Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lin and O'Neill find the Nene to victory

Nene Fest 5KWhen I was seven years old my family moved from Illinois to Tallahassee. For our first few months in Florida, we lived near Indianhead Acres. There were a lot of small culture shocks for a seven-year-old. There were no sidewalks, or storm sewers. The streets weren't laid out in blocks. They weren't called streets, either, for the most part. Everywhere I had lived up to then had been on a Street or an Avenue; Tallahassee was full of Roads, Drives, and Ways. Indianhead Acres in particular was full of Nenes.

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
  1. 18:24 ~ Reikan Lin (M, 24)Reikan Lin
  2. 19:10 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 36)
  3. 20:23 ~ Michael Kennett (M, 40)
  4. 20:59 ~ Shane Varn (M, 25)
  5. 22:07 ~ Mike Cipriano (M, 56)
  6. 22:16 ~ John McManus (M, 29)
  7. 22:49 ~ Patrick Koon (M, 8)
  8. 23:41 ~ Mike Baker (M, 45)
  9. 24:01 ~ Jimmy Sauls (M, 34)
  10. 24:05 ~ Thomas Biance (M, 33)

Top Ten Women, 2014 Nene Fest 5K
  1. 22:02 ~ Paula O' Neill (F, 52)Paula O'Neill
  2. 22:18 ~ Mary Vancore (F, 50)
  3. 24:06 ~ Kendra Forehand (F, 17)
  4. 24:16 ~ Jennifer Hall (F, 40)
  5. 24:54 ~ Martha Bademan (F, 29)
  6. 25:27 ~ Cindi Goodman (F, 50)
  7. 26:23 ~ Heather Kelly (F, 35)
  8. 27:28 ~ Lisa Chapman (F, 27)
  9. 28:08 ~ Adrienne Ruhl (F, 33)
  10. 29:17 ~ Ronnie Moore (F, 40)