Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday morning wins for Droze and Cox at FSECC 5K

Gary DrozeThursday isn't a typical day for a road race, but that didn't discourage about 400 athletes from turning out in the Southwood district of Tallahassee, Florida, on Thursday morning, 31 October 2013, for the 13th annual Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign 5K. Gary Droze and Renee Cox certainly weren't deterred. Droze, the cross-country coach at Maclay School, won the race in 16:56, while Cox was the first female finisher, placing tenth overall in 20:09.

2013 FSECC 5KThe race started in the middle of the state office complex on Esplanade Way just after 8:30 AM. By half a mile into the 3.1-mile run, during a long climb up the hill on Merchants Row Boulevard, three runners were out in front of the rest of the field. Tallahassee master runner Michael Martinez was one of the three, and 2011 FSECC 5K champion Gary Droze was another. The third was an unfamiliar kinky-haired runner in Dolfin shorts that looked more than anything like an apparition from the pages of a 1977 copy of Runner's World. Closer inspection revealed that he wasn't a member of the Boogie Nights Track Club. It was the FSECC 5K defending champion, Bryan Koon, wearing a wig and a somewhat dated running outfit. The race was being run on Halloween, after all.

Michael MartinezAfter topping the hill, Droze and Koon dropped Martinez while running through the Southwood Town Center. Droze was able to lose the bewigged Koon on the way down from the Town Center to the Central Park Lake.

"The wig did add some air resistance," admitted Koon after the race.

By the halfway point Droze was in control of the race, and stayed that way through the second half, reaching the finish line first in 16:56. Martinez closed on Koon during the second half of the race, but Koon held on to second place with a 17:22. Martinez was third in 17:26.
Renee Cox

The first three men had all been master runners, but youth ruled on the women's side, starting with the 26-year-old women's champion, Renee Cox. Running with a touch of the flu, Cox led the women's field for nearly the entire race to finish as first female in 20:09. Juanita Chalmers overtook two-time FSECC 5K women's champion, Brook Pace, during the second half of the race to take the women's runner-up spot, finishing 14th overall in 21:34. Pace was close behind in 15th at 21:39.

Top Ten Males, 2013 FSECC 5K
  1. 16:56 ~ Gary Droze (M, 52)Reikan Lin
  2. 17:22 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 41)
  3. 17:26 ~ Michael Martinez (M, 47)
  4. 18:40 ~ Reikan Lin (M, 23)
  5. 19:19 ~ Thomas Konrad (M, 46)
  6. 19:24 ~ Bill McNulty (M, 55)
  7. 19:30 ~ Tim Unger (M, 54)
  8. 19:32 ~ Christopher Cobb (M, 33)
  9. 20:05 ~ Drew Fulcher (M, 21)
  10. 20:48 ~ Darryl Griffin (M, 31)

Top Ten Females, 2013 FSECC 5K
  1. 20:09 ~ Renee Cox (F, 26) Tallahassee, FLJuanita Chalmers
  2. 21:34 ~ Juanita Chalmers (F, 31)
  3. 21:39 ~ Brook Pace (F, 34)
  4. 22:09 ~ Melissa Hooke (F, 35)
  5. 23:27 ~ Maria Merrill (F, 32)
  6. 23:35 ~ Sarah Cox (F, 25)
  7. 24:48 ~ Loranne Ausley (F, 50)
  8. 25:15 ~ Rachelle Ashmore (F, 34)
  9. 25:18 ~ Tiffany Hersey (F, 23)
  10. 25:31 ~ Ellen Pulido (F, 46)

Recent champions of the FSECC 5K, 2008-2013
20 NOV 200818:15, Tim Unger21:31, Brook Pace
5 NOV 200917:56, Kevin Sweeney21:06, Kelly Stevens
4 NOV 201016:38, Matt Dobson22:12, Brook Pace
10 NOV 201116:46, Gary Droze19:50, Stephanie Liles
29 NOV 201217:06, Bryan Koon20:47, Stephanie Liles
31 OCT 201316:56, Gary Droze20:09, Renee Cox


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