Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rice and Shattles celebrate America's birthday with Valdosta 5K wins

Chris Rice notched his second win in Valdosta's Independence Day 5K on Wednesday, 4 July 2012, running 16:57 in the fourth annual race. Rice has built up quite a record in his three appearances in the 3.1-mile race, winning the 2010 event and finishing runner-up in 2011. Just over half a minute behind Rice in this year's race, Wright Calhoun placed second in 17:32. Calhoun is a distance runner for Southland Academy in Americus, Georgia. Nathan Norton, an alumnus of the Darton College cross-country team, was third overall in 17:56. Tifton's Bret Wagenhorst was the fastest master of the morning, finishing eighth overall in 19:12.

Another Southland Academy athlete, Chris Shattles, was the first female in the race. Shattles' 20:18 was the second fastest time for a female runner in the four-year history of the Independence Day 5K, missing Jordanne Helton's course record by just two seconds. Behind Shattles, Valdosta's Alice Smoot was the female runner up and the first female master, running 21:00. Alison Peters of Valdosta's Lowndes High School clocked 21:18 to finish as the third female.

192 athletes finished the race, the latest event in Valdosta's Grand Prix series. The next Valdosta Grand Prix race will be the Barnes 100 Years 5K on Saturday, 14 July 2012.

Top Ten Males, 2012 Valdosta Independence Day 5K
  1. 16:56.7 ~ Christopher Rice (M, 23) Valdosta, GA
  2. 17:31.2 ~ Wright Calhoun (M, 14) Americus, GA
  3. 17:55.8 ~ Nathan Norton (M, 20) Americus, GA
  4. 18:14.6 ~ David Burnett (M, 36) Valdosta, GA
  5. 18:22.0 ~ Masked Avenger (M, 33) Valdosta, GA
  6. 18:39.8 ~ Tyler Thurman (M, 16) Valdosta, GA
  7. 18:59.0 ~ Aaron Williams (M, 27) Valdosta, GA
  8. 19:11.2 ~ Bret Wagenhorst (M, 49) Tifton, GA
  9. 19:33.5 ~ Colin Prinsloo (M, 26) Valdosta, GA
  10. 19:37.8 ~ Caleb Coil (M, 15) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Females, 2012 Valdosta Independence Day 5K
  1. 20:17.4 Christine Shattles (F, 14) Americus, GA
  2. 21:00.0 Alice Smoot (F, 55) Valdosta, GA
  3. 21:18.0 Alison Peters (F, 16) Valdosta, GA
  4. 21:59.3 Jo Ann Fort (F, 51) Glencoe, AL
  5. 22:28.9 Libby Smith (F, 41) Nashivlle, GA
  6. 22:40.2 Lauren Strike (F, 32) Ray City, GA
  7. 22:46.1 Elizabeth Rosatu (F, 27) Valdosta, GA
  8. 22:56.0 april scruggs (F, 43) Valdosta, GA
  9. 23:05.1 Maggie Laine Powell (F, 17) Hahira, GA
  10. 23:08.5 Melissa Roe (F, 34) Valdosta, GA

Champions of the Valdosta Independence Day 5K, 2009-2012
4 July 200916:38 Alan McGough
20:32 Ashley McGee
4 July 201016:32 Chris Rice
20:26 Angelina Horne
4 July 201116:15 Jeff Powers
20:16 Jordanne Helton
4 July 201216:57 Chris Rice
20:18 Christine Shattles
The predecessor of the Valdosta Independence Day 5K was the
Baytree 8K, run in the streets of Valdosta on Independence Day
from 2006 to 2008.



  1. Herb, I see a comment "refused prize money". Would acceptance of the money disqualify the person from the GWTC fantasy grand prix competition or something as drastic as that?

    1. If you remember the story of Jim Thorpe, you'll recall that he was stripped of his Olympic medals after it was discovered that he had accepted a few bucks for playing on a semi-pro baseball team. Organized athletics isn't quite as anal-retentive about amateur status anymore, except in high school and college sports. I recall a case a few years ago where a woman lost her NCAA eligibility after accepting a prize of a few hundred dollars at a road race. An amount that, by the way, is much less than what the typical college football player receives in "gifts" for participating in a bowl game.

      Anyway, the "Refused prize money" notation that I saw associated with a high school athlete. Rather than throw away a high school sports career and a potential college sports career, the athlete turned down the cash.

      Pro status wouldn't make you ineligible for Fantasy Grand Prix, but it would probably be strongly correlated with utter disinterest in it.


  2. Thanks Herb! Lucky for me my feet and lungs keep me from Winning, Placing, or even Showing. My unused high school, college, and Fantasy Grand Prix dreams and eligibility remain safely tucked away.