Sunday, March 13, 2016

Evans and Spencer scurry to victory in the hills of Killearn

On Saturday morning, 12 March 2016, the competition was close behind Duane Evans, but it was still behind him. The Crawfordville master runner won the 28th Shamrock Scurry 5K, edging runner-up Philip Sura 19:51 to 19:57. Emma Spencer was the first woman in the race, placing fifteenth overall in 22:47. 436 athletes finished the 3.1-mile race through the streets of the Killearn Estates neighborhood on the north side of Tallahassee, Florida.

Duane Evans

The race started just after 8:30 AM from Killearn United Methodist Church. The competitors would return to the church for the finish line and post-race pancakes and sausage, but not before five hilly kilometers of running. The trek started with the field heading north on Shamrock Street West. Not quite a kilometer into the race, Duane Evans moved into the lead. During the second kilometer Tad David moved up to into second behind Evans, with David Welling and Philip Sura following.

The first half of the Shamrock Scurry course is punctuated by major downhills, but the second half is all about major uphills. The most severe comes near the three kilometer mark. Evans continued to lead at that point, but Welling had passed David to move into second, while Sura was challenging for third.

"I started easy and picked it up," recalled Sura, a Florida State University meteorology professor. "I started behind David Welling and Tad David and got them before the finish. I couldn't get Dwayne, though."

Philip Sura

Nor did he. One kilometer before the finish the runners reach Pancake Hill, the last climb before the finish line and the post-race pancake breakfast. Evans reached the foot of Pancake Hill first, but Sura had closed to within ten seconds. Neither runner gave ground on that final uphill. Sura continued to narrow the gap on the final stretch, but was never near enough to challenge Evans. Back at the church Evans was first in 19:51 and Sura second in 19:56, with Welling third in 20:03 and David fourth in 20:12.

Pancake Hill also featured in an episode in Emma Spencer's race.

"Right before the last hill someone told me there was a woman just six or seven feet behind me," said Spencer. "So I really pushed it after that."

Emma Spencer

Someone fibbed. Spencer had led the women's field since midway through the second kilometer, and reached the slopes of Pancake Hill more than a minute before the next woman. That lead didn't diminish on the way to the finish line; Spencer returned to the church in 22:47 with the women's title. Crystal Anderson was second in the women's standings, 34th overall in 24:12. Rachida Porter was the first woman master and third female finisher, 45th overall in 25:22. Julia Sura was fourth on the women's side, 46th overall in 25:36.

The Shamrock Scurry has a long history in Killearn. From 1981 to 1996 the race was held annually at Killearn United Methodist Church on a course close to the one used today. After an eight-year hiatus the race was revived on a series of courses that started at Celebration Baptist Church from 2004 to 2008. The Scurry disappeared again in 2009, but came back in 2010, returning to Killearn UMC. Since then the race has gone on every year on the present course, Pancake Hill and all. With those final seven years that makes a total of 28 races. If the fans of running, pancakes, and sausage have anything to say, there will be many more years to come.

David WellingTop Ten Men, 2016 Shamrock Scurry 5K
  1. 19:51 ~ Duane Evans (M, 48)
  2. 19:57 ~ Philip Sura (M, 45)
  3. 20:03 ~ David Welling (M, 31)
  4. 20:12 ~ Tad David (M, 47)
  5. 20:45 ~ Mark Tombrink (M, 28)
  6. 21:08 ~ James Duggan (M, 12)
  7. 21:22 ~ Felton Wright (M, 58)
  8. 21:43 ~ Scott Heffley (M, 25)
  9. 21:48 ~ Dan Manausa (M, 46)
  10. 21:53 ~ Tyron Slack (M, 26)

Crystal AndersonTop Ten Women, 2016 Shamrock Scurry 5K
  1. 22:47 ~ Emma Spencer (F, 35)
  2. 24:12 ~ Crystal Anderson (F, 30)
  3. 25:22 ~ Rachida Porter (F, 41)
  4. 25:36 ~ Julia Sura (F, 44)
  5. 25:46 ~ Marisol Townsend (F, 38)
  6. 26:03 ~ Nora Amato (F, 15)
  7. 26:10 ~ Donalee Lomprez (F, 29)
  8. 26:36 ~ Katie Townsend (F, 33)
  9. 26:42 ~ Kristen Knapp (F, 45)
  10. 27:14 ~ Karissa Starling (F, 12)

Known Shamrock Scurry 5K winners, 1981 - 2016

13 March 198217:05, Paul Hodge21:22, Cathy Shuler
12 March 198315:35, Adam Pinkston19:21, Cheryl Jennings
17 March 198416:19, Bobby Shackleford17:42, Nellie Orr
16 March 198514:35, Jeff Wentworth19:20, Angie Crook
15 March 198615:33, David Keen18:42, Janice Hochstein
7 March 198715:21, Richard Corbett18:15, Janice Hochstein
12 March 198816:01, Bill Crooks19:59, Robin Tanner
11 March 198915:57, Bill Crooks19:32, Yvonne Gsteiger
17 March 199015:39, John Charlton20:07 Jane Henderson
16 March 199115:32, Gary Droze19:15, Vikki Saga
14 March 199215:53, Jessie Close17:50, Paula Johnson
8 May 1993

19 March 199415:17, Robin Rogers18:38, Jane Johnson
18 March 1995


13 March 200416:02, Ryder Leary16:44, Sinead Evans
5 March 200516:29, Matthew Dobson19:21, Breeda Willis
18 March 200618:21, Michael Martinez20:10, Jennifer Emo
17 March 200715:43, Joey Zins21:55, Jun Inoue
15 March 200814:47, Mark Carroll16:55, Barbara Parker
13 March 201017:25, Jay Wallace21:03, Anna Busby
12 March 201118:14, Peter Kaus19:35, Sheryl Rosen
10 March 201216:27, Stephen Cox19:43, Carrie Seiberlich
9 March 201316:13, Stanley Linton20:38, Mary Anne Grayson
8 March 201415:44, Stanley Linton19:48, Katie Sherron
14 March 201516:30, Chris Lake20:45, Emily Molen
12 March 201619:51, Duane Evans22:47, Emma Spencer
Originally scheduled for March 13, the 1993 race had to be
postponed because of a severe winter storm.
The Shamrock Scurry was held from Killearn UMC from 1981
to 1996.
The Shamrock Scurry was not held from 1997 to 2003.
From 2004 to 2008 the Shamrock Scurry was held from
Celebration Baptist Church.
The Shamrock Scurry was not held in 2009.
From 2010 to 2016 the Shamrock Scurry was held from Killearn


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