Friday, May 3, 2013

No flies on Taylor or Banks in Camilla

James TaylorHere's a contrast. If you go to, say, the Rose City Run in Thomasville, you can be so intent on the race that you don't notice the city's roses. Thomasville is full of neatly tended rose gardens, but if you're concentrating on making it to the starting line, split times, hydration, pacing, and the competition, you might not notice a single bloom. On the other hand, you can't go to the Gnat Days 5K in nearby Camilla without noticing the gnats. They demand your attention. I suppose if the flowers were flitting in your eyes and crawling on your every surface then you couldn't help but be aware of them, either.


Which is why it was immediately apparent on Friday evening, 3 May 2013 that the gnats were absent from the 26th annual Gnat Days 5K. It may have been the off-and-on rain that filled the hours before the race that drove the insects away. Or it could have been the high winds that threatened to tear the flags from their poles in downtown Camilla. Possibly it was connected to the disappearing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Whatever the reason, there was not a gnat to be seen, heard, or swatted.


James TaylorThe runners in the 5K weren't upset at all about the lack of gnats, least of all James Taylor. The Perry, Florida master runner grabbed the lead in the 3.1-mile race just before the end of the first mile, passing Phillip Morris of Pelham. After that it was Taylor's race. He went on to run a gnat-free 19:06, while Morris finished runner-up in 19:45. Behind the first two runners, Thomasville's Chad Johnson moved steadily up through the field, getting into a late-race duel with Samuel Cornwell of Camilla for third place. Johnson ultimately prevailed over Cornwell, 20:15 to 20:18.


Ashtin BanksLate in the first mile, Ashtin Banks of Thomasville made her way to the front of the women's field. At that point she was about three-fourths of a minute ahead of Amy Cain. As the race progressed, though, the Leesburg master runner closed the gap on Banks. As the runners approached the finish line at the Mitchell County Courthouse, Banks threw in a final sprint to take the top female spot with a 24:33, placing 19th overall. Cain was the second female and the first woman master, finishing 22nd overall in 24:41.


Fans of Friday evening racing should mark their calendars for 2 May 2014 and the 27th annual Gnat Days 5K. Feel free to tell your friends about the date, but let's not tell the gnats. If they don't hear about it, maybe they'll miss next year's race, too.


Top Ten Men, 2013 Gnat Days 5K
    Chad Johnson
  1. 19:06 ~ James Taylor (M, 49) Perry, FL
  2. 19:45 ~ Phillip Morris (M, 45) Pelham, GA
  3. 20:15 ~ Chad Johnson (M, 42) Thomasville, GA
  4. 20:18 ~ Samuel Cornwell (M, 16) Camilla, GA
  5. 20:46 ~ Michael McGuhee (M, 35)
  6. 20:55 ~ Gareth Pyle (M, 34) Thomasville, GA
  7. 21:06 ~ David Eckles (M, 37) Athens, GA
  8. 21:18 ~ Chris Holt (M, 31) Thomasville, GA
  9. 22:40 ~ Max Waters (M, 11) Camilla, GA
  10. 22:44 ~ Braden Miller (M, 39) Leesburg, GA

Top Ten Women, 2013 Gnat Days 5K
  1. 24:33 ~ Ashtin Banks (F, 14) Thomasville, GA
  2. 24:41 ~ Amy Cain (F, 42) Leesburg, GA
  3. 25:33 ~ Caitlin Santiago (F, 11)
  4. 25:41 ~ Holland Lee (F, 11) Camilla, GA
  5. 25:57 ~ Ivana Santiago (F, 12)
  6. 27:15 ~ Kim Wenzel (F, 14) Albany, GA
  7. 27:28 ~ Denise Butler (F, 40)
  8. 27:32 ~ Karla Nolde (F, 28)
  9. 27:38 ~ Blair Pollock (F, 8)
  10. 27:56 ~ Levie Walsh (F, 13)

Gnat Days 5K Champions, 2005 - 2013
DateMenWomen
3 May 201319:06, James Taylor24:33, Ashtin Banks
4 May 201217:51, Stephen Robbins19:47, Mary Anne Grayson
6 May 201117:35,  Masked Avenger23:53,  Jenna Willingham
30 April 201017:36,  Kyle Harris19:59,  Mary Anne Grayson
1 May 200917:39,  Nathan Norton19:51,  Mary Anne Grayson
2 May 200818:12,  Todd Smoot22:35,  Diane Johnson
4 May 200716:59,  Todd Smoot22:49,  Diane Johnson
5 May 200617:27,  Clint Watkins22:02,  Lori Rawlings
6 May 200517:06,  Dr. Robert Feldman21:12,  Debbie Wittmer
1 May 2004

3 May 2003

























14 May 1994

12 June 1993

13 June 1992

8 June 199115:33, Louis Floyd18:20,  Vikki Saga
9 June 1990

10 June 1989*

11 June 1988**John Tuttle (14:14.7)Carla Borovicka (16:28)


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