"That guy" was Tyler Udland, who had just beaten Lake and more than 1300 other runners to the finish line of Gulf Winds Track Club's 41st annual Palace Saloon 5K on Saturday morning, 11 April 2015. Udland, a graduate student in finance at Florida State University, covered the 3.1 miles from Messer Park to the Palace Saloon in 15:29. Lake, a three-time champion at the race, finished third in 16:22 behind Udland and Stephen Robbins. Robbins, a senior at Saratoga Springs Westlake High in Utah, ran 16:19.
It was calm and overcast when the race started at 8:00 AM near Messer Park, heading west on Jackson Bluff Road. The runners turned south onto Appleyard Drive, then east toward the one-mile mark on Municipal Way. Tyler Udland was leading when he reached the mile mark in 5:03.
"I was just trying to run even splits," said Udland. "I kind of wanted to stay with the leaders. I've only been able to train the last three weeks, I had been injured before that."
Chris Lake was still just a few steps behind Udland at the mile, with Stephen Robbins, Nate Kaiser, and master runner Geb Kiros another four seconds back. On the second mile, though, Udland began to open a gap.
"He just really took off about a mile and a half," recalled Lake.
Now headed east on Jackson Bluff Road, Udland passed the two-mile mark in about 10:08, a little behind pace for his goal of 15:30, but well ahead of Lake and the rest of the field. Lake was still holding second place, but Robbins and Kaiser were starting to close in. Half a mile later Udland crested Michelob Ridge first, his lead longer than ever with the finish line in view at the bottom of a half mile of downhill running. Kaiser, Lake, and Robbins reached the top of the ridge in a group, setting up a fight for second place on the long, downhill finish.
Udland had been eight seconds slower than 15:30 pace at the two-mile mark, but he more than made up that deficit during the charge down the slope of Michelob Ridge toward Budweiser Creek and the Palace Saloon. The other runners were still on the far side of the creek when Udland crossed the finish line with the win. In the last 20 years only Nick Sunseri had run faster at the Palace; Sunseri won the 2008 race in 15:25. Robbins fought past Lake and Kaiser to take second in 16:19, while Lake held off Kaiser 16:22 to 16:24 for third. Maclay School's Clay Milford, the reigning middle school state cross-country champion, edged Roger Schmidt for fifth, 16:51 to 16:52. Bryan Koon was the top master runner in the race, placing seventh overall in 16:59.
The 2015 Palace Saloon 5K was Tyler Udland's first appearance on the Tallahassee roads. Until the autumn of 2014 Udland had been in New Jersey, competing for Milburn High and Princeton University. After earning an undergraduate degree at Princeton, he was looking for a place to do graduate studies in finance. Udland decided on Florida State.
"I had a season of cross-country eligibility left, so I ran for the Seminoles in the fall," said Udland. "Now I'm just helping with the team, driving the van and stuff."
Apparently "stuff" includes winning the oldest 5000-meter road race in Tallahassee while wearing Seminole colors.
"Training is amazing here," said Udland. "I'm not surprised at the number of trails here, but I was surprised at how good all the trails are."
The women's leaders, Sheryl Rosen and Lauren Poulos, were side by side as they raced on Municipal Way past the mile mark. Rosen had won the women's title at the 2013 Palace Saloon 5K. Poulos (nee Kolakowski), a former distance runner at Florida State University, had run the race in 2009 and 2011, but had never finished better than third in the women's standings. During the second half of the 2015 Palace, though, Poulos ran away from Rosen, building up a lead of more than 100 meters. Poulos finished the race in 17:54, winning the women's crown and placing 19th overall. Rosen was the women's runner-up in 18:24, coming in 26th overall. FSU graduate student Katie Gorman was the third woman finisher, 30th overall in 18:35. Katie Sherron, a Florida State economics professor, was fourth in the women's standings, 33rd overall in 18:40. Adriana Piekarewicz placed fifth among the women, coming in 43rd overall in 19:20. The top woman master and sixth female finisher was Tallahassee triathlete Stephanie Liles-Weyant, 57th overall in 19:57.
1314 athletes finished the 41st annual Palace Saloon 5K, the third year in a row that more than 1300 covered the 3.1-mile route. Not coincidentally, it's the third year in a row that Mike Burns has directed the race for the Gulf Winds Track Club. Look for the 42nd Palace Saloon 5,000-meter road race on 16 April 2016.
Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Palace Saloon 5K
- 15:29 ~ Tyler Udland (M, 23) Short Hills, NJ
- 16:19 ~ Stephen Robbins (M, 18) American Fork, UT
- 16:22 ~ Chris Lake (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL
- 16:24 ~ Nate Kaiser (M, 35) Tallahassee, FL
- 16:51 ~ Clay Milford (M, 15) Tallahassee, FL
- 16:52 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 23) Tallahassee, FL
- 16:59 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL
- 17:06 ~ Jake Mazziotta (M, 16) Tallahassee, FL
- 17:09 ~ James McClure (M, 15) Tallahassee, FL
- 17:10 ~ Dan Baur (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Palace Saloon 5K
- 17:54 ~ Lauren Poulos (F, 29) Tallahassee, FL
- 18:24 ~ Sheryl Rosen (F, 30) Tallahassee, FL
- 18:35 ~ Katie Gorman (F, 23) Tallahassee, FL
- 18:40 ~ Katie Sherron (F, 33) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:17 ~ Adriana Piekarewicz (F, 26) Tallahassee, FL
- 19:57 ~ Stephanie Liles-Weyant (F, 42) Tallahassee, FL
- 20:05 ~ Renee Cox (F, 27) Tallahassee, FL
- 20:14 ~ Marisa Abegg (F, 28) Lake Oswego, OR
- 20:24 ~ Alese Autore (F, 37) Tallahassee, FL
- 21:03 ~ Kathleen Whitworth (F, 17) Tallahassee, FL
|41 Years of Palace Saloon 5K Champions, 1975 - 2015|
|11 April 2015||15:29, Tyler Udland||17:54, Lauren Poulos||1314|
|12 April 2014||15:52, Chris Lake||17:45, Amy Hines||1303|
|20 April 2013||15:46, Stanley Linton||17:49, Sheryl Rosen||1389|
|14 April 2012||16:07, Josh Myers||17:20, Lindsay Zeiler||1190|
|16 April 2011||15:48, Chris Lake||18:24, Lindsay Zeiler||1064|
|10 April 2010||15:45, Chris Lake||17:42, Christina Woytalewicz||1214|
|11 April 2009||16:21, John Robida||18:11, Lisa Johnson||1022|
|12 April 2008||15:25, Nick Sunseri||18:46, Lisa Johnson||782|
|14 April 2007||16:12, J. P. Cook||17:14, Breeda Willis||537|
|15 April 2006||16:04, Justin Cross||18:33, Stephanie Liles||456|
|16 April 2005||16:06, Lee Willis||16:31, Breeda Willis||318|
|10 April 2004||16:39, Shawn Patterson||18:29, Breeda Willis||299|
|12 April 2003||16:26, Martin Littlefield||19:21, Tricia Snyder||257|
|13 April 2002||17:22, Chris Stanley||21:03, Allison Eagen||189|
|14 April 2001||16:51, Art Remillard||19:05, Kate Wallace||219|
|15 April 2000||15:39, Paul Spangler||17:19, Anna Pichrtova||217|
|17 April 1999||15:45, Robert Pautienus||17:22, Sarah Docter-Williams||261|
|18 April 1998||16:18, Jason Carter||17:29, Sarah Docter-Williams||238|
|19 April 1997||15:53, Gary Droze||17:37, Sarah Docter-Williams||169|
|6 April 1996||15:55, Gary Droze||17:59, Jane Johnson||134|
|8 April 1995||16:01, Tim Simpkins||17:48, Jane Johnson||188|
|2 April 1994||14:56, Robin Rogers||17:51, Lisa Herman||252|
|3 April 1993||15:30, Andy Palmer||19:37, Carrie Hunnicutt||270|
|11 April 1992||15:48, Gary Droze||17:45, Paula Johnson||?|
|13 April 1991||15:10, Gary Droze||18:20, Vikki Saga||371|
|14 April 1990||14:57, David Keen||18:38, Vikki Saga|
|15 April 1989||15:23, Rick Miller||19:05, Yvonne Gsteiger|
|9 April 1988||15:30, Rick Miller||17:55, Karen MacHarg|
|11 April 1987||15:03, Jacob Hoesly||17:33, Karen MacHarg|
|12 April 1986||14:36, Paul Waldron||18:44, Paige Dempsey|
|9 March 1985||15:39, Rick Miller||17:52, Margaret Coomber|
|18 February 1984||15:32, Greg Doss||16:34, Kristy McDermott|
|16 April 1983||14:52, Rick Miller||16:38, Darien Andreu|
|20 March 1982||?????||?????|
|21 March 1981||15:02, Dennis Lunne||18:16, Janice Gage|
|8 March 1980||14:59, George West||19:37, Marty Graham|
|10 March 1979||14:55, Tom Herron||17:37, Kathy Moore|
|15 January 1977||George West||?????|
|25 February 1978||14:30, George West||17:45, Laura Ledbetter|
|14 August 1976||14:37, George West||18:05, Janice Gage|
|15 November 1975||18:17, David Price||19:56, Janice Gage|
- Complete results of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Palace Saloon 5K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of the 2015 Palace Saloon 5K
- Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10106021320128043.1073742087.5215641&l=7e28b52220
- Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10106024212506693.1073742088.5215641&l=23372db356
- Fred Deckert's photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Palace Saloon 5K
- Part A: https://picasaweb.google.com/112560881455823075870/Palace_15A
- Part B: https://picasaweb.google.com/112560881455823075870/Palace_15B
- 2014 story, “Lake and Hines rule at the 40th annual Palace”
- 2013 story, “Linton and Rosen lead a record crowd to the Palace Saloon”
- 2012 story, “Myers, Zeiler win the Battle of Jackson Bluff at Palace Saloon 5K”
- 2011 story, “Lake grabs his second Palace win, Zeiler her first”
- 2010 story, “Lake, Woytalewicz run into Palace Saloon 5K history”
- 2009 story, “Robida outruns a thousand to win the Palace Saloon 5K”
- 2013 Palace Saloon 5K USATF course certification map FL13028EBM
- Palace Saloon 5K website
- The Palace Saloon 5K on Facebook
- A huge list of upcoming races, but none like the Palace Saloon 5K