Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tessier and Hanlon fox the field in the Red Fox Trot 5K

Cole Tessier, champion of the 2010 Bradley's Fun Day 5K, picked up his first win of 2011 at the Red Fox Trot 5K on Saturday, 29 January 2011. Tessier outdueled Jeff Armstrong 19:13 to 19:15 for the title. The top master was Chiles High School principal T. Alan Cox, fourth overall in 19:58. Placing seventh overall, Laura Ashley Hanlon ran 20:48 for the women's title, coming in just ahead of runner-up and first woman master, Thomasville's Mary Anne Grayson (9th, 20:55) of Thomasville.

Starting from Roberts Elementary School, nearly two hundred runners in the Red Fox Trot 5K
set out on an out-and-back course through Dublin Downs that sounded like a tour of horse tracks, following first Pimlico Drive and Santa Anita Drive. By the end of the first kilometer a group of four runners were in front of the field--Cole Tessier, Jeff Armstrong, and Lincoln High runners Chris O'Kelley and Sam Cook. Cook, wearing a toy pig on his head, was the first to drop off the pace, leaving Tessier, Armstrong, and O'Kelley (wearing a hot dog plushie on his head) as the lead group at the halfway turnaround. The three headed back towards Roberts Elementary, leaving the rest of runners farther behind. Hot-Dog-headed O'Kelley stayed with the group till the final kilometer, when he finally dropped off the pace, leaving the race to Tessier and Armstrong. Over the final stretch Tessier broke loose, crossing the line a victor by two seconds.

Mary Anne Grayson led the women to the one kilometer mark, but then Laura Ashley Hanlon moved to the front. Hanlon continued to lead, but could never quite get away from Grayson. Through the halfway point and on into the late stages of the race, Grayson continued to stalk Hanlon. But even if Hanlon's lead never got large, it still continued to be a lead, and crossing the line with a lead is a win. Defending women's champion, Wakulla High distance runner Cora Atkinson, was the third woman in, placing 18th overall in 22:58.

The Red Fox Trot 5K and one-mile fun run is staged by Roberts Elementary School. Proceeds from the race benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. This was the second edition of the event, the first was held on 17 October 2009. The second race had originally been slated for autumn 2010, but was rescheduled for 29 January 2011. The delay doesn't seem to have hurt attendance; 199 runners finished the second Fox Trot 5K, up from the 148 who finished the first.

Top Ten Men
  1. Cole Tessier, 19:13
  2. Jeff Armstrong, 19:15
  3. Chris O'Kelley, 19:34
  4. T. Alan Cox, 19:58
  5. Sam Cook, 20:33
  6. Alex Steverson, 20:41
  7. Nathan Adams, 20:54
  8. Lance Lozano, 21:09
  9. Jim Martin, 21:30
  10. Andy Hough, 21:33

Top Ten Women
  1. Laura Ashley Hanlon, 20:48
  2. Mary Anne Grayson, 20:55
  3. Cora Atkinson, 22:58
  4. Karima Anderson, 23:05
  5. Emilie Rietow, 23:55
  6. Raychel Gray, 25:16
  7. Colleen Fahey, 25:37
  8. Lisa Cox, 25:38
  9. Debbie Peters, 26:09
  10. Janet Coker, 26:34



  1. Very entertaining, as usual, Herb! Love the "Hot dog headed O'Kelley" moniker! I just realized that Laura Ashley Hanlon is "Coach L.A." from Holy Comforter Episcopal School.

    Thanks so much for this fabulous effort...& for covering the FSU race, too!


  2. Herb, Thanks for the race blog & all the pictures. I wasn't able to "double dip" & run the first responders 5k too (it would've been more of a walk). But I really enjoyed the course, volunteers, and challenge at the Red Fox trot.

  3. Great blog. This was my first 5K and it was a great experience.

  4. Amanda,

    Glad you enjoyed your race! Keep running, and we'll all see you on the roads again soon.