Saturday, January 16, 2016

Charlie Johnson outlasts Roger Schmidt in the long run at the GWTC 30K

After an 18.6-mile duel with Roger Schmidt in the Red Hills north of Tallahassee, Charlie Johnson won the 39th annual Gulf Winds Track Club 30K on Saturday morning, 16 January 2016. Johnson ran 1:54:12 to collect his second 30K title; he had also won the event in 2012. Katie Sherron was also a repeat winner in the 30K, taking the women's title for the fourth time in five years and placing eighth overall in 2:16:21.

Charlie Johnson, Roger Schmidt

Since 2006 the 30K has been contested on the north end of the county on Old Centerville and Sunny Hill Roads. The out-and-back course features four kilometers of pavement followed by 22 kilometers on red clay, then concluding with a return to the four paved kilometers. In the years on that course the race has become known for extreme conditions--Cold mornings where patches of ice framed the road, rainy mornings that turned the red clay roads to muddy tracks, churned up by the runners's shoes. 2016 had none of that. Temperature were in the 50s, not too warm and not too cold. The sky was neither clear nor overcast. It had rained the day before, but the roads were neither dusty nor muddy.

"I remember two years ago when it seemed like I had to walk half the race because of the mud," said Katie Sherron. "I was worried because of the rain, but it really dried out. It was perfect."

The start

There was certainly little to complain about when the runners set out from Bradley's Pond just after 8:00 AM, the entries in the 30K together with those in a shorter 15K race. Right after the start, Charlie Johnson was leading the 30K field.

"He went out the first four miles a little hot," recalled Roger Schmidt. "I caught up with him just past the turnaround for the 15K."

From the 8K mark to the 20K mark Johnson and Schmidt raced side by side, gradually quickening the pace.

Charlie Johnson

"Roger and I were running together," said Johnson. "We were talking during the race about how we were both trying to do negative splits. Right after that I put the hammer down."

With less than ten kilometers to go, Johnson opened up a gap. Schmidt tried to stay with him.

"Charlie is a master at the aid stations, taking four to eight seconds walking through, getting his fluids, and getting back on the course," said Schmidt. "I skipped two stations trying to make ground on him, but I couldn't catch him. Once he hit the asphalt he really opened up."

Back on the pavement for the end of the race, Johnson expanded his lead to over 200 meters. He was the first back to Bradley's Pond and the finish line, running 1:54:12. Schmidt was second in 1:55:02. Tony Guillen was the top master runner in the race, placing third overall in 2:06:10.

Tony Guillen

"It was a perfect race for me," said Johnson. "Four out of five times Roger would have taken it, but it was just one of those days for me."

After winning a 50K race at the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic in December and the Gulf Winds Track Club 30K in January, Charlie Johnson plans to split the difference between the two long races in February.

"I'm training for the Tallahassee Marathon [on 7 February 2016]," said Johnson. "I've probably run the first half of the course four times in training and the second half at least twice."

Johnson had run faster than his 2016 winning time at the GWTC 30K in 2012, but not Katie Sherron.

"This was my best time on the course," said Sherron.

Katie Sherron

Indeed, Sherron ran faster than any of her four previous outings at the GWTC 30K, including the runs that earned her the women's title in 2012, 2013, and 2015. It wasn't speed fueled by competition, either. Sherron's 2:16:21 put her across the finish line more than two miles ahead of the next woman in the race. Charlie Johnson felt like he had to keep looking back during the final miles to see if Roger Schmidt was closing in. Even with a clear line of sight, Sherron would have needed binoculars to spot her rivals.

Angela Wable was the top woman master in the long race, the second female finisher and nineteenth overall in 2:33:44. Master runner April Bentley was third in the women's standing, placing 26th overall in 2:48:22.

