"I was intrigued by the kid who took it out," recounted DeVeau. "He ran the first half mile in front of me and Gary. After the race he told me he had run for Lemon Bay."
After the first 800 meters, though, DeVeau didn't see much of Lemon Bay High alumnus James Harrison. Overtaking Harrison, DeVeau had the lead to himself for the last four kilometers of the five-kilometer race around Florida State University's Tallahassee campus. He crossed the finish line in front of the FSU College of Medicine in 17:01, a new Education For Life 5K record, breaking the 17:16 mark set by Tim Wenger in 2013. Just over halfway through the race, Maclay School coach Gary Droze also caught Harrison. Droze went on to finish runner-up in 17:26, the first master runner in the Education For Life 5K. Harrison placed third in 18:05. Tallahassee master runner Mike Peymann was fourth in 18:52.
One of the finish line volunteers was kind enough to help me get the names of the top runners after the Education For Life 5K. He read off the name of the fifth-place finisher and first woman in the race: "Katie Sherron."
"That's Dr. Katie Sherron," I offered. "She's an economics professor here."
"Oh, I know," said the student. "I've got her course next semester. I'm an Econ major."
Forget about any possible conflict of interest at the finish line, though; Sherron didn't need it. The first three women in the field were running together in the early going, with Renee Cox setting the pace for Swift Creek Middle School distance runner Alyson Churchill and Katie Sherron. After that though, Sherron took charge. By the three kilometer mark the professor was 40 meters ahead of Churchill with Cox another 20 meters back. Sherron widened the gap on the way to the College of Medicine, reaching the finish line there in 19:25, just edging out the women's course record of 19:26 set by Lisa Johnson the previous year. Churchill was second in the women's standings, coming in seventh overall in 19:53. Cox was the third woman finisher, eleventh overall in 20:39. 22nd overall in 21:48, Heather Streeval was the top female master runner.
"Was that your first 5K under 20:00 minutes?" I asked Churchill.
"Yes!" smiled the seventh-grader.
The Education For Life 5K is a fundraiser for the Southern Scholarship Foundation, and the residents of the Southern Scholarship Houses on the Florida State University campus spare no effort in making the runners feel appreciated. The course map shows the location of no less than 16 "cheering sections" along the way, staffed by volunteers from the SSF houses. If you ever race the Boston Marathon then you may be cheered by more spectators along the way than at Tallahassee's Education For Life 5K, but they won't be any more enthusiastic. The yelling, chanting, and sign-waving are like no other race in Tallahassee, and that's even before you consider the guy playing the theme from "Rocky" on his trumpet.
Top Ten Men, 2015 Education For Life 5K
- 17:01 ~ Zach DeVeau (M, 27)
- 17:26 ~ Gary Droze (M, 53)
- 18:05 ~ James Harrison (M, 19)
- 18:52 ~ Mike Peymann (M, 52)
- 19:23 ~ Duane Evans (M, 47)
- 20:19 ~ Michael Lynch (M, 48)
- 20:30 ~ Levi Streeval (M, 11)
- 20:32 ~ David Knauf (M, 50)
- 20:45 ~ Zack Scharlepp (M, 32)
- 20:48 ~ Justin Zagra (M, 19)
Top Ten Women, 2015 Education For Life 5K
- 19:25 ~ Katie Sherron (F, 33)
- 19:53 ~ Alyson Churchill (F, 12)
- 20:39 ~ Renee Cox (F, 27)
- 20:54 ~ Megan Churchill (F, 12)
- 21:15 ~ Madison Harris (F, 19)
- 21:48 ~ Heather Streeval (F, 41)
- 22:40 ~ Paula O'Neill (F, 53)
- 22:59 ~ Margaret Wiedeman (F, 19)
- 24:19 ~ Bonnie Joyce (F, 22)
- 24:22 ~ Cara Fowler (F, 51)
|Education For Life 5K champions, 2010 - 2015|
|24 April 2010||18:18, Brian Corbin||21:01, Maegan McCarthy||203|
|10 April 2011||19:17, Ben Wenger||21:57, Allison Williams||122|
|21 April 2012||18:05, Aaron DeSena||21:32, Sarah Collie||180|
|23 March 2013||17:16, Tim Wenger||21:46, Andrea Psimer||175|
|22 March 2014||18:12, Mickey Moore||19:26, Lisa Johnson||161|
|21 March 2015||17:01, Zach DeVeau||19:25, Katie Sherron||168|
- Complete results of the 2015 Education For Life 5K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of the 2015 Education For Life 5K
- Fred Deckert's photos of the 2015 Education For Life 5K
- 2014 story, “Moore wins and Johnson sets record at Education For Life 5K”
- 2013 story, “Wenger, Psimer speed through FSU to win Education For Life 5K”
- 2012 story, “DeSena and Collie teach 180 runners a lesson at Education For Life 5K”
- 2011 story, “Winger and Williams wallop the field at Education For Life 5K”
- 2010 story, “Kudos for Corbin and McCarthy at 'Education For Life' 5K”
- Upcoming races in the Tallahassee region, with and without cheerleaders