Monday, November 29, 2010

73 athletes chase pilgrims; none catch Hough or Latta

Dothan, Alabama could have named their late November race the Turkey Trot, but then they would have been just like several hundred other communities in the United States. Discarding the Dressing Dash, the Squanto Sprint, the Pumpkin Prance, and the Cranberry Gallop, the Dothan Runners Club settled on the Pilgrim Chase as the name for their 5K trail run. Their creativity apparently exhausted, they then settled on Westgate Park's Larry & Rona Dykes Trail for the race course, the same venue that nearly every other trail run in Dothan uses. But the 3.5-mile Dykes Trail is a great place to run, so why mess with excellence?

Christopher Hough sped around the park to a 16:52 win in the race, which was held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 27 November 2010. Hough, who runs cross country at the University of West Florida, finished about half a kilometer ahead of his nearest rival, Sean Kent (18:21). Only two weeks earlier, Kent had been racing for Dothan's Northview High at the Alabama high school cross-country state championships. Theron Carter of Brundidge, Alabama was third across the line in 18:46, finishing as the top master.

Dothan's Emily Anne Latta won the women's division, placing 13th overall in 24:10, over a minute ahead of runner-up Lori Westphal (16th, 25:13) of Tallahassee. Westphal was the fastest woman master in the race; only two days earlier she had run the Tallahassee Turkey Trot 15K in 82:44. Five seconds behind Westphal, Panama City's Marty Kirkland (17th, 25:18) was the third woman finisher and second woman master. There were 73 recorded finishers in the race.

Top Ten Men
  1. Christopher Hough, 16:24
  2. Sean Kent, 18:21
  3. Theron Carter, 18:46
  4. Sean Keefe, 19:55
  5. Brian Hickey, 20:34
  6. Taylor Hara, 21:18
  7. Michael Brennan, 21:24
  8. Mike Simmons, 21:45
  9. Henry Cotter, 22:18
  10. Dave Durbin, 22:39

Top Ten Women
  1. Emily Anne Latta, 24:10
  2. Lori Westphal, 25:13
  3. Marty Kirkland, 25:18
  4. Tara Parr, 25:19
  5. Chynna Dulac, 25:39
  6. Jennifer Antonivich, 25:41
  7. Chrissy Delameter, 26:24
  8. Tanya Woodham, 26:42
  9. Rachel Austin-Hickey, 26:53
  10. Melissa Blair, 27:08



  1. Great article, Herb! I love the late November race names...especially "Dressing Dash!"

    Have you ever measured this trail course? Just curious...

    Thanks for keeping us all abreast of the Turkey Day celebrations!


  2. Wait! You'll love the December race names!

    The loop at Westgate Park is supposed to be 3-1/2 miles long, and I have no reason to doubt that even if I haven't measured it myself. The 5K trail races at Westgate don't quite complete the loop. The course is probably as accurate as that of any trail race. After running the Woofstock 5K on the trail a few years ago I'd like to believe that the course was long, but that's probably not the case. :-P