Sunday, December 9, 2012

A nifty fifty for Toska and Coutts at the Tallahassee Ultra

Ferit ToskaLast Saturday the manatees were at Wakulla Springs. They are seasonal visitors, as dependable as the Capistrano's famous swallows. Manatees are impressively large, but after you're done marveling at a floating creature the size of a compact car, that’s about it for the show. Manatees don't do much other than float, occasionally punctuating their torpor with a loud sigh of exhalation. A floating log would be only slightly less active.


Dave CarverSomewhat more active are the ultrarunners, another seasonal visitor to the springs. You can depend on the ultrarunners showing up in Wakulla Springs State Park on the second Saturday in December, Dec. 8 this year. Ultrarunning is anything longer than a 26.2-mile marathon. Middle-distance running starts around the 800 meters, and continues up through the miles, but by the time you're up to 10,000 meters long-distance running has begun. Long distance continues up to the marathon, but beyond the marathon is the realm of ultra-distance. At the Tallahassee Ultra-distance Classic at Wakulla Springs, ultrarunners tackle two one of two trans-marathon distances, 50 kilometers (31 miles) or 50 miles. The 50K runners performed their feat as five ten-kilometer laps around the park, while the 50-milers had to run just over eight laps. Sharing a finish line but with slightly different starting lines, the two races started at 7:00 am.


Sung Ho ChoiThe favorite in the 50-mile race had to be Sung Ho Choi of Jacksonville, the defending champion. True, he had just won a grueling Ancient Oaks 100-mile race the week before. But in 2011 Sung Ho Choi had also run the Ancient Oaks 100-mile a week before Tallahassee Ultradistance Classic, and he had won that 50-mile run by over a mile. He seemed on schedule to repeat, and accented that status by wearing a jaunty pair of bunny ears on his head and a fluffy tail on his shorts. Sung Ho Choi seemed to be saying that, like the Energizer Bunny, he would keep going and going and going.


Chrissy CouttsEven without a rabbit costume, Gainesville runner Ferit Toska and Dave Carver of London, Ontario were also determined to keep going and going. Sung Ho Choi led the race, but Toska and Carver weren't ever far behind. After five laps Toska made a move, passing both Carver and Sung Ho Choi. Sung Ho Choi answered, and moved back into the lead before the end of the sixth lap, but by the beginning of lap seven Carver was in the lead for good.


"I crashed," said Sung Ho Choi.


At the start of the last lap Toska was well ahead, and Sung Ho Choi was about half a minute ahead of Dave Carver. Toska looked unbeatable, but Sung Ho Choi's bunny ears looked a lot perkier than the man wearing them. With two miles to go, Carver started to move up on Sung Ho Choi. Close to the 49-mile mark of the 50-mile race, Canadian Carver passed Sung Ho Choi to move into second. Ferit Toska cruised across the finish line first in 6:34:53, with Dave Carver finishing runner-up in 6:36:28. Sung Ho Choi held on to finish third in 6:39:39. At 8:16:09 the first Tallahassee runner and first woman, Chrissy Coutts, finished the 50 miles, placing fifth overall.
John Robida

Long before the athletes in the 50 mile had started finishing, the first 50K runners were completing their 31-mile odyssey. Tampa's John Robida won the event by more than two miles--his final lead was longer than most people are prepared to run. Robida's time was 3:44:50. Second place went to Geb Kiros of Tallahassee in 4:02:44. In third place at 4:09:08, Jacksonville runner Ruth Levy was the first female finisher.
Manatees


There was a ten-hour time limit, so the ultrarunners were all off the course by 5:00 pm, finished or not.. For now the manatees are still at Wakulla Springs, but the ultrarunners are gone and won't be back till next December.




50 Mile
  1. Ferit Toska and Sung Ho Choi6:34:53 ~ Ferit Toska (M, 33) Gainesville, FL
  2. 6:36:28 ~ Dave Carver (M, 51) London, ONT
  3. 6:39:39 ~ Sung Ho Choi (M, 36) Jacksonville, FL
  4. 8:08:48 ~ Jason Matherne (M, 38) Thibodaux, LA
  5. 8:16:09 ~ Chrissy Coutts (F, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 8:22:55 ~ Mike Baker (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 8:40:15 ~ Robert Pepper (M, 47) Dunedin, FL
  8. 8:43:15 ~ Mike Johnston (M, 22) Oak Harbor, WA
  9. 9:22:27 ~ Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 50) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 9:24:43 ~ Darlene Baltimore (F, 39) College Park, GA
  11. 9:34:36 ~ Mary Scott (F, 34) Jacksonville, FL
  12. 9:37:27 ~ Leigh Ceci (F, 48) Tallahassee, FL
  13. 9:37:27 ~ Beth Miller (F, 48) Mobile, AL
  14. 9:41:17 ~ James Austin (M, 62) Northville, MI
  15. 9:41:17 ~ Elaine Stypula (F, 47) Farmington Hills, MI
  16. 9:43:47 ~ Chuck Knight (M, 51) Albany, GA
  17. 9:43:47 ~ Terri Lyn Morton (F, 39) Leesburg, GA
  18. 9:49:40 ~ Heather Shoemaker (F, 27) Alpharetta, GA