Top Ten Men, 2016 Gulf Winds Track Club 30K
  1. 1:54:12 ~ Charlie Johnson (M, 36)Peter Kaus
  2. 1:55:02 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 24)
  3. 2:06:10 ~ Tony Guillen (M, 47)
  4. 2:08:04 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 31)
  5. 2:09:39 ~ Bobby Duggleby (M, 25)
  6. 2:10:33 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
  7. 2:15:26 ~ Eric Godin (M, 31)
  8. 2:17:40 ~ Michael Nesius (M, 31)
  9. 2:19:04 ~ Greg Waddell (M, 49)
  10. 2:24:49 ~ Mark Tombrink (M, 28)

Top Ten Women, 2016 Gulf Winds Track Club 30K
  1. 2:16:21 ~ Katie Sherron (F, 34)Angela Wable
  2. 2:33:44 ~ Angela Wable (F, 42)
  3. 2:48:22 ~ April Bentley (F, 42)
  4. 2:49:00 ~ Lorien Abbey (F, 48)
  5. 2:49:00 ~ Shannon McNees (F, 45)
  6. 2:50:14 ~ Kelly Garland (F, 44)
  7. 2:50:27 ~ Crystal Douglas (F, 40)
  8. 2:59:54 ~ Sarah Monbarren (F, 30)
  9. 2:59:58 ~ Laura McDermott (F, 36)
  10. 3:00:40 ~ Isabel Anderson (F, 36)

Matt Mizereck

73 athletes finished the GWTC 30K, while another 192 completed the 15K. The fastest of the nearly 200 in the shorter race was Matt Mizereck of Capital City Runners. While on the cross country team at Leon High School, Mizereck had won the 15K in 2007, 2008, and 2010. He hadn't been at the race since that last title, but his return in 2016 was a return to winning. Mizereck went to the front immediately after the start of the race, speeding through the first mile in 5:30. He didn't quite maintain that pace, but Mizereck was never challenged during the 9.3-mile race. He claimed his fourth 15K title with a winning 52:17, averaging about 5:37 per mile. More than half a kilometer back, Leon High junior Matthew Cashin was second in 54:14. Bainbridge High junior Poncherella Leonard took third in 55:24 just ahead of Leon junior Colter Foster, fourth in 55:31.

Adriana Piekarewicz didn't have any history at the 15K, but that didn't prevent her from making some. Finishing more than 1500 meters ahead of the next woman, Piekarewicz placed 13th overall in 1:00:54, winning the women's title. Jillian Heddaeus was women's runner-up in the 15K, coming in 23rd overall in 1:07:50. Leon High junior Zoe Sheldon was third in the women's standings, 26th overall in 1:09:15.

Adriana Piekarewicz

The GWTC 30K has been run annually since 1978. That's 39 different races on five different courses in two different counties. The event has also gone through several different race directors, and after 2016 Jerry and Jackie McDaniel are ending their tenure in that position. The McDaniels have headed the race since 2005, moving it to Bradley's Pond in 2006 and adding the 15K race to the program. The GWTC 30K will turn 40 in 2017 without them, but in a dozen years the McDaniels have already made their mark on the event.

Top Ten Men, 2016 Gulf Winds Track Club 15K
  1. 52:17 ~ Matt Mizereck (M, 24)Matthew Cashin
  2. 54:14 ~ Matthew Cashin (M, 16)
  3. 55:24 ~ Poncherella Leonard (M, 17)
  4. 55:31 ~ Colter Foster (M, 17)
  5. 55:47 ~ Zach Deveau (M, 28)
  6. 56:00 ~ Gary Droze (M, 54)
  7. 56:48 ~ Adam Wallenfelsz (M, 18)
  8. 57:20 ~ Clay Milford (M, 16)
  9. 57:43 ~ Peter Van Brussel (M, 22)
  10. 60:25 ~ Daniel Volya (M, 17)

Top Ten Women, 2016 Gulf Winds Track Club 15K
  1. 60:54 ~ Adriana Piekarewicz (F, 27)Jillian Heddaeus
  2. 67:50 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 32)
  3. 69:15 ~ Zoe Sheldon (F, 16)
  4. 71:38 ~ Anna Busby (F, 25)
  5. 71:59 ~ Grace Lockhart (F, 17)
  6. 71:59 ~ Caroline Willis (F, 16)
  7. 71:59 ~ Molly McCann (F, 16)
  8. 72:00 ~ Anna Gill (F, 16)
  9. 72:09 ~ Kathleen Whitworth (F, 18)
  10. 73:27 ~ Jamie Harris (F, 39)

