~ John Adams
In keeping with Adams' vision of Independence Day games and sports, Washington, D.C. used to have a ten-mile road race every July 4. Atlanta, Georgia still has Peachtree Road Race 10K on the national birthday. And since 1983, Greensboro, Florida has the Firecracker 5000 road race, hosted by the Greensboro Kiwanis.
"That old goat Franklin is not going to pass me on the last mile again!"
~ Thomas Jefferson
Tallahassee's Joel Piotrowski won the 29th annual edition of the Greensboro 5K, running 17:20. Piotrowski was also the morning's fastest master runner. Stephanie Stout posted a 21:35 to take top woman honors. at 22:10 Paula O'Neill was the fastest master woman on the Greensboro roads.
"Aaron Burr says he has run a 4:30 mile, but I want to know who was holding the watch."
~ Alexander Hamilton
The race started outside of Greensboro on the Sycamore Road not quite as far west as Sycamore Church. Because of the logistics of busing 73 athletes and a variety of race officials to the starting line, the race didn't get under way till several minutes after the scheduled time of 7:30am. Taking charge of the race early, Piotrowski broke contact with Jeff Armstrong early in the second kilometer of the race and started to run away from the field. After three kilometers Piotrowski had opened up a twenty-second gap, and Armstrong was trying to stay with Cairo's Stephen Robbins, who had moved up to challenge for second place. As the runners approached Greensboro and the finish line, Piotrowski continued to move away, and crossed the finish line at 17:20 with a lead of over 200 meters. Robbins broke away from Armstrong to take the runner-up spot in 18:12. Armstrong held off a late charge by Mickey Moore to hang on to third, 18:25 to 18:31.
"The Gentler Sex ought not to race nor run long distances, instead properly concentrating her energies on the domestick sphere. Besides, I am weary beyond all endurance of Dolly beating me in cross-country races."
~ James Madison
After a kilometer of racing, Stephanie Stout, Angela Wable, and Paula O'Neill were leading the women. The runners saw the only uphill and downhill of the race on the third kilometer, and that was where O'Neill fell back. With two kilometers to go Stout had a slight lead on Wable, who had won the God & Country 5K two days earlier. But Stout pulled away as the runners came into Greensboro, going on to win in 21:35. About sixty meters back Wable finished as the second woman in 21:50, with O'Neill another seventy meters behind in 22:10 as the third woman and first woman master.
"He who accelerates from behind, wins."
~ Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
Runners enjoyed several unique features of the race. Both kilometers and miles are marked on the course, and the Greensboro Kiwanis Club treats the athletes to a post-race breakfast. The Firecracker is no Peachtree with 60,000 entries, but Greensboro isn't Atlanta, and Greensboro must be doing something right to keep the Firecracker going for 29 years.
Top Ten Men, 2011 Greensboro Kiwanis Firecracker 5000
- 17:20 Joel Piotrowski (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
- 18:12 Stephen Robbins (M, 14) Cairo, GA
- 18:25 Jeff Armstrong (M, 35) Tallahassee, FL
- 18:31 Mickey Moore (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:08 Cole Tessier (M, 28) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:32 Jarod Hoffman (M, 16) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:40 Steve Barraco (M, 56) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:52 David Yon (M, 55) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:54 Matt Rowan (M, 42) Quincy, FL
- 20:08 Dan Anderson (M, 47) Perry, FL
Top Ten Women, 2011 Greensboro Kiwanis Firecracker 5000
- 21:35 Stephanie Stout (F, 27) Tallahassee, FL
- 21:50 Angela Wable (F, 37) Tallahassee, FL
- 22:10 Paula O'Neill (F, 50) Tallahassee, FL
- 24:40 Sally Marzen (F,
- 24:54 Sandra Canada (F, 49) Woodville, FL
- 26:04 Carson Durrance (F, 40) Tallahassee, FL
- 28:14 Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 48) Tallahassee, FL
- 29:05 Suzanne Sink (F,
- 30:13 Patricia Dugan (F, 61) Tallahassee, FL
- 30:40 Susan Fitzgerald (F, 54) Bristol, FL
|Recent winners of the Greensboro Firecracker 5000m|
|4 July 2011||Joel Piotrowski (17:20)||Stephanie Stout (21:35)|
|3 July 2010||Cliff Skelton (18:45)||Nancy Stedman (22:44)|
|4 July 2009||Daniel Lee (16:46)||Emily Ness (19:26)|
|4 July 2008|
|4 July 2007||Tony Guillen (18:05)||Julie Clark (21:51)|
|4 July 2006||James Cook (17:40)||Julia Vola (20:03)|
|4 July 2005||Jeff Dubias (16:44)||Heather Bailey (20:30)|
|3 July 2004||Caleb Carmichael (15:48)||Kara Newell (18:39)|
|4 July 2003|
|4 July 2002||Jason Fulghum (16:57)||Janice Hochstein (22:07)|
|4 July 2001||Paul Hoover (17:22)||Sarah Docter-Williams (17:53)|
|4 July 2000||Gary Droze (15:57)||Sarah Docter-Williams (18:10)|
|4 July 1999||Tim Simpkins (16:37)||Sarah Docter-Williams (17:56)|
|4 July 1998||Damian Wilson (16:05)||Sarah Docter-Williams (17:35)|
- Complete results of the 2011 Greensboro Kiwanis Firecracker 5000
- More photos of the 2011 Greensboro Kiwanis Firecracker 5000
- Fred Deckert's photos of the 2011 Greensboro Kiwanis Firecracker 5000
- "Independence Day Firecracker 5000 in Greensboro, Georgia"
- 2010 story, "Skelton and Stedman win at Greensboro"
- Find more historic races in the region on the Trouble Afoot! calendar