Monday, September 6, 2010

Brannen and Johnson breeze to wins at Hurricane 5K

Nate Brannen blew away a field of over 500 runners in the Southwood neighborhood of Tallahassee, Florida, racing to a 14:54 victory in the Red Cross's Robin Lotane Memorial Hurricane 5K on Labor Day morning, 6 September 2010. Runner-up Chris Lake finished over 200 meters back in 15:38. Mike Martinez was the top master runner, placing third overall in 17:29, while Bainbridge's Kyle Harris ran 17:47 for fourth. Wakulla High's Stanley Linton outkicked Trey Edwards of the Florida State University School for fifth, 18:00 to 18:03. Two days after his victory in the Fallen Heroes 5K, Robert Abellera finished seventh in 18:13.

Lisa Johnson won the women's division in 18:53, well over half a kilometer ahead of her nearest challenger in the women's field, Katie Showman (21:17). Paula O'Neill was the fastest woman master in the race, finishing eighth among the women at 23:02.

Runners who read the published starting time of 8:00am on the race flyer found themselves waiting for half an hour for the conclusion of a one-mile fun run (which didn't start till nearly 8:15) while the sun and the temperatures climbed higher. Finally the runners were allowed to start. Defending champion Chris Lake went out in the lead, followed by Nate Brannen. Lake ran 16 seconds faster than his 2009 performance in the Hurricane 5K, but it wasn't enough to stay with Brannen who powered away in the second half of the race. Brannen's 14:54 was the fastest 5K on the Tallahassee roads since the 2009 Turkey Trot on the same Southwood course last November, when Nick Stenuf and Harry Norton both ran 14:52. Behind Brannen and Lake, Mike Martinez spent the race moving up through the field, mercilessly passing runners that had gone out too fast, making it up to third place by the end of four kilometers.

Lisa Johnson, meanwhile, got ahead of the other women right away, and as the race progressed she only got farther ahead. Lack of competition didn't seem to hurt her performance, though; her 18:53 is a new women's record for the Hurricane 5K.

The Robin Lotane Hurricane 5K is hosted as a fundraiser by the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. The race was first held as the Red Cross Hurricane 5K in 2008; the name was changed this year after the untimely passing of the original race director, Robin Lotane. This year's third annual race had 525 recorded finishers.

Robin Lotane Memorial Hurricane 5K champions, 2008-2010
6 September 2008
Chris Lake (15:53)
Kelsey Scheitlin 20:02
7 September 2009
Chris Lake (15:54)
Sarah Docter-Williams (19:02)
6 September 2010
Nate Brannen (14:54)
Lisa Johnson (18:53)



  1. This is a slightly snarky comment....and this is a GREAT CAUSE .... but it strikes me funny that the American Red Cross, which is a major source of disaster preparedness, did not get the race off on time. Just sayin'!

  2. It's possible that it was done deliberately to give some of the Red Cross volunteers experience with riot management. ;-)