. The FSU First Responders 5K should be back for a second edition in 2011.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being there to take photos. They look great. I will make sure our runners know about your blog.