Sunday, March 27, 2016

Johnson and Cauthen win a two-legged race at a six-legged festival

2016 Fire Ant Festival promotional artIn the novel Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck writes about the Pacific Grove Butterfly Festival. The Festival itself isn't fictional; it's an annual celebration of the return of migrating monarch butterflies to Pacific Grove, California. Ashburn, Georgia has its own annual insect-themed event, the Fire Ant Festival. The festival doesn't celebrate the return of the fire ants. The ants never actually leave Ashburn, and if they did, you probably wouldn't throw a party when they came back. But as long as Ashburn and the rest of South Georgia are stuck with the fire ants, the insects are as good an excuse as any to host a festival on the fourth Saturday of March each year. Part of festivities is the Fire Ant 5K.


Ashburn's own Adam Johnson won the Fire Ant 5K on Saturday morning, 26 March 2016, finishing the race more than 200 meters ahead of the next runner. Johnson ran the 3.1-miles through the Ashburn streets in 21:01. Mitchell Sinyard of Hawkinsville, Georgia was the fastest master runner in the race, coming in second overall in 22:06. LaGrange, Georgia master runner Lou Hartley took third overall in 22:51.


Allison Cauthen just keeps coming back to the Fire Ant 5K, and she keeps running faster. Her time in the 2013 race was 25:50, which she improved to 24:33 in 2014. Running faster still in the 2015 Fire Ant 5K, she won the women's title in 23:27. In 2016 Cauthen ran her fastest Fire Ant 5K yet, 23:10, earning her a second straight women's title. Kerri Lee of Forsyth, Georgia placed runner-up in the women's standings, sixth overall in 23:55. Gina Purvis of Tifton, Georgia was the top woman master in the race and third female finisher; Purvis placed twelfth overall in 27:00.


51 athletes finished the 2016 Fire Ant Festival 5K. RANREB timing services of Cordele, Georgia timed the race and provided results. The Fire Ant Festival 5K returns to Ashburn on 25 March 2017; the ants will already be there.


Top Ten Men, 2016 Turner County (Georgia) Fire Ant Festival 5K
  1. 21:00.53 ~ Adam Johnson (M, 29) Ashburn, GA
  2. 22:05.06 ~ Mitchell Sinyard (M, 55) Hawkinsville, GA
  3. 22:50.23 ~ Lou Hartley (M, 49) LaGrange, GA
  4. 23:25.98 ~ Stephen Williford (M, 30) Ashburn, GA
  5. 24:09.44 ~ Gaylon Reed (M, 59) Littlefield, TX
  6. 24:12.78 ~ David Slauenwhite (M, 57) Cordele, GA
  7. 25:25.29 ~ Jorge Gonzalez (M, 23) Ashburn, GA
  8. 25:53.05 ~ Matt Crowder (M, 42) Atlanta, GA
  9. 26:50.20 ~ Monty Watson (M, 44) Cordele, GA
  10. 27:15.35 ~ Wayne Kountis (M, 57) Tifton, GA

Top Ten Women, 2016 Turner County (Georgia) Fire Ant Festival 5K
  1. 23:09.77 ~ Allison Cauthen (F, 27) Lizella, GA
  2. 23:54.41 ~ Kerri Lee (F, 37) Forsyth, GA
  3. 26:59.92 ~ Gina Purvis (F, 57) Tifton, GA
  4. 27:28.73 ~ Adrienne Worley (F, 35) Cordele, GA
  5. 29:03.90 ~ Jenny Mitchell (F, 32) Atlanta, GA
  6. 30:08.07 ~ Amy Hightower (F, 39) Rebecca, GA
  7. 30:19.85 ~ April Jowers (F, 35) Tifton, GA
  8. 31:10.66 ~ Erin Espinoza (F, 35) Ocilla, GA
  9. 31:12.04 ~ Wendy Pate (F, 44) Tifton, GA
  10. 31:19.36 ~ Rebecca Walker (F, 37) Cordele, GA

Turner County Fire Ant Festival 5K winners, 2003 - 2016
DateMenWomenFinishers
24 March 2001
23 March 2002
22 March 200316:37, David Coody, Jr21:52, Kara Clark
27 March 200418:23, Kerry Underwood27:26, Stephanie Langley
26 March 200517:22, Robert Feldman20:20, Brooke Withers60
25 March 200617:52, Ryan McDaniel21:22, Rue Chitwood50
24 March 200716:01, David Marley20:08, Elizabeth Lambert76
22 March 200816:47, David Marley19:45, Brittney Skiles106
28 March 200918:15, Nathan Norton22:56, Amy Bartholomew63
27 March 201017:54, Daniel Chevez21:53, Susan Breeding91
26 March 201117:52, Robert Smith20:46, Ashley Duncan97
24 March 201218:09, Benjamin James Weston23:37, Jeanette MacDonald141
23 March 201319:02, Robert Bledsoe25:24, Adrienne Worley80
29 March 201418:38, Jared Hammond23:21, Amelia Gibbs47
28 March 201519:35, Lorenzo Gomez23:27, Allison Cauthen52
26 March 201621:01, Adam Johnson23:10, Allison Cauthen51


Links
#1657