Saturday, December 11, 2010

The tradition of the long run goes on at the Tallahassee Ultra-Distance Classic

"Ultramarathon" is used to refer to any race over the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. Historically, it's an odd name, because ultra-distance races have been around a lot longer than the johnny-come-lately marathon, which debuted in 1896. Even basketball is older than that. But the longer races were around much earlier. The Victorians were especially keen for ultradistance sporting events, holding them indoors on tiny tracks so that bettors and other spectators could be charged admission. The ultimate in ultra-racing was the six-day race--it wasn't possible to go any longer than that without breaking the Sabbath. The Victorians kept records for all of these events, using the accurate timepieces of the new industrial age.


The Tallahassee Ultra-Distance Classic is almost a throwback to those traditions. The course has never been an oval only a few hundred feet around, but it has been a loop. This year a longer loop was used; a flat, fast 10K loop that the runners circled multiple times--five for the 50K, eight for the 50 mile. Some might argue that its monotonous, a boring way to run a long way, but there's a purity in it. There is just the distance, the athlete, and the clock. If your time is slow, there are no excuses. A mountain didn't get in the way. The footing wasn't bad. No one got lost. No excuses.


No one could use the weather for an excuse on 11 December 2010, because it was all but perfect Saturday morning for running; cool, clear, and calm. St. Petersburg's Cameron Wheeler took advantage of the conditions and ran to a 3:28:17 win in the 50K. The 50K has to be quite a change of gears for 17-year-old Wheeler, who was running 5K high school cross-country races a month earlier. In 2009 Wheeler had led the 50K most of the way but ended up losing by 15 seconds; this year he won by over nine minutes over runner-up and first master, Thomas Dever (3:37:45). Tallahassee's Allison Eagen crossed the line third as the first woman in 3:39:53. Nancy Stedman was the first woman master to finish, placing sixth overall in 4:24:54.


Dann Fisher of Manhattan, Kansas won the Tallahassee Ultra-Distance Classic 50-mile race for the third straight year. After running 6:48 and change in both 2008 and 2009, he lowered his time to 6:26:07--a vote of approval for the weather and the new course. Amy Costa--third overall in 7:33:52--was the first woman and the first woman master 50-miler.


15 athletes completed the 50-mile event and 48 finished the 50-kilometer run. Five of the 50K finishers were entries in the 50 mile who were game enough for 50 kilometers, but just didn't have 80.47 kilometers in them on Saturday. Maybe next year? The Tallahassee Ultra-Distance Classic will surely be back on the second Saturday in December in 2011. Mark your calendars.


5o Kilometer
  1. Cameron Wheeler (M, 17) 3:28:17
  2. Thomas Dever (M, 53) 3:37:45
  3. Allison Eagen (F, 31) 3:39:53
  4. Joe Burgasser (M, 72) 4:19:59
  5. Cory Gerbrandt (M, 33) 4:22:22
  6. Nancy Stedman (F, 48) 4:24:54
  7. Matt Minno (M, 51) 4:32:13
  8. Doug Cassiday (M, 44) 4:39:13
  9. Eric Scott (M, 46) 4:41:00
  10. Nicholas D'Amico (M, 24) 4:41:57
  11. Stephanie Stout (F, 26) 4:41:58
  12. David Duey (M, 51) 4:42:17
  13. Steve Barraco (M, 55) 4:45:04
  14. Bud Fennema (M, 55) 5:00:44
  15. Robert Pope (M, 70) 5:05:28
  16. Mary Scott (F, 32) 5:10:53
  17. Joe Edgecombe (M, 61) 5:14:07
  18. Pat Judd (M, 60) 5:14:23
  19. Al Barker (M, 65) 5:14:37
  20. Scott Ludwig (M, 56) 5:14:37
  21. Jeanine Newcomb (F, 52) 5:18:27
  22. Jon Wilson (M, 65) 5:18:27
  23. Trey Brush (M, 39) 5:20:54
  24. Beth Alexander (F, 46) 5:24:20
  25. Ithel Jones (M, 56) 5:38:02
  26. Bess Anderson (F, 55) 5:38:20
  27. Bill Hoffman (M, 55) 5:38:23
  28. Anna Reschar (F, 48) 5:38:28
  29. Leigh Ceci (F, 46) 5:41:18
  30. Beth Miller (F, 46) 5:41:18
  31. Keith Berry (M, 54) 5:43:31
  32. Moraima Rodriguez (F, 47) 5:44:09
  33. Lisa Cox (F, 45) 5:55:18
  34. Gordon Cherr (M, 61) 6:02:10
  35. Gordon Hawkins (M, 61) 6:07:23
  36. Sandra Canada (F, 48) 6:09:23
  37. Dale Pearson (M, 47) 6:09:34
  38. Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 48) 6:09:52
  39. Jim Emig (M, 64) 6:09:57
  40. Dana Stetson (M, 53) 6:11:13
  41. Steven Strait (M, 69) 6:17:03
  42. Ashley Sickles (F, 22) 6:43:14
  43. Tina Herring (F, 43) 6:54:13
  44. Valarie Fountain (F, 42) 6:54:17
  45. Kathleen Wheeler (F, 49) 7:02:49
  46. Jose Rodriguez (M, 40) 7:06:40
  47. Marsha White (F, 63) 7:06:40
  48. Melody Hughes (F, 47) 7:27:09

50 Mile
  1. Dann Fisher (M, 47) 6:26:07
  2. Joe Fejes (M, 44) 6:44:01
  3. Amy Costa (F, 46) 7:33:52
  4. Vince Molosky (M, 31) 7:36:06
  5. Susan Lance (F, 50) 7:53:42
  6. Keith Gates (M, 29) 8:03:36
  7. David Ashmore (M, 25) 8:10:05
  8. Scott Barloga (M, 42) 8:16:13
  9. Desiree Sant (F, 31) 8:30:53
  10. Michael Melton (M, 53) 8:34:46
  11. Josh Morris (M, 23) 8:50:46
  12. Richard Westbrook (M, 63) 8:59:55
  13. Louis Pitts (M, 47) 9:08:41
  14. Mallory Harlow (F, 24) 9:17:56
  15. Elizabeth Stupi (F, 26) 9:30:54

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