Monday, April 11, 2011

Wenger and Williams wallop the field at Education For Life 5K

Ben WengerIs anyone out there trying to remember what summer in Tallahassee feels like? Well, it feels a lot like the Sunday afternoon of 10 April 2011, the day of the second annual Education For Life 5K. Hot. Bright. Hot. Humid. Hot. There was wide agreement that it was hot out there. Ben Wenger refused to wilt in the heat, though, running to a 19:17 win. Allison Williams likewise withstood the torrid conditions, running 21:57 for the women's title and a fourth-place overall finish.

The race started on West Call Street, north of the Florida State University College of Medicine. Ben Wenger took the lead almost immediately as the runners headed uphill and down through the north end of the FSU campus. While Wenger remained out front, Kevin Sweeny moved up through the pack into second place. Over the last kilometer of the race you could tell that Wenger was feeling the effects of the hills and the heat, but so was Sweeny. Wenger held onto first to win in 19:17, while Sweeny was runner-up and first master in 19:29. Another 300 meters behind Sweeny, Ricky Weiss took third in 20:40.

Katie Showman also had a lead going into the last kilometer, and was 16 seconds up on Allison Williams with less than 800 meters left to run. But Williams demolished that lead, then overcame some confusion on the final turn to finish as the first woman, fourth overall in 21:57. Showman was a close second, fifth overall in 22:02. Connie Clarke was the top woman master, running 26:26 and finishing as the seventh woman across the line.

The Education For Life 5K is a fundraiser for the Southern Scholarship Foundation. With Tallahassee's April racing schedule completely full of races, for this second year of the Education For Life 5K SSF president Mickey Moore tried moving the event to a Sunday afternoon. The 5K didn't have to share its time slot with any other races, but the FSU campus turned out to be quite busy on a Sunday afternoon. In order to avoid running Seminole baseball games and the FSU circus, the race got a new course to go with its new date. As for the heat, well, that's just Tallahassee in April.

Top Ten Men, 2011 Education For Life 5K
  1. 19:17, Ben Wenger
  2. 19:29, Kevin Sweeny
  3. 20:40, Ricky Weiss
  4. 22:46, Tyler Muntean
  5. 22:50, Andrew Pendleton
  6. 23:12, Manuel Steele
  7. 23:15, Daniel Martin
  8. 23:21, Dewey Hudson
  9. 23:54, Ryan Horatter
  10. 23:58, Ben Gerrard

Top Ten Women, 2011 Education For Life 5K
  1. 21:57, Allison Williams
  2. 22:02, Katie Showman
  3. 23:27, Abby McClenahan
  4. 23:43, Hillary Palumbo
  5. 24:24, Jessica Parker
  6. 26:14, Allison Clarke
  7. 26:26, Connie Clarke
  8. 27:24, Lauren Pelkey
  9. 27:28, Rose McCaffery
  10. 28:46, Amanda Terry