Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cool air and hot times for Droze and Barz at Sickle Cell 5K

In the 30th annual Run For Sickle Cell 5K on Saturday morning, 10 September 2011, Gary Droze and Javier Zamparelli fought for over a quarter hour in the streets of Tallahassee's Jake Gaither neighborhood, but in the end it was Droze who prevailed 16:29 to 16:46. Droze, who first won the race twenty years ago, was also the fastest master in the field. Tiffany Barz ran 21:21 to finish 26th overall as first female, just ahead of women's runner-up Megan O'Connor (27th, 21:30). Paula O'Neill of Tallahassee's Gulf Winds Track Club was the third woman in and the first woman master, placing 30th overall in 21:55.

After an exceptionally brutal summer, it was a fine morning to race--clear, calm, and with temperatures in the mid-60s. Javier Zamparelli was the early leader, trailed closely by Gary Droze, Mike Nesius, and 2007 champion Michael Martinez. Those four opened a gap on the rest of the field, running together through the first kilometer. By halfway, though, Zamparelli and Droze had dropped Nesius and Martinez, and would spend the next 2500 meters deciding who was going to win. Droze made the decisive move late in the race. With half a kilometer to go Droze had opened up a ten-meter lead, which he widened as he drove toward the finish line. Droze went on to win by over 80 meters.

Tiffany BarzBy 800 meters into the race, Tiffany Barz was ahead of the rest of the women, a step or two in front of Megan O'Connor and seven second up on the 2010 women's champion, Nancy Stedman. At the halfway point of the race Barz was still in front, twelve seconds ahead of O'Connor. Stedman, however, had just been passed by Paula O'Neill and was being stalked by Fran McLean. O'Connor started to gain on Barz during the second half of the race, and was just five seconds down with 500 meters to go. But Barz moved away again as the runners headed for home, and ended the race nine seconds up on O'Connor, 21:21 to 21:30. O'Neill made up some ground on the leaders during the second half, but not enough to catch either of them, and ended the race third in 21:55. McLean edged out Stedman for fourth, 22:29 to 22:40.

Tallahassee's Run For Sickle Cell hasn't always been on the same course or even the same distance, but for thirty years it has been hosted by the Sickle Cell Foundation as a fundraiser. The current course has been used since at least 1987 when it received USATF certification. The consensus seems to be that it's one of the fastest courses in Tallahassee (with dissenting opinions from runners who had slow times).

Top Ten Men
  1. 16:29 Gary Droze (M, 50) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 16:46 Javier Zamparelli (M, 22) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 17:21 Mike Nesius (M, 26) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 17:38 Michael Martinez (M, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 18:24 Eric Godin (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 18:25 Mickey Moore (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 18:34 Jeff Armstrong (M, 36) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 18:35 Evan Francis (M, 14) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 18:47 Karl Hempel (M, 60) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 18:54 Anthony Walker (M, 15) Tallahassee, FL

Top Ten Women
  1. 21:21 Tiffany Barz (F, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 21:30 Megan O'Connor (F, 23) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 21:55 Paula O'Neill (F, 50) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 22:29 Fran McLean (F, 53) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 22:40 Nancy Stedman (F, 49) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 22:59 Kellie Gerbers (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 23:33 Elizabeth Muller (F, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 23:38 Sandra Canada (F, 48) Woodville, FL
  9. 23:43 Heather Wolbers (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 23:54 Angela Newell (F, 35) Lakeland, FL

Known Sickle Cell 5K winners, 1982-2011


8 September 1984 *

31 August 1985


19 September 1987Jessie Close (15:14.2)Karen MacHarg (17:31.8)
17 September 1988Jessie Close (15:12)Carla Borovicka (16:40)
16 September 1989Jessie Close (15:14)Barbara Balzer (19:38)
15 September 1990Bill Crooks (16:04)Karen MacHarg (18:23)
14 September 1991Gary Droze (15:18)Vikki Saga (18:47)
12 September 1992Gary Droze (15:07)Carrie Hunnicutt (18:39)
11 September 1993Peter Kirk (15:50)Leah Bonds (21:06)
10 September 1994Andy Palmer (15:47)Jane Johnson (18:06)
9 September 1995John Otterson (15:51)Carrie Weyant (19:00)
14 September 1996Bryan Erb (15:23)Jane Johnson (17:58)
13 September 1997Gary Droze (15:23)Sara Docter-Williams (17:40)
12 September 1998Tim Simpkins (16:26)Julie Clark (20:28)
11 September 1999Robert Pautienus (16:24)Kingsley Broughton (19:44)
9 September 2000Tim Unger (16:55)Sandra Williams (17:40)
8 September 2001Tony Pearson (17:05)Renata Strakova (19:39)
14 September 2002Michael LaBossiere (19:15)Jane Cormier (24:03)
13 September 2003David Yon (18:24)Kim Likens (22:25)
11 September 2004Scott Ruplinger (18:32)Krista Killius (22:29)
10 September 2005Dan Pick (18:28)Cathleen Willy (22:00)
9 September 2006Chris Gregory (17:36)Summer Shepherd (21:05)
8 September 2007Michael Martinez (16:52)Lindsay Thomas (20:18)
13 Sepember 2008Chris Lake (16:05)Sheryl Rosen (19:11)
12 September 2009Chris Lake (15:44)Julie Clark (22:27)
11 September 2010Trey Edwards (18:36)Nancy Stedman (22:13)
10 September 2011Gary Droze (16:29)Tiffany Barz (21:21)
* Four-mile run


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