Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nesius and O'Neill lead the field at the 2010 AIDS 5K

"Are they using your course?" asked Michael Kennett. It was Sunday afternoon in Tallahassee's Tom Brown Park on 17 October 2010.

I blinked and hesitated, before realizing that he was asking if the Big Bend Cares AIDS 5K was going to be run on the single-loop 5K course around Tom Brown Park that I had proposed some months ago. "No, I don't know if anyone is going to ever use that course," I replied. "They're using the same course they did last year, twice around a loop that goes north on the Goose Pond Trail and then back south through the woods."

"How far up the trail?" asked Kennett.


"Past the playground?"

"Yeah, a little past the playground."

So a few minutes later close to a hundred runners set out up the Goose Pond Trail, racing the second annual AIDS 5K. Dennis Keane set the early pace. About a kilometer into the race there was some confusion at the turn-around in that the leaders didn't know it was a turn-around--instead, they turned up another trail. Soon the runners were back on the right track and headed south through the woods, heralded by cries of, "Which way?" On the first trip through the woods paths Michael Kennett led, trailed by Keane. Michael Nesius moved up into third. After about three kilometers, when the runners had returned to the Goose Pond Trail and were on their second loop, Kennett still led, but Nesius was right behind him after moving past Keane into second. During the fourth kilometer, Kennett stretched his lead over Nesius to six seconds. But then the runners returned to the woods. On the second trip over the paths, Nesius closed on Kennett, taking the lead just before the runners exited the woods. Nesius continued to move away on the final stretch over the Goose Pond Trail, beating Kennett to the finish line 19:09 to 19:24. Keane was third in 19:55. Bennett Chesser (12th, 23:35) was the first master.

While the Michaels battled for the win, the Paulas fought for first female honors. Paula O'Neill led for much of the first loop, but Paula Thompson was close behind. Thompson took the lead on the second loop, and had opened a six-second gap around four kilometers. If that sounds familar then this should also--on the second trip through the woods O'Neill made up the ground on Thompson and regained the lead, which she held to the finish line, beating Thompson 23:42 to 23:55. Behind them Karima Anderson had moved up to finish third in 23:58. O'Neill was also the first woman master.

Top Ten Men
  1. Michael Nesius, 19:09
  2. Michael Kennett, 19:24
  3. Dennis Keane, 19:55
  4. Donnie Wooten, 21:03
  5. Juan Ordoñez, 21:20
  6. Camilo Ordoñez, 21:21
  7. Jared Wofford, 22:19
  8. Blake Kanikovsky, 22:30
  9. Tyler Muntean, 23:09
  10. Maximo Mendoza, 23:18

Top Ten Women
  1. Paula O'Neill, 23:42
  2. Paula Thompson, 23:55
  3. Karima Anderson, 23:58
  4. Abby Griffin, 24:27
  5. Karalynn Langewisch, 26:01
  6. Emma Lee, 26:05
  7. Nicole Allen, 26:07
  8. Susan Williams, 26:57
  9. Mia Saunders, 27:47
  10. Jessica Shearon, 28:34


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