Most people would have picked Roger Schmidt as a contender at the Rose City Run. Schmidt was fourth in the Thomasville race in 2015, and three weeks earlier he had won Tallahassee's Springtime 10K. However, few would have expected to see Schmidt competing at all that Saturday, because it was only five days after he had raced the Boston Marathon, running 26.2 rugged miles in 2:46.12. Nevertheless, Schmidt was on the starting line on Broad Street.
Another surprise on the starting line was Stephen Robbins. Although originally from the area, Robbins had to travel from Saratoga Springs, Utah to race at Rose City.
"I'm here visiting my grandparents," said Robbins.
|The leaders approaching the two-mile mark|
A mob scrambled to get to the front when the race started at 8:00 AM. By the end of the first mile, that mob had diminished to a lead group of five runners. A mile farther along Smith Avenue the group was down to four runners--Stephen Robbins, Roger Schmidt of Tallahassee's Capital City Runners, Florida A & M University professor Geb Kiros, and Thomas County Central High senior Samuel Gelabert. On Pinetree Boulevard Schmidt and Robbins dropped the other two runners.
"I paced it really well," said Schmidt. "I was hitting all the kilometers just where I wanted."
Robbins was racing in a pair of road spikes, which weren't quite as noisy as tap shoes, but almost.
"I heard the 'clack' on the pavement, and I thought, 'That's good; I'll be able to hear if he's coming up behind me," said Schmidt.
The lack of support in the lightweight shoes may have been a disadvantage to Robbins as well. He began to have leg problems during the second half of the race.
"I felt really good for three miles," said Robbins. "Then my ankle gave out. I lost Roger about four miles."
After that Schmidt raced down Clay Street alone, piling up a lead of more than 300 meters on Robbins. Schmidt made the final turn onto Broad Street alone then crossed the finish line in a winning 34:37. Robbins followed in 35:55. Geb Kiros was the first master runner in the race and third overall in 37:25. Gelabert took fourth in 37:45. Dustin Reynolds, a junior on the Seminole County High cross country team, finished fifth in 37:45.
Ani Veltcheva always had plans to compete on the morning of the Rose City Run, but not in a road race. The Abraham Lincoln Middle School student was scheduled to be at a math contest. Plans change, though.
"They canceled her math competition," explained Veltcheva's mother.
So Ani was racing on the Thomasville streets. From the start of the race she led the women's field, getting over a minute ahead of three-time Rose City women's champ Sheryl Rosen during the first two miles of the race.
"I knew Ani was in front of me but I couldn't see her," said Rosen, a Tallahassee lawyer. "I was just running my own race."
"The course was really nice," said Veltcheva. "But at one point the hills just kept coming!"
Thomasville's hills couldn't stop Ani Veltcheva, though, as she rolled to the women's title. Her 38:11 winning time was her best 10K yet.
"I ran 42:42 almost a year and a half ago at the Gainesville Turkey Trot," said Veltcheva.
Rosen took second in the women's standings, placing ninth overall in 39:54. Allison Eagen of Tallahassee was the third woman and twelfth overall in 40:44. Thomasville's Alicia Carter was the fourth woman and 23rd overall in 43:31. Julie Carico of Thomasville was the top woman master and eighth female finisher, 57th overall in 48:56.
Not much has changed about the Rose City Run since 1978, nor is there much that you'd want to change. One difference in 2016 was the introduction of chip timing, provided by Georgia Runner Event Timing. Dr. Jim Story still presented the awards near the Big Oak, and maybe those awards were a little more prompt because of technology. Still, the 39th annual Rose City Run was every bit as fine an event as the first race in 1978. It's the kind of record that makes you look forward to the 40th Rose City Run on 29 April 2017.
