But the summer shower was gone as abruptly as it had started, and a slight soaking didn't prevent 173 athletes from finishing the race. Zach DeVeau certainly wasn't affected; the 27-year-old Tallahassee runner won the race in 17:36, just seconds off of Stanley Linton's 2013 course record of 17:33. Nor did the brief shower impair the performance of Florida State University economics professor Katie Sherron, who won women's title in 19:51, the fastest time by a female athlete in the three-year history of the Freedom 5K.
Recent Wakulla High graduate Travis Parks set the early pace, leading the field through Wakulla Springs State Park and across Wakulla Springs Road to the Cherokee Sink Trail. On the trail, about half a kilometer into the race, Zach DeVeau and Peter Kaus took charge of the race as Parks faded back into the field, eventually finishing ninth. DeVeau wouldn't have company for long.
"I left Pete behind at about half a mile," said DeVeau.
Reaching Cherokee Sink, the runners navigated a short loop then started back toward Wakulla Springs. DeVeau was out front the entire time, building up a lead of over 200 meters on his way to a winning time of 17:36. Tallahassee master runner Michael Martinez caught Peter Kaus to take second in 18:27, the fastest time ever by a master runner in the Freedom 5K. Kaus outfought master runner Jay Wallace for third place, 18:38 to 18:40. Another master runner, Myles Gibson of Donalsonville, Georgia, was fifth in 18:50.
Each runner in the top ten ran faster than the previous year's winning time of 19:23, but the course was in exceptional shape for the 2015 race. "I liked the course a lot," said women's winner Katie Sherron. "The rain really settled the sand."
Sherron wasn't the only one to notice that a Friday rainstorm had firmed up the surface of the Cherokee Sink Trail, but she certainly took advantage of it. Sherron led the women's field for nearly the entire race, coming in nearly 400 meters ahead of the next female finisher. Her 19:51 took 21 seconds off the women's course record of 20:12, set in the 2014 Freedom 5K by Florida State University distance runner Madison Harris. Life University cross country runner Cora Atkinson was second in the women's standings, placing 24th overall in 21:29. Tallahassee runner Jillian Heddaeus had shadowed Sherron in the early going of the race but ended up as the third woman finisher, 28th overall in 21:42. Margaret Wiedeman, a cross country runner at Chipola College, was fourth on the women's side, 36th overall in 22:41. At 23:55 Tallahassee realtor Nancy Stedman was the first woman master in the race, the seventh female finisher and 49th overall.
The Freedom Run 5K and one-mile fun run were produced by Wakulla High School Cross-Country Boosters as a benefit for the team. Chip timing of the race was provided by Gulf Winds Track Club of Tallahassee.
Top Ten Men, 2015 Freedom 5K
- 17:36 ~ Zach Deveau (M, 27)
- 18:27 ~ Michael Martinez (M, 49)
- 18:38 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 31)
- 18:40 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 50)
- 18:50 ~ Myles Gibson (M, 49)
- 18:52 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 37)
- 18:57 ~ Lane Williams (M, 19)
- 19:10 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 29)
- 19:12 ~ Travis Parks (M, 19)
- 19:16 ~ Joel Piotrowski (M, 45)
Top Ten Women, 2015 Freedom 5K
- 19:51 ~ Katie Sherron (F, 33)
- 21:29 ~ Cora Atkinson (F, 21)
- 21:42 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 32)
- 22:41 ~ Margaret Wiedeman (F, 19)
- 23:41 ~ Emily Smith (F, 30)
- 23:45 ~ Lydia Wiedeman (F, 18)
- 23:55 ~ Nancy Stedman (F, 53)
- 24:15 ~ Jena Mickel (F, 30)
- 24:33 ~ Kory Skrob (F, 44)
- 24:37 ~ Kenya Rich (F, 42)
|Freedom 5K winners, 2013 - 2015|
|29 June 2013||17:33, Stanley Linton||21:12, Madison Harris||107|
|28 June 2014||19:23, Reikan Lin||20:12, Madison Harris||82|
|27 June 2015||17:36, Zack DeVeau||19:51, Katie Sherron||173|
- Complete results of the Wakulla HS Cross-Country Boosters' 2015 Freedom 5K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of the Wakulla HS Cross-Country Boosters' 2015 Freedom 5K
- Fred Deckert's photos of the Wakulla HS Cross-Country Boosters' 2015 Freedom 5K
- 2014 story, “Lin and Harris post Freedom 5K wins”
- 2013 story, “Linton and Harris break loose at Freedom 5K”
- Find another upcoming race supporting scholastic cross country on the Trouble Afoot! calendar