Gulf Winds Track Club 30K champions, 1978 - 2016
16 January 201630K1:54:12, Charlie Johnson2:16:21, Katie Sherron73
15K52:17, Matt Mizereck60:54, Adriana Piekarewicz192
17 January 201530K1:53:19, Nate Kaiser2:22:32, Katie Sherron107
15K50:11, Sukhi Khosla58:37, Sheryl Rosen165
11 January 201430K1:57:29, Vince Molosky2:34:23, Laura McDermott55
15K51:06, Sukhi Khosla61:27, Seeley Gutierrez169
12 January 201330K1:48:22, Stanley Linton2:16:41, Katie Showman150
15K52:57, Sukhi Khosla64:19, Kristin Sweeney200
14 January 201230K1:51:30, Charlie Johnson2:17:38, Katie Showman150
15K53:29, Stanley Linton60:42, Pasca Cheruiyot176
15 January 201130K1:51:48, Vince Molosky2:17:15, Heather Griffis103
15K53:03, Stephen Cox59:55, Lisa Johnson169
16 January 201030K1:56:14, Vince Molosky2:14:22, Sheryl Rosen90
15K51:50, Matt Mizereck63:45, Lisa Johnson101
17 January 200930K1:54:06, Vince Molosky2:11:41, Sheryl Rosen87
15K51:05, Will Stanford61:49, Lisa Johnson96
12 January 200830K2:00:29, Vince Molosky2:17:24, Sheryl Rosen77
15K54:23, Matt Mizereck63:13, Lisa Johnson126
13 January 200730K2:01:23, Justin Dickieson2:04:21, Sheryl Rosen70
15K58:18, Matthew Mizereck73:40, Anna Busby50
21 January 200630K2:03:36, Michael Douma2:09:27, Stephanie Liles65
15K58:51, Chris Holland60:30, Sarah Docter-Williams59
22 January 200530K1:56:18, Art Remillard2:13:50, Jane Johnson38
16 January 200430K1:56:00, Timothy Bolton2:09:27, Jane Johnson69
18 January 200330K2:02:28, Larry Mengelkoch2:07:46, Jane Johnson59
15 December 200130K2:09:43, Tom Ratliffe2:22:56, Carrie Weyant31
3 February 200130K2:00:29, Kevin Porter2:02:27, Jane Johnson43
5 February 200030K1:57:47, Garth Grumme1:53:04, Anne Van Schuppen77
6 February 199930K1:58:17, Doug Gorton2:11:20, Jane Johnson87
10 January 199830K1:57:45, Clarence Calloway2:04:34, Jane Johnson79
7 January 199730K1:54:26, Tracy Burch2:00:28, Jane Johnson
13 January 199630K1:46:14, John Viitanen2:12:30, Eileen Telford50
14 January 199530K1:49:45, Herb Wills2:22:18, Nancy Stuparich50
22 January 199430K1:43:50, Herb Wills2:07:27, Lisa Herman51
16 January 199330K1:43:54, Herb Wills2:12:42, Carrie Hunnicutt60
4 January 199230K1:46:36, Jessie Close2:13:46, Lynda Nilges79
12 January 199130K1:37:31, David Keen2:06:03, Paula Johnson92
13 January 199030K1:43:57, Herb Wills2:12:00, Paula Johnson87
14 January 198930K1:45:31, Jessie Close2:22:07, Mary Jean Yon98
16 January 198830K1:45:24, Tom Burr2:10:04, Mae Cleveland102
10 January 198730K1:44:45, Larry Greene2:11:59, Karen Macharg82
18 January 198630K1:38:54, Herb Wills2:10:48, Missy James92
14 January 198530K1:45:10, Herb Wills2:17:56, Mae Cleveland94
14 January 198430K1:43:32, Noel Shumann2:04:20, Barbara Balzer99
15 January 198330K1:48:18, Andrew Wills2:18:18, Christy Orthman100
16 January 198230K1:44:41, Rick Miller1:56:57, Laura Ledbetter74

12 January 198030K1:51:19, Steve Ray2:48:31, Robyn Anderson70
3 February 197930K1:42:13, Ken Misner2:12:44, Lynda Heimann124
11 March 197830K1:46:19, Tim Simpkins2:22:31, Donna Glotzbach25
  • In 1978 the race was run on Apalachicola National Forest roads, starting and finishing near
  • From 1979 to 1981 the race was run on Natural Bridge Road.
  • From 1982 to February 2001 the race was run in the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
  • From December 2001 to 2005 the race was run at Natural Bridge.
  • From 2006 to 2016 the GWTC 30K was run on Old Centerville Road and Sunny Hill Road,
    starting and finishing at
    Bradley's Retreat in Felkel.


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