Top Ten Men, 2016 Rose City Run 10K
- 34:37 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 24) Tallahassee, FL
- 35:55 ~ Stephen Robbins (M, 19) Saratoga Springs, UT
- 37:25 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 49) Tallahassee, FL
- 37:45 ~ Samuel Gelabert (M, 18) Thomasville, GA
- 38:00 ~ Dustin Reynolds (M, 17) Brinson, GA
- 38:27 ~ Myles Gibson (M, 49) Donalsonville, GA
- 39:12 ~ Conley Wilhelm (M, 18) Thomasville, GA
- 40:16 ~ Philip Sura (M, 46) Tallahassee, FL
- 40:27 ~ Jon Haney (M, 30) West Chester, PA
- 40:48 ~ Gregory Waddell (M, 50) Bainbridge, GA
Top Ten Women, 2016 Rose City Run 10K
- 38:11 ~ Ani Veltcheva (F, 11) Gainesville, FL
- 39:54 ~ Sheryl Rosen (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
- 40:44 ~ Allison Eagen (F, 37) Tallahassee, FL
- 43:31 ~ Alicia Carter (F, 30) Thomasville, GA
- 43:48 ~ Anna Busby (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
- 46:50 ~ Rosalie White (F, 21) Thomasville, GA
- 48:53 ~ Shelbi Evans (F, 27) Tallahassee, FL
- 48:56 ~ Julie Carico (F, 50) Thomasville, GA
- 49:12 ~ April Scruggs (F, 47) Valdosta, GA
- 49:27 ~ Kelly Garland (F, 45) Tallahassee, FL
|Rose City Run 10K Champions, 1978 - 2016|
|29 April 1978||31:25, Gary Slayton||36:45, Janice Hochstein|
|28 April 1979||31:47, Mike Rasper||37:49, Janice Hochstein|
|26 April 1980||31:18, George West||38:14, Colleen Joiner|
|25 April 1981||30:21, Mabry McCray||40:26, Nicole Batchelder|
|1982||30:33, Ernie McKee||38:31, Nicole Batchelder|
|1983||30:47, Noel Shuman||34:57, Darien Andreu|
|1984||33:05, Gary Slayton||37:51, Barbara Balzer|
|27 April 1985||32:36, Rick Miller||37:41, Barbara Balzer|
|26 April 1986||32:05, Rick Miller||37:35, Janice Hochstein|
|1987||29:57, Herb Wills||37:39, Karen MacHarg|
|1988||31:55, Jessie Close||37:59, Karen MacHarg|
|1989||31:39, Jessie Close||36:49, Karen MacHarg|
|1990||31:56, Jessie Close||37:04, Karen MacHarg|
|1991||31:15, Jessie Close||38:33, Vikki Saga|
|1992||33:04, Trent Smith||37:48, Vikki Saga|
|24 April 1993||31:28, Gary Droze||38:24, Vikki Saga|
|23 April 1994||30:19, Robin Rogers||37:37, Lisa Herman|
|29 April 1995||31:52, Jessie Close||35:37, Suzanne Rigg|
|27 Aprl 1996||32:18, Jessie Close||39:37, Carrie Weyant|
|26 April 1997||32:29, Brian Erb||36:40, Sarah Docter-Williams|
|25 April 1998||31:58, Alan Black||36:07, Sarah Docter-Williams|
|24 April 1999||32:21, Alan Black||37:14, Sarah Docter-Williams|
|29 April 2000||34:15, Sean Daniels||35:20, Anna Pichrtova|
|28 April 2001||32:05, Paul Spangler||36:22, Sarah Docter-Williams|
|27 April 2002||30:53, Alan Black||39:35, Jane Johnson|
|26 April 2003||31:58, Matt Kalinski||41:53, Julie Carico|
|25 April 2004||33:44, Jessie Close||39:52, Kate Remillard|
|23 April 2005||33:44, Jessie Close||37:08, Sarah Docter-Williams|
|29 April 2006||34:32, Jessie Close||38:38, Barbara Jarnagin|
|28 April 2007||31:21, Alan Black||39:02, Sheryl Rosen|
|26 April 2008||33:10, Malcolm Campbell||37:40, Donna Garcia|
|25 April 2009||32:34, Nathaniel Haskins||41:38, Mary Anne Grayson|
|24 April 2010||32:51, Chris Lake||37:42, Amy Hines|
|23 April 2011||32:46, Chris Lake||38:58, Donna Garcia|
|28 April 2012||32:51, Chris Lake||36:51, Sheryl Rosen|
|27 April 2013||32:52, Will Stanford||37:08, Sheryl Rosen|
|26 April 2014||33:21, Chris Lake||38:58, Amy Hines|
|25 April 2015||32:04, Nathan Haskins||41:32, Beth Sweeny|
|23 April 2016||34:37, Roger Schmidt||38:11, Ani Veltcheva|
- Complete results of the 2016 Rose City Run 10K
- More photos of the 2016 Rose City Run 10K
- Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10107536136723443.1073742187.5215641&l=bcde2ab9d0
- Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10107537117492973.1073742188.5215641&l=e854181e99
- Jamie Story's photos of the 2016 Rose City Run
- Thomasville disc jockey cheers runners up “Heartbreak Hill” on Clay Street
- 2015 story, “Warriors of the Roses, Haskins and Sweeny win the Rose City Run”
- 2014 story, “Fog and Flowers, Lake and Hines win again at Rose City”
- 2013 story, “No stopping to smell the roses for Stanford or Rosen”
- 2012 story, “Lake and Rosen collect more Rose City titles”
- 2011 story, “Lake and Garcia go for two at Rose City”
- 2010 story, “Lake and Hines beat the storm at Rose City”
- USATF course certification map GA12003WC for the 2015 Rose City Run 10K
- Find the next Rose City Run on the Trouble Afoot! calendar