When Indianhead Plantation became Indianhead Acres, the developer decided to give most of the streets Muscogee names. "Nene" is Muscogee for path or trail; close enough to street. So Indianhead Acres is full of road signs reading things like Hokolin Nene, Toochin Nene, and Ostin Nene. It sounds quite exotic, but those names translate as Second Street, Third Street, and Fourth Street.
All those Nenes make Indianhead Acres unique, so when the neighborhood association established a community festival in 2009, they named it Nene Fest. You can't have a proper festival without a road race, so in 2014 the Nene Fest 5K was added to the program of activities. Nene Fest had always been held in Optimist Park, the start and finish of the Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival 5K in recent years. Why not use the same USATF certified course?
Race director Jessica Kennett made that all happen, and on Saturday morning, 3 May 2014, the inaugural Nene Fest 5K started on East Indianhead Drive--one of the few non-Nenes in Indianhead Acres.
Tallahassee athlete Reikan Lin won the first-year race in 18:24, finishing nearly 200 meters ahead of runner-up Paul Guyas. Tallahassee master runner Michael Kennett was third in 20:23. Shane Varn took fourth in 20:59.
Master runner Paula O'Neill, a teacher at Leon County's Griffin Middle School, was the first woman in the race. O'Neill placed fifth overall in 22:02. Mary Vancore was the second woman finisher, eighth overall in 22:18.
133 athletes registered for either the 5K or the one-mile fun run at the 2014 Nene Fest. The race raised
Top Ten Men, 2014 Nene Fest 5K
- 18:24 ~ Reikan Lin (M, 24)
- 19:10 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 36)
- 20:23 ~ Michael Kennett (M, 40)
- 20:59 ~ Shane Varn (M, 25)
- 22:07 ~ Mike Cipriano (M, 56)
- 22:16 ~ John McManus (M, 29)
- 22:49 ~ Patrick Koon (M, 8)
- 23:41 ~ Mike Baker (M, 45)
- 24:01 ~ Jimmy Sauls (M, 34)
- 24:05 ~ Thomas Biance (M, 33)
Top Ten Women, 2014 Nene Fest 5K
- 22:02 ~ Paula O' Neill (F, 52)
- 22:18 ~ Mary Vancore (F, 50)
- 24:06 ~ Kendra Forehand (F, 17)
- 24:16 ~ Jennifer Hall (F, 40)
- 24:54 ~ Martha Bademan (F, 29)
- 25:27 ~ Cindi Goodman (F, 50)
- 26:23 ~ Heather Kelly (F, 35)
- 27:28 ~ Lisa Chapman (F, 27)
- 28:08 ~ Adrienne Ruhl (F, 33)
- 29:17 ~ Ronnie Moore (F, 40)
- Complete results of the 2014 Nene Fest 5K at gulfwinds.org
- Ansje Burdick's photos of the 2014 Nene Fest 5K and one-mile fun run
- Nene Fest 5K Facebook page
- USATF course certification map FL06045DL for the 2014 Nene Fest 5K
- Indianhead Lehigh Neighborhood Association, hosts of Nene Fest
- Road races, trail races, or nene races--you'll find 'em on the Trouble Afoot! racing calendar