Sunday, June 20, 2010

Leitz and Adriani watermelon winners in Monticello

Gabriel Leitz clocked 18:07 to win the 32nd annual Monticello, Florida Melon Run 5K on Saturday morning, 19 June 2010. Leitz finished nearly 200 meters ahead of the runner-up and masters champion, John Seppala. Seppala covered the course in 18:44. Tallahassee's Micah Adriani was the women's winner, finishing 12th overall in 19:59, well ahead of the second-place woman and top woman master, Susan Seibert, who was 26th overall in 22:16.

Leitz, a Florida State University student, moved into the lead during the first kilometer of the race and simply continued to draw away from the competition. Seppala established a grip on second place about the same time that Leitz moved to the front, and by the end of the third kilometer the only race was for third place. Vying for that spot, Tim Unger and Kyle Harris ran together along the Monticello Bike Path, trailed closely by Andrew Ringholz and Jack McDermott. McDermott moved up past Ringholz and a fading Unger, but could not catch Bainbridge's Harris, who went on to take third in 19:03 to McDermott's 19:05.

The win was the second in the past three weeks for Leitz, who also won the fourth annual Memorial Day 5K Night Run in Bainbridge, Georgia, on 31 May 2010. Seppala was coming off a win at the Adelily 5K in Adel, Georgia on 5 June 2010.

Susan Seibert led the women through much of the first kilometer, but after that Micah Adriani took over, and in an authoritative way. Adriani was half a kilometer ahead when she crossed the line. Seibert hung on to the second women's position, beating out Nicole Wilson 22:16 to 22:30.

Nearly 300 runners finished the 32nd annual Melon Run. The weather was hot but not brutally so, the hills were challenging but not punishing. Watermelon cultivation in Jefferson County isn't what it was when the Watermelon Festival was first held 59 years ago, but the runners were still able to enjoy free slices of melon following the race.

Known winners of the Monticello Melon Run 5K, 1979-2010

28 June 1980
Gary Slayton (15:28)
Debbie Dickson (19:49)

19 June 1982
Andy Whitener (15:10)
Laura Ledbetter (17:38)

23 June 1984
Gary Slayton (15:37)
Cindy Walker (19:45)
22 June 1985
Felton Wright (16:09)
Barbara Balzer (19:12)
21 June 1986
Bill Crooks (15:55)
Karen MacHarg (18:32)
20 June 1987

25 June 1988
Bill Crooks (15:47)
Karen MacHarg (18:18)
24 June 1989
Jeff Pigg (15:02)
Vikki Saga (19:05)
23 June 1990
Jessie Close (15:20)
Karen MacHarg (18:06)
22 June 1991
Phillip Rowan (15:23)
Vikki Saga (19:34)
20 June 1992
Jessie Close (15:10)
Lynda Nilges (18:35)
26 June 1993
Bill Crooks (16:07)
Sue Kany (19:37)
29 June 1994
Gary Droze (16:13)
Sarah Heeb (18:49)
24 June 1995



27 June 1998
Tommy Kunish (16:33)
Sarah Docter-Williams (17:51)
26 June 1999
Tommy Kunish (16:23)Peggy Simpson (21:05)
17 June 2000
Tim Simpkins (17:08)
Kim Winn (18:32)
16 June 2001
Ryan Deak (16:29)
Sarah Docter-Williams (17:54)
22 June 2002
Doug Gorton (17:54)
Laura Atlee (21:41)
21 June 2003

19 June 2004Tim Unger (17:18)Kate Remillard (20:30)
18 June 2005Jack McDermott (18:31)
Sarah Docter-Williams (18:07)
17 June 2006
Nathan Haskins (17:36)
Loranne Ausley (22:35)
16 June 2007
Nathan Haskins (16:28)
Sarah Docter-Williams (18:50)
21 June 2008
Nathan Haskins (16:08)
Deb Jones (20:16)
20 June 2009
Charlie Johnson (16:54)
Sandy Holt (23:49)
19 June 2010
Gabriel Leitz (18:07)
Micah Adriani (19:59)



  1. Great write-up & photos, Herb! Love the past winners list, some familiar names who used to run really fast! Interesting that this year's winning time is the slowest ever, yet they had a record turnout.

    As always, you let all of us have a little slice of what's going on out there!


  2. Thank you, Judy! The turnout was good this year, but far from a record. One of the Melon Runs for which I found results listed over 400 finishers. This race probably deserves a closer look at its history than I've given it.


  3. Thanks for the nice write up. I was impressed with the number of participants. I wonder if the winners of each catagory could be posted>