Wheelchair 50 Mile
  1. 5:36:16 ~ James Heath (M, 37) Kingsland, GA

50 Kilometer
  1. Geb Kiros3:44:50 ~ John Robida (M, 32) Tampa, FL
  2. 4:02:44 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 46) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 4:09:08 ~ Ruth Levy (F, 24) Jacksonville, FL
  4. 4:11:45 ~ Cole Tessier (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 4:14:35 ~ Andy Roberts (M, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 4:39:21 ~ Camilo Ordoñez (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 4:39:21 ~ Juan Ordoñez (M, 38) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 4:40:46 ~ Ettore Aldrovandi (M, 51) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 4:45:00 ~ Kelsey Kilinski (F, 26) St. Marks, FL
  10. 4:52:50 ~ Brian Molen (M, 36) Tallahassee, FL
  11. Ruth Levy5:00:01 ~ Mauricio Endara (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  12. 5:06:13 ~ Matt Minno (M, 53) Tallahassee, FL
  13. 5:06:15 ~ Bill Hillison (M, 68) Tallahassee, FL
  14. 5:06:48 ~ Bess Anderson (F, 57) Tampa, FL
  15. 5:14:35 ~ Jennifer Shafer (F, 44) Tallahassee, FL
  16. 5:15:43 ~ Pat Judd (M, 62) Pensacola, FL
  17. 5:18:01 ~ Nathan Adams (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  18. 5:18:18 ~ Ramon Ferrer (M, 32) New York, NY
  19. 5:18:22 ~ George Lockhart (M, 50) Sugar Hill, GA
  20. 5:19:29 ~ John Hingst (M, 49) Callahan, FL
  21. 5:20:24 ~ John Leighton (M, 52) Newark, OH
  22. 5:21:02 ~ Scott James (M, 47) Thomasville, GA
  23. 5:26:26 ~ Mason Vance (M, 41) Tallahassee, FL
  24. 5:26:48 ~ Bill Hoffman (M, 57) Tampa, FL
  25. 5:29:55 ~ Donna Pepper (F, 40) Dunedin, FL
  26. 5:34:03 ~ James O'Donnell (M, 24) Sarasota, FL
  27. 5:38:40 ~ Cory DeLamater (F, 40) Athens, GA
  28. 5:38:55 ~ Mike Burns (M, 47) Tallahassee, FL
  29. 5:43:33 ~ Ithel Jones (M, 58) Tallahassee, FL
  30. 5:46:40 ~ Jessica McCaskill (F, 32) Palm Bay, FL
  31. 5:46:40 ~ Joan Meadows (F, 53) Malabar, FL
  32. 5:46:46 ~ Kim Nusbaum (F, 51) Navarre, FL
  33. 5:51:20 ~ Jeremy Kirch (M, 30) Jacksonville, FL
  34. 5:52:12 ~ Maria Matheu (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  35. 5:58:22 ~ Gary Cato (M, 56) Bainbridge, GA
  36. 6:00:01 ~ Karima Anderson (F, 26) Tallahassee, FL
  37. 6:04:13 ~ Jean-Philippe DeRycker (F, 47) Jacksonville, FL
  38. 6:07:41 ~ Susan Haag (F, 46) Jacksonville, FL
  39. 6:11:04 ~ Michael Oates (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  40. 6:14:08 ~ Scott Blaser (M, 50) Oviedo, FL
  41. 6:17:06 ~ Bruce Hall (M, 44) Dothan, AL
  42. 6:17:30 ~ Sushma Manandhar (F, 41) Jacksonville, FL
  43. 6:20:30 ~ Pam Waller (F, 50) Tallahassee, FL
  44. 6:24:45 ~ Liz Brabston (F, 29) Jacksonville, FL
  45. 6:27:00 ~ Lisa Cox (F, 47) Tallahassee, FL
  46. 6:27:22 ~ Vicky Verano (F, 48) Tallahassee, FL
  47. 6:31:40 ~ Dana Stetson (M, 56) Tallahassee, FL
  48. 6:39:23 ~ Leisa Eastman (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  49. 6:42:35 ~ Keith Berry (M, 56) Tallahassee, FL
  50. 6:43:06 ~ Carlos Zapata (M, 67) Tallahassee, FL
  51. 6:46:08 ~ Elizabeth Stupi (F, 28) Tallahassee, FL
  52. 6:50:13 ~ Michael Williams (M, 36) Orange Park, FL
  53. 6:51:28 ~ Jennifer Kissler (F, 38) Tallahassee, FL
  54. 6:57:12 ~ Donald Vanoteghem (M, 58) Leesburg, GA
  55. 7:00:56 ~ Eric Dueno (M, 44) Havana, FL
  56. 7:01:05 ~ Tracy Kusmierz (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  57. 7:01:24 ~ Gary Parsons (M, 54) Tallahassee, FL
  58. 7:02:45 ~ Natalie Radford (F, 38) Tallahassee, FL
  59. 7:09:33 ~ Lisa McAnally (F, 50) Tallahassee, FL
  60. 7:11:40 ~ Mark Priddy (M, 57) Tallahassee, FL
  61. 7:12:12 ~ Marsha White (F, 65) Gainesville, FL
  62. 7:12:40 ~ Nicholas Mazza (M, 64) Tallahassee, FL
  63. 7:23:54 ~ Vicki Sue Merry (F, 55) Cantonment, FL
  64. 7:26:46 ~ Kathleen Wheeler (F, 51) St. Petersburg, FL
  65. 7:52:33 ~ Mellody Hughes (F, 49) DeFuniak Springs, FL
  66. 8:10:08 ~ Evelyn Smith (F, 52) Rockford, IL

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