Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lake and Atkinson salute Prefontaine with speed

Chris LakeGulf Winds Track Club staged their 39th annual "Salute to Prefontaine" 5K on Saturday morning, 27 September 2014, just west of Tallahassee at Silver Lake Recreation Area in the Apalachicola National Forest. The event isn't your typical memorial to Steve Prefontaine.

The distance runner Steve Prefontaine wasn't a native son of Eugene, Oregon, but the city couldn't have loved him more if he had been. After his untimely death in 1975, Prefontaine's friends and fans worked to construct "Pre's Trail." The trail opened in Fall of 1975, just months after Prefontaine died. It was the kind of path that he had seen while competing in Europe--smooth, wide, and surfaced with bark and other natural materials. Pre's Trail averages eight feet wide, spacious enough for cross-country meets and community races. Volunteers keep the vegetation trimmed back from the trail.

A year after Pre's Trail opened, the first Salute to Prefontaine 5K was run in Tallahassee. The course has changed over the years, but it has been always been on paths, jeep trails, and forest roads surfaced with loose sand and other natural materials, but mostly loose sand. The course may actually be a maximum of eight feet wide in some spots, but I'd have to think hard to be able to name those spots. Before the race, volunteers drag sticks and logs out of the woods and onto the course.

Cora AtkinsonIt's a hypothetical question as to which memorial Steve Prefontaine would consider more fitting. Maybe they're equally appropriate in that they're both vehicles by which people express their love for running. Which is a nice thought, but my preference would still be for the memorial where I'd be less likely to trip, fall down, and hurt myself.

More than 300 runners showed up in the Forest were less timid on the trails, though, and showed up for the 2014 Salute to Prefontaine, over 180 in an open 5K and the rest in a later high school 5K race. So many showed up that the line into the Silver Lake Recreation Area got backed up, and the 8:30 AM start had to be delayed by 15 minutes. But the race did start, and Chris Lake bolted to the front of the field. Vince Molosky tucked in behind Lake, managing to stay on his heels until right before the halfway point, when Lake started to open a gap. Meanwhile, Patrick Dawson of the Shaw's Running Team was closing in on Molosky. During the second half of the race Dawson moved into second, but couldn't break contact with Molosky. Nate Kaiser closed in, also challenging for second place.

Patrick DawsonChris Lake raced home to win in 17:43. Patrick Dawson held off a late charge from Vince Molosky to hang on to second, 17:55 to 17:56. Nate Kaiser was close behind them in fourth at 17:59. In a tight race for the top master spot, Michael Martinez edged out Philip Sura 20:24 to 20:26, the two master runners finishing seventh and eighth overall.

Renee Cox led the women's field almost from the start of the race, but Cora Atkinson always had Cox in her sights. A Life University cross-country runner, Atkinson closed on Cox during the second half of the race. With 200 meters to go, Atkinson was on Cox's shoulder, with Cox fighting to stay ahead. Atkinson flashed by, though, taking the women's title with a 22:30, finishing 29th overall. Cox was the women's runner-up, coming in 30th overall in 22:33. Anna Busby, the previous week's Women's Distance Festival 5K champion, was third in the women's standings, 35th overall in 22:59. Paula O'Neill was the fourth woman finisher and first woman master, 52nd overall in 24:36.

Top Ten Men, 2014 Salute to Prefontaine 5K
  1. 17:43 ~ Chris Lake (M, 27)Vince Molosky
  2. 17:55 ~ Patrick Dawson (M, 23)
  3. 17:56 ~ Vince Molosky (M, 35)
  4. 17:59 ~ Nate Kaiser (M, 35)
  5. 18:48 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 30)
  6. 20:18 ~ Brian Molen (M, 38)
  7. 20:24 ~ Michael Martinez (M, 48)
  8. 20:26 ~ Philip Sura (M, 44)
  9. 20:29 ~ Charles Kemeny (M, 39)
  10. 20:45 ~ Tim Unger (M, 55)

Top Ten Women, 2014 Salute to Prefontaine 5K
  1. 22:30 ~ Cora Atkinson (F, 20)Renee Cox
  2. 22:33 ~ Renee Cox (F, 27)
  3. 22:59 ~ Anna Busby (F, 24)
  4. 24:36 ~ Paula O' Neill (F, 53)
  5. 24:42 ~ Mary Vancore (F, 51)
  6. 24:49 ~ Lilli Unger (F, 12)
  7. 25:03 ~ Amy McClenathan (F, 54)
  8. 25:29 ~ Nancy Stedman (F, 52)
  9. 25:37 ~ Emily Ness (F, 24)
  10. 25:41 ~ Jennifer Shafer (F, 46)

Known winners of GWTC's Prefontaine Forest 5K
25 September 197615:43, Tim Simpkins19:20, Nancy McCormac
September 197715:35, Tim Simpkins19:00, Janice Gage
23 September 1978

September 1979

20 September 198017:17, George West20:52, Donna Miller
September 198118:20, Shannon Sullivan22:27, Pam Ledbetter
September 1982

24 September 198317:17, Jeff Doherty20:36, Donna Miller
September 198417:11, Larry Abele20:43, Barbara Balzer
September 198516:51, Tim Simpkins20:40, Darien Andreu
27 September 198617:20, Tim Simpkins22:14, Laura Partin
12 September 198717:33, Tom Burr21:20, Linda Nicholson
24 September 198817:38, Tom Burr22:23, Yvonne Gsteiger
23 September 198917:25, Tim Simpkins21:30, Vikki Saga
22 September 199017:12, Bill Crooks22:23, Tina Davies
22 September 199117:54, Gary Droze24:48, Tina Davies
19 September 199218:29, Gary Droze22:05, Diane Blas
18 September 199317:58, Tim Simpkins24:16, Sissi Carroll
17 September 199417:00, Gary Droze21:16, Carrie Weyant
30 September 199517:12, Gary Droze22:56, Sissi Carroll
28 September 199619:18, Gary Droze22:56, Jane Johnson
27 September 199718:50, Bill Crooks23:07, Julie Clark
26 September 199819:26, Paul Hoover24:44, Peggy Simpson
25 September 199917:56, Gary Droze24:13, Brandi Rook
30 September 200017:49, Gary Droze22:17, Allie Hunter
29 September 200119:37, Scott Poindexter22:17, Allie Hunter
5 October 200222:17, David Yon25:47, Yvonne Gsteiger
27 September 200318:35, Shawn Patterson23:49, Angela Dempsey
25 September 200417:43, Gary Droze22:46, Seeley Lovett
24 September 200518:13, Gary Droze24:06, Jane Johnson
23 September 200617:24, Gary Droze19:59, Stephanie Liles
29 September 200717:29, Chris Gregory20:26, Micah Adriani
27 September 200818:16, Daniel Lee21:10, Kati Gosnell
26 September 200920:28, Joel Piotrowski21:20, Micah Adriani
25 September 201018:53, Jay Wallace22:17, Kelly Stevens
24 September 201119:08, Michael Martinez22:31, Olivia Swedberg Yinger
22 September 201217:18, Stanley Linton20:58, Micah Adriani
21 September 201316:27, Stanley Linton23:34, Melissa Geary
27 September 201417:43, Chris Lake22:30, Cora Atkinson


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