Monday, June 16, 2014

Clift and Cox are first in the third annual 5K at Fifth

Bill CliftThe 5K at Fifth was a September race during its first two years, 2012 and 2013. This year though, the race switched to 14 June 2014. The earlier date didn’t seem unpopular; more athletes than ever showed up for the third annual edition of the 5K at Fifth. The date had to have been especially popular with Bill Clift, who won the race in 17:39. Other fans must have included top master Bill McNulty, two-time women’s winner Renee Cox, and the first woman master Paula O’Neill.

Bill Clift, Caleb CarmichaelThe race started just after 8:00 AM, heading east from Midtown on Ingleside Avenue. That first kilometer on Ingleside was a roller-coaster of small hills. That wasn’t a large roller coaster, though; just carnival sized. The full scale, theme park roller coaster came in the middle of the race, with a huge descent on Crestview Avenue to Winthrop Park and a climb back up again.

Caleb Carmichael, a Florida High alumnus and the head cross-country coach at the University of West Florida, led for most of the first half of the race. While Carmichael escaped the rest of the field, though, he couldn’t shake Bill Clift. Clift, formerly a distance runner at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, met whatever pace Carmichael set along Ingleside then down Crestview. After that, Clift took over.

2014 5K At Fifth“He separated down by Winthrop Park, then pushed before the uphill,” recalled Carmichael. “He didn’t make any more ground after that, but he was already ahead.”

Clift stayed ahead as he pushed for home, heading back east on Beard Street. He crossed the finish line on East Fifth Avenue with a winning time of 17:39. Carmichael was second in 18:04.

Duane Evans, Bill McNultyBill McNulty was the first master runner in the field, placing third in 19:48, just a fraction of a second ahead of Crawfordville master runner Duane Evans. McNulty and Evans had raced closely throughout the race, moving up through the field and shaking off an early challenge by master runner Mike Kreis. Sometimes Evans had been ahead of McNulty; sometimes McNulty had been ahead of Evans. At the Fifth Avenue finish line, though, McNulty was a step faster. Mike Kreis was fifth in 20:12.

Renee CoxRenee Cox, the 5K at Fifth women's champ in 2013, was on the starting line of the 2014 race. However, in the early going, it was Jillian Heddeaeus who was the pacesetter for the women's field. Heddaeus was actually third overall and running strong when the the runners turned off Ingleside to head down Crestview, a kilometer into the race. Cox was a good twenty meters back at that turn.

“I didn’t think I was going to get her,” said Cox.

Jillian HeddaeusCox did overtake Heddaeus, though, just before three kilometers. Shannon Colavecchio went by Heddaeus later in the race, but Colavecchio wasn’t going to catch Cox. Cox successfully defended her women’s title, coming in seventh overall in 20:21. Colavecchio was the women’s runner-up, twelfth overall in 21:07. Heddaeus was third in the women’s standings, finishing 15th overall in 21:29. Paula O’Neill was the fourth woman finisher and first woman master, placing 19th overall in 23:36.

Nearly 150 athletes finished the race, a benefit for Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center and the Leon High School Volleyball team.

Top Ten Men, 2014 5K at Fifth
  1. 17:38.91 ~ Bill Clift (M, 24)Mike Kreis
  2. 18:03.37 ~ Caleb Carmichael (M, 29)
  3. 19:47.27 ~ Bill McNulty (M, 55)
  4. 19:47.64 ~ Duane Evans (M, 46)
  5. 20:11.90 ~ Mike Kreis (M, 49)
  6. 20:18.63 ~ Cory Gerbrandt (M, 37)
  7. 20:58.29 ~ Mike LaBossiere (M, 48)
  8. 21:04.43 ~ Shane Varn (M, 25)
  9. 21:05.72 ~ James Ford (M, 13)
  10. 21:06.27 ~ Jeremy Kuder (M, 19)

Top Ten Women, 2014 5K at Fifth
  1. 20:20.28 ~ Renee Cox (F, 27)Shannon Colavecchio
  2. 21:06.82 ~ Shannon Colavecchio (F, 36)
  3. 21:28.97 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 31)
  4. 23:35.61 ~ Paula O'Neill (F,
  5. 23:49.30 ~ Allison Carter (F, 37)
  6. 24:34.39 ~ Martha Bademan (F, 29)
  7. 24:53.22 ~
  8. 24:56.82 ~ Kara Brodley (F, 11)
  9. 25:14.19 ~ Mercedes Puig (F, 29)
  10. 25:40.40 ~ Brooke Netherland (F, 17)

5K at Fifth winners, 2012-2014
8 September 2012Unknown. Do you know?
14 September 201320:10, Tom Konrad20:38, Renee Cox116
14 June 201417:39, Bill Clift20:21, Renee Cox145


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