Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sullivan and Adriani are the big dogs at Potluck

Hot TamaleUSA Track and Field rules for starting a race follow the International Association of Athletic Federation rules. For races of 400 meters or less, the commands given to the runners are "On your marks," "Set," and then the starting gun. In races longer than 400 meters, the commands are "On your marks" followed by the gun.

At Gulf Winds Track Club's 16th annual Potluck Four Mile, the starting command was Hot Tamale singing "Johnny B. Goode," with the runners going on the final chord.

Stanley Linton, Micah Adriani, Kevin Sullivan, Katie ShowmanThe Potluck has always been a bit different, though. For one thing it's a prediction run, with the winner determined by the runner who runs closest to the time she (or he) predicts before the event. Timepieces aren't allowed on the course, naturally.

But at the front of the Potluck field are plenty of runners who are running for speed, forget about the predictions. They are akin to racing greyhounds. At a dog track, a trainer was asked about the mechanical rabbit. Were the dogs truly fooled? Did they actually think the cutout was a real rabbit?

"No," was the response. "They don't have to make it look like a rabbit. Those dogs will chase anything that moves."

Stanley LintonThat's the same instinct driving the faster runners at Potluck. There may be no speed awards, but if they are running, they will chase or race anyone else afoot, even if it throws off their prediction. It's a compulsion. It's part of what makes them front-of-the-pack runners.

Stanley Linton, who had already won 13 races during 2013, is one of those front-of-the-pack runners. Soon after the last chord of "Johnny B. Goode" had faded, he was out in front of over 200 athletes, leading them from the Phipps Park youth athletic fields towards the soccer fields at the Meadows. Crossing the soccer fields, the Florida State mathematics student was about thirty meters up on the next runner, Kevin Sullivan of Capital City Runners.

Kevin SullivanFrom there the race headed onto the Phipps Park trail system. The Potluck is a cross-country race, and in a cross-country race you bet on the four-time Big Ten Conference cross-country champion. Sullivan, that four-time champion, caught Linton just past the halfway mark, where the runners started the long climb back up out of the Lake Jackson basin. After that it was Sullivan's race. The three-time Canadian Olympian built up a lead of nearly 200 meters on his way to the finish line, clocking 21:17 for the four miles. Linton was second in 21:56. After that it was quite a wait for the rest of the field, with Nate Kaiser (23:30) and Roger Schmidt (24:07) taking the next two places. Fifth place and the top master spot went to Michael Martinez in 24:19.

Micah Adriani, Katie ShowmanIn the women's competition, defending champion Katie Showman was just a step or two behind two-time champion Micah Adriani with a mile to go. That mile made all the difference, though, as Adriani ran away from Showman to win the women's title, her third, by almost a minute, placing 20th in 26:24. Showman was the second woman in, 26th in 27:23. Renee Cox (39th, 28:59) and Vicky Droze (44th, 29:57) were the next two female finishers. Paula O'Neill, the eighth female finisher, was the first master woman, coming in 55th overall at 31:50.

In the prediction competition, Bainbridge High's Chase Harris, the sixth finisher, was one of four athletes who were just a second off in their forecast. Harris ran 24:46 after forecasting a 24:45. Buddy Levins, Chris O'Kelley, and Mike Burns were also just a second off of their predicted times.

Red bandannas waveIn memory of Reid Vannoy, who had recently passed from ALS, many runners wore a red bandanna as a sweatband, which was something of a signature with Reid. Just before the start of the race, the bandannas waved in salute to Vannoy.

237 athletes finished the four mile run.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2013 Potluck 4M
    Nate Kaiser
  1. 21:16.28 ~ Kevin Sullivan (M, 39) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 21:55.66 ~ Stanley Linton (M, 19) Crawfordville, FL
  3. 23:29.92 ~ Nate Kaiser (M, 33) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 24:06.14 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 22) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 24:18.67 ~ Michael Martinez (M, 47) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 24:46.14 ~ Chase Harris (M, 16) Bainbridge, GA
  7. 24:47.35 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 48) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 24:49.40 ~ Zach DeVeau (M, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 25:02.42 ~ Eric Godin (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 25:05.84 ~ David Knauf (M, 49) Tallahassee, FL

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2013 Potluck 4M
    Renee Cox
  1. 26:23.37 ~ Micah Adriani (F, 35) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 27:22.40 ~ Katie Showman (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 28:58.62 ~ Renee Cox (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 29:56.67 ~ Vicky Droze (F, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 30:32.43 ~ Juanita Chalmers (F, 30) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 30:59.61 ~ Tiffany Roddenberry (F, 28) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 31:13.67 ~ Kate Chunka (F, 30) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 31:49.55 ~ Paula O'Neill (F 51) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 32:30.75 ~ Kory Skrob (F, 42) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 32:31.57 ~ Shannon McNees (F, 42) Tallahassee, FL

Potluck champions, 1998-2012

5 June 199929:29, Zack Heissner32:26, Sarah Docter-Williams
3 June 200024:42 Paul Hoover25:59, Kim Wynn
2 June 200124:59, Reid Vannoy25:33, Sarah Docter-Williams
8 June 200222:47, Ryan Deak26:04, Sarah Docter-Williams
7 June 200325:17, Tim Unger25:36, Sarah Docter-Williams
5 June 200423:05, Caleb Carmichael25:59, Kara Newell
4 June 200523:22, Caleb Carmichael27:21, Kara Newell
3 June 200623:06, Jared Black25:58, Sheryl Rosen
2 June 200724:26, Tony Guillen27:36, Jane Johnson
7 June 200823:00, John Robida25:09, Sarah Docter-Williams
13 June 200922:40, Jay Wallace27:05, Micah Adriani
5 June 201022:14, Matt Mizereck27:39, Micah Adriani
4 June 201122:57, Vince Molosky26:33, Summer Calder
2 June 201222:33, Vince Molosky27:18, Katie Showman
1 June 201321:17, Kevin Sullivan26:24, Micah Adriani
The race was five miles in 1998 and 1999, and four miles thereafter.


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