Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Veteran's Day victories for Smyth and Holt

Veteran's Day 5KThe 5K was not the first Veteran's Day road race in Tallahassee, but it was the first in many years. It was also the first to be run downtown, which is why no one seemed to be able to describe the course without using some form of the word "hill." So at 8:00am on Monday morning, 14 November 2011, 168 runners set out down Calhoun Street near the Vietnam War Memorial, turned down Gaines past the Korean War Memorial, then raced down Suwannee to start climbing Lafayette Street toward the Myers Park neighborhood. After half a mile of racing, a group of four runners led the field on the ascent of Lafayette--Peter Wood, Alex Smyth, Colin Riley, and Javier Zamparelli. Lincoln High sophomore trailed them in fifth, and Gary Droze was in sixth--back on the roads after a win the day before in the FSECC 5K.

Sandy Holt
Smyth took over the race in the Myers Park area, then cruised to the Park Avenue finish line in 16:20. Wood was runner-up in 16:30. Riley and Zamparelli raced together to the very end, where Riley took third by inches, 16:48 to 16:49. Droze moved up into fifth to finish as the first master runner in 18:27. A former USAF officer, Droze was also the first veteran in the race. Sandy Holt was the first woman across the finish line, placing 15th overall in 22:50. Kate Blankemeyer ran 26:12 to take female master honors.

Top Ten Men
  1. Gary Droze16:20 ~ Alex Smyth (M, 22)
  2. 16:30 ~ Peter Wood (M, 23)
  3. 16:48 ~ Colin Riley (M, 23)
  4. 16:49 ~ Javier Zamparelli (M, 22)
  5. 18:27 ~ Gary Droze (M, 50)
  6. 18:59 ~ Joel Piotrowski (M, 42)
  7. 19:45 ~ Jonathan Grisiaffi (M, 16)
  8. 19:46 ~ Brian Corbin (M, 44)
  9. 19:49 ~ Dustin Rhodes (M, 27)
  10. 20:11 ~ Michael Kennett (M, 38)

Top Ten Women
  1. Jane Skalski22:50 ~ Sandy Holt (F, 26)
  2. 24:44 ~ Jane Skalski (F, 27)
  3. 24:51 ~ Susan Williams (F, 27)
  4. 25:04 ~ Abby Griffin (F, 28)
  5. 26:12 ~ Kate Blankemeyer (F, 44)
  6. 26:36 ~ Sandra Canada (F, 49)
  7. 26:39 ~ Charlotte Homme (F, 23)
  8. 26:48 ~ Nicole Bastian (F, 30)
  9. 27:02 ~ Lisa Frey (F, 31)
  10. 27:42 ~ Monica McCullion (F, 47)



  1. It was the quintessential Tallahassee hill tour, that's for sure! It was a great day, though, and stopping by the 24 hour vigil at the Vietnam Memorial afterwards topped things off - running a few hills for fun really pales in comparison to what others have faced. Cue patriotic music now. :-)

  2. I was glad to see a Veterans Day race in Tallahassee. I wouldn't mind seeing Memorial Day or Independence Day events on the running calendar, either. I'm going to shy away from calling this one the hilliest 5K course in Tallahassee, though. It would bring the Old Timers out of the woodwork, talking about their favorite cross-country course or the old Indian 5000 out at the Lake Jackson Mounds.