The starting siren sounded at 9:00 am, sending nearly 200 runners thundering across the grass of Apalachee Regional Park. Florida State University freshman Stanley Linton charged out ahead of the crowd. It was Linton's ninth race at Apalachee Regional Park, including a fourth-place finish at the inaugural Tannenbaum 6K, where he ran 20:35. But while few runners have Linton's racing experience at the ARP, not many have logged as many miles there as Kevin Sullivan. The ARP is the Florida State University's home cross-country course, and as a volunteer assistant coach to the FSU women's cross-country team, Sullivan has run the ARP often enough to know every tree by its first name. Not incidentally, Sullivan made seven trips to the World Cross-Country Championships on the Canadian national team, and won four straight Big Ten cross-country titles while running for the University of Michigan.
But Sullivan was also nursing a calf injury which had already forced him to drop out of the Tallahassee Turkey Trot three weeks earlier. While Linton led the race, Sullivan ran cautiously in third, tucked behind Vince Molosky. Midway through the second mile, Sullivan left Molosky behind and set his sights on Linton.At the race's halfway point Sullivan trailed Linton by just a few steps. With a mile and a half to go, Sullivan moved ahead. He continued to widen his lead after that, ultimately running home in 19:35, 14 seconds better than Chris Lake's 2011 course record of 19:49. Linton finished second in 19:50. Vince Molosky took third, holding off Nate Kaiser 20:36 to 20:43. Bryan Koon was the top master, finishing fifth in 21:13.
In eighth place overall, Stefanie Slekis was the top woman finisher, her 21:56 shattering Katie Showman's 2011 Tannenbaum 6K women's record of 25:33. The female runner-up, Stefanie Kurgatt, also ran well under the old record, putting up a 23:55. A senior-year distance runner at Maclay School, Kurgatt will get more experience with the 6K distance next fall when she starts running with the Georgetown women's cross-country team. 6K is, after all, the NCAA championship cross-country distance for women.
The Tannenbaum 6K concluded the fourth year of racing at the Apalachee Regional Park cross-country course. The facility first opened in 2009, and this was its biggest year--eight separate events were held there this year, including the NCAA South Region championship and the FHSAA State Cross-Country Finals. Yet anyone can go out there and run, any day of the year. In most sports, that's the kind of access you can only dream about. Typically, a high school football player couldn't step on the field at Campbell Stadium and run a few patterns or kick a few balls. But his buddy on the cross-country team can head out to the course at Apalachee Regional Park and run a few hills or put in some miles. And maybe dream about being Kevin Sullivan.
Top Ten Males, 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
- 19:35 ~ Kevin Sullivan (M, 38) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:50 ~ Stanley Linton (M, 18) Crawfordville, FL
- 20:36 ~ Vince Molosky (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
- 20:43 ~ Nate Kaiser (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
- 21:13 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
- 21:35 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 48) Tallahassee, FL
- 21:46 ~ Tony Guillen (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL
- 22:17 ~ Jack Rutledge (M, 17) Tallahassee, FL
- 22:17 ~ Chase Harris (M, 15) Bainbridge, GA
- 22:54 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 28) Tallahassee, FL
Top Ten Females, 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
- 21:56 ~ Stefanie Slekis (F, 24) Tallahassee, FL
- 23:55 ~ Stefanie Kurgatt (F, 17) Tallahassee, FL
- 26:25 ~ Brook Pace (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
- 26:29 ~ Paige Braswell (F, 16) Bainbridge, GA
- 27:25 ~ Kate Chunka (F, 29) Tallahassee, FL
- 28:25 ~ Zoe Sheldon (F, 13) Tallahassee, FL
- 28:26 ~ Stephanie Liles-Weyant (F, 40) Tallahassee, FL
- 28:37 ~ Hanna Gordon (F, 29) Tallahassee, FL
- 29:06 ~ Nikky Manausa (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
- 29:25 ~ Julie Clark (F, 51) Tallahassee, FL
|Tannenbaum Trail 6K Champions, 2011-2012|
|17 DEC 2011||19:49, Chris Lake||25:33, Katie Showman|
|15 DEC 2012||19:35, Kevin Sullivan||21:56, Stefanie Slekis|
- Complete results of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
- Fred Deckert's photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
- Joe Mizereck's photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2012 Tannenbaum Trail 6K
- Part 1: http://www.joemizereck.com/Sports/Gulf-Winds-Track-Club/2012Tannenbaum-6K-GWTC-Part-1/
- Part 2: http://www.joemizereck.com/Sports/Gulf-Winds-Track-Club/2012Tannenbaum-6K-GWTC-Part-2/
- 2011 story, "Lake and Showman trail no one at Tannenbaum Trail 6K"
- Find another upcoming race with a funny name on the Trouble Afoot! calendar