Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Richard Purcell and Loni Smith win the race at the Ranch

Loni SmithTucked away in the countryside somewhere outside of Live Oak, Florida, the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch Marathon and More (emphasis on the "more") features more variety than a track meet. There's the marathon, of course. And you can't have a marathon without a half marathon, even if Boston and New York seem to manage. There's also a 10K, and a 5K. Fifth and finally, the day's racing also includes a 1.5K kids' run. In spite of all those choices it has remained a small event, with the athletes in danger of being outnumbered by the races. Only the marathon and the half marathon have USATF certified courses, which is probably for the best. Are you going to venture into the wilds of Suwannee County on the second Sunday in March for a mere 5K, or even a 10K? You can find one of those closer to home. A marathon, though, is worth traveling for. This one is even a Boston qualifier. 38 runners were of that mind, lining up for the start of the fifth annual Youth Ranch Marathon on Sunday morning, 9 March 2014.

Williston, Florida, master runner Richard Purcell seized the lead early, and by halfway through the race he was over 200 meters ahead of the next runner, "Marathon Jack" McDermott. From Tallahassee, Florida, McDermott had won the Youth Ranch Marathon in 2011, but 2014 wasn't going to be his year. At 20 miles Purcell had expanded his lead to nearly half a kilometer. Purcell didn't get any farther ahead after that, but he didn't need to. He went on to win the marathon in 3:03:36, with McDermott finishing runner-up in 3:05:46. Mike Galvin, a master runner from St. Petersburg, Florida, placed third in 3:28:07.

Fourth place went to the top woman in the marathon, Loni Smith of Lakeland, Florida. Smith had trailed Michelle Richards, the early leader, and Amy McClenathan during the first half of the marathon. Running a strong second half, Smith first passed Richards, who was fading badly. Then just before the 20-mile mark, Smith overtook McClenathan to take the lead. Smith spent the last ten kilometers running away from the women's competition, building a lead of nearly a kilometer. At the finish line, her winning time was 3:34:59. Amy McClenathan hung on to second place in the women's standings, finishing fifth overall in 3:41:12, the first woman master. Tallahassee runner Laura McDermott, the 2011 women's champ, passed Michelle Richards late in the race to take the third women's spot, seventh overall in 3:45:31. Just behind McDermott, Richards was the fourth woman finisher, eighth overall in 3:45:41.

37 athletes finished the marathon.

Jack McDermott
Top Ten Men, 2014 Youth Ranch Marathon
  1. 3:03:36 ~ Richard Purcell (M, 42) Williston, FL
  2. 3:05:46 ~ Jack McDermott (M, 45) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 3:28:07 ~ Mike Galvin (M, 40) St. Petersburg, FL
  4. 3:44:59 ~ Paul Smith (M, 54) Cooper City, FL
  5. 4:00:08 ~ Joe Shuta (M, 63) Duncansville, PA
  6. 4:01:46 ~ Robert Cernuda (M, 29) Miami, FL
  7. 4:09:44 ~ Samuel Steinhauer (M, 59) Stuart, FL
  8. 4:11:34 ~ Ramamoorthy Nagasubramanian (M, 46) Oveido, FL
  9. 4:20:44 ~ Ivins Steinhauer (M, 65) Stuart, FL
  10. 4:39:08 ~ Darren McCall (M, 30) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, 2014 Youth Ranch Marathon
    Amy McClenathan
  1. 3:34:59 ~ Loni Smith (F, 32) Lakeland, FL
  2. 3:41:12 ~ Amy McClenathan (F, 54) St. Petersburg, FL
  3. 3:45:31 ~ Laura McDermott (F, 34) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 3:45:41 ~ Michelle Richards (F, 40) Lake City, FL
  5. 3:54:16 ~ Denise Watson (F, 37) Live Oak, FL
  6. 4:15:33 ~ Robin Dunlap (F, 43) Rowlett, TX
  7. 4:18:07 ~ Kelsey Spangler (F, 19) Jacksonville, FL
  8. 4:29:33 ~ Jairan Duke (F, 39) Gulf breeze, FL
  9. 4:29:38 ~ Cindy Newton (F, 47) St. Petersburg, FL
  10. 4:40:41 ~ Vicki Sue Merry (F, 56) Cantonment, FL

Unlike many marathons, most of the distance runners who make it out to the Youth Ranch are there for the full marathon rather than its half-length sibling. Still, 19 athletes finished the 13.1-mile race in 2014. The fastest of these was Tallahassee master runner Jim Heberle, the winner in 1:43:04. Heberle also won the Youth Ranch Half Marathon in 2011. The second runner across the line was the women's champion, Virginia Edmonds of St. Petersburg, Florida. Master runner Edmonds finished the half marathon in 1:46:24.

Top Nine Men, 2014 Youth Ranch Half-Marathon
  1. 1:43:04 ~ Jim Heberle (M, 56) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 1:47:00 ~ Bobby Sauer (M, 37) Atlanta, GA
  3. 1:55:33 ~ Tony Richards (M, 33) Lake City, FL
  4. 2:06:47 ~ Brian Schmidt (M, 53) Kingsland, GA
  5. 2:10:39 ~ Sid Whittlinger (M, 64) Covington, GA
  6. 2:16:14 ~ Donald Baker (M, 56) Live Oak, FL
  7. 2:36:26 ~ Harry Howell (M, 59) Gainesville, FL
  8. 2:44:31 ~ Chester Kalb II (M, 68) Key West, FL
  9. 3:00:17 ~ Thomas Heller (M, 49) Orlando, FL

Top Ten Women, 2014 Youth Ranch Half-Marathon
  1. 1:46:24 ~ Virginia Edmonds (F, 47) Saint Petersburg, FL
  2. 1:48:43 ~ Faith Westdyk (F, 23) Pompton Plains, NJ
  3. 1:58:23 ~ Shelby Conklin (F, 40) Lake City, FL
  4. 2:15:34 ~ Dawn Koval (F, 36) St. Augustine, FL
  5. 2:19:41 ~ Tammy McGinnes (F, 45) Bronson, FL
  6. 2:27:56 ~ Amy Marts (F, 37) Lake City, FL
  7. 2:30:55 ~ Farahlyn Howard (F, 33) Gainesville, FL
  8. 2:53:38 ~ Michelle Dusseau (F, 40) Winter Park, FL
  9. 3:00:16 ~ Sally Smith (F, 48) Crestview, FL
  10. 3:01:04 ~ Gayle Connors (F, 48) Callaway, FL

Florida Boys Ranch Marathon champions, 2010-2014
14 March 2010Marathon3:25:07, Dave Carver3:48:52, Julia Keevey6
Half1:48:55, Bobby Sauer1:59:15, Catherine Burke6
13 March 2011Marathon2:51:17, Jack McDermott3:48:06, Laura McDermott28
Half1:37:20, Jim Heberle2:01:59, Ericka Wright25
11 March 2012Marathon3:13:54, Troy Mitchell3:30:56, Kay Evans36
Half1:47:47, Bobby Sauer1:48:21, Marisa Rea25
10 March 2013Marathon2:49:19, Roger Schmidt3:13:19, Anna Komitov46
Half1:37:14, Jay Silvanima1:41:34, Denise Watson32
9 March 2014Marathon3:03:36, Richard Purcell3:34:59, Loni Smith37
Half1:43:04, Jim Heberle1:46:24, Virginia Edmonds19


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