For the moment, the oysters are still there, and in 2011 the first annual Oyster Cook-Off was staged in the city of Apalachicola, Florida, to celebrate the town's favorite bivalve. Later, someone realized that the Cook-Off lacked a road race. You can't have a proper festival without a road race, so the first Half Shell Hustle was run in the streets of Apalachicola in 2014. The race returned the following year, and 72 athletes finished the second annual Half Shell Hustle 5K on Saturday morning, 17 January 2015.
Lane Williams was the fastest of them. The Wakulla High senior covered the 3.1-miles through the Apalachicola streets in 18:51. Simon Hodgson, a frosh at Franklin County High, finished runner-up in 20:20. This past fall Hodgson competed on Franklin County's first ever cross country team during their inaugural season.
The first woman and fastest master runner in the race was Christy Phillips of St. Petersburg, Florida, who placed third overall in 21:44. Finishing fourth overall in 21:02 was Press Witt of Apalachicola, the first male master in the race.
Hopefully both the oysters and the Half-Shell Hustle will be around for many years to come.
Top Ten Men, 2015 Half Shell Hustle 5K
- 18:51 ~ Lane Williams (M, 18) Crawfordville, FL
- 20:20 ~ Simon Hodgson (M, 15) St. George Island, FL
- 23:02 ~ Press Witt (M, 56) Apalachicola, FL
- 23:04 ~ David Sutton (M, 45) Apalachicola, FL
- 23:10 ~ Johnny Jones (M, 11) Portland, TN
- 23:56 ~ Bill Bushue (M, 63) Port St. Joe, FL
- 25:42 ~ Eric Edwards (M, 36) Panama City, FL
- 25:49 ~ Nick Yonclas (M, 71) St. George Island, FL
- 28:26 ~ Tom Fee (M, 55) Atlanta, GA
- 29:03 ~ Colin Amison (M, 11) Apalachicola, FL
Top Ten Women, 2015 Half Shell Hustle 5K
- 21:44 ~ Christy Phillips (F, 52) St. Petersburg, FL
- 23:05 ~ Eden Keene (F, 32) Ft. Rucker, AL
- 23:18 ~ Colleen Edwards (F, 27) Panama City, FL
- 23:24 ~ Denise Skinner (F, 59) Sarasota, FL
- 24:41 ~ Lorenza De La Garza (F, 29) Blacksburg, VA
- 25:02 ~ Genee Heinke (F, 46) Apalachicola, FL
- 25:47 ~ Liz Fee (F, 55) Smyrna, GA
- 28:16 ~ Elizabeth Camarata (F, 30) Register, NY
- 29:15 ~ Susan Daniels (F, 52) Clearwater, FL
- 30:04 ~ Mary Stutzman (F, 66) Tallahassee, FL
- Complete results of the 2015 Half Shell Hustle 5K at gulfwinds.org
- Course map, 2015 Half Shell Hustle 5K
- Apalachicola Oyster Cook Off
- Find another upcoming race celebrating raw bivalves on the Trouble Afoot! calendar