"Mile 2.9 is not a good place to put a hill," said Truchelut.
Yet on Saturday morning, 3 January 2015, that's exactly where the athletes competing in the inaugural Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare For Life 5K had to make the climb past the Ghazvini Center on Surgeons Drive, less than 400 meters from the finish line. And in spite of Truchelut's poor opinion of the slope, that's exactly where he got away from David Altmaier and won the 3.1-mile race, running 18:40.
When the race started at 9:10 AM, the streets around Tallahassee Memorial Hospital were wet from a pre-dawn downpour. Ryan Truchelut led the field south on Medical Drive to Miccosukee Road, where the runners turned east. On Miccosukee David Altmaier overtook Gary Galvez to move into second place. Altmaier remained several steps behind Truchelut through the first two miles, while the two leaders left the rest of the runners farther and farther behind. Then on the third mile, Altmaier started to close.
"The last mile was rough," recalled Truchelut.
Altmaier did his best to make it rough. He was almost even with Truchelut when the two runners turned from Miccosukee onto Surgeons Drive with just over half a kilometer to go. On Surgeons, Altmaier grabbed the lead, getting a few steps ahead of Truchelut 400 meters from the finish. But that was the base of the Surgeons Drive hill. Truchelut regained the lead on the long uphill, then started to open a gap on Altmaier. With just a few yards to go, the runners reached the crest and flashed downhill to the finish line. Truchelut reached home before Altmaier, 18:40 to 18:50. Gary Galvez was third in 19:33. The first male master was Michael Quiggins, sixth overall in 20:31.
"I had a lot of holiday sludge to shake out today," Truchelut said after the race. "It was a good tune up."
Tallahassee lawyer Sheryl Rosen also shined on the final hill of the TMH For Life 5K. In the early going of the women's competition, Rosen held second place, following triathlete Stephanie Liles-Weyant away from the hospital on Miccosukee Road. On the return trip, when the two runners turned onto Surgeons Drive, Liles-Weyant was still a few steps up on Rosen. Rosen had started to move, however. By 400 meters to go she had overtaken Liles-Weyant. After that the hill was the difference. Rosen crested the slope ahead of Liles-Weyant and was the first woman across the finish line, fourth overall in 19:42. Liles-Weyant was the women's runner-up and top master, fifth overall in 19:55.
"I'm trying to get in 5K shape," said Rosen. "I'm trying to get good times at Bowlegs and Run For The Cookies. A faster 5K pace should lead to a faster pace in my half marathon and other longer races."
142 athletes finished the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare For Live 5K. Chip timing was provided by Gulf Winds Track Club.
Top Ten Men, 2015 TMH For Life 5K
- 18:40 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 29)
- 18:50 ~ David Altmaier (M, 33)
- 19:33 ~ Gary Galvez (M, 27)
- 20:31 ~ Michael Quiggins (M, 42)
- 20:56 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 37)
- 21:05 ~ Zack Scharlepp (M, 32)
- 21:26 ~ Spencer Reinhardt (M, 30)
- 22:03 ~ William Carter (M, 50)
- 22:08 ~ Hawthorne Hay (M, 12)
- 22:30 ~ Jim Martin (M, 53)
Top Ten Women, 2015 TMH For Life 5K
- 19:42 ~ Sheryl Rosen (F, 30)
- 19:55 ~ Stephanie Liles-Weyant (F, 42)
- 23:32 ~ Paula O' Neill (F, 53)
- 23:43 ~ Emily Culley (F, 13)
- 24:32 ~ Beth Culley (F, 49)
- 24:42 ~ Isabel Anderson (F, 35)
- 26:05 ~ Erika Follmer (F, 30)
- 27:00 ~ Gracie Lawhon (F, 12)
- 27:19 ~ Connie Clarke (F, 53)
- 27:52 ~ Vaishali Desai (F, 28)
- Complete results of the 2015 TMH For Life 5K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of the 2015 TMH For Life 5K
- Upcoming races with big hills and small in the Tallahassee region on the Trouble Afoot! calendar