Saturday, April 23, 2016

Schmidt and Veltcheva bloom at the Rose City Run

Each April, from 1978 to 2016, the Rose City Run 10K has been held on the streets of Thomasville, Georgia. The course remains the same and the band still plays on the fourth mile. The cast of runners has changed, though, and on Saturday morning, 23 April 2016, Tallahassee's Roger Schmidt won the 39th annual Rose City Run, racing the 6.2-mile course in 34:37. Eleven-year-old Ani Veltcheva of Gainesville, Florida was the first female finisher, placing sixth overall in 38:11. 358 athletes finished the race.

Roger Schmidt
Roger Schmidt

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.

2016 Rose City Run
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.

Stephen Robbins
Stephen Robbins

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
Ani Veltcheva

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."

Sheryl Rosen
Sheryl Rosen

"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.

Geb KirosTop Ten Men, 2016 Rose City Run 10K
  1. 34:37 ~ Roger Schmidt (M, 24) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 35:55 ~ Stephen Robbins (M, 19) Saratoga Springs, UT
  3. 37:25 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 49) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 37:45 ~ Samuel Gelabert (M, 18) Thomasville, GA
  5. 38:00 ~ Dustin Reynolds (M, 17) Brinson, GA
  6. 38:27 ~ Myles Gibson (M, 49) Donalsonville, GA
  7. 39:12 ~ Conley Wilhelm (M, 18) Thomasville, GA
  8. 40:16 ~ Philip Sura (M, 46) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 40:27 ~ Jon Haney (M, 30) West Chester, PA
  10. 40:48 ~ Gregory Waddell (M, 50) Bainbridge, GA

Allison EagenTop Ten Women, 2016 Rose City Run 10K
  1. 38:11 ~ Ani Veltcheva (F, 11) Gainesville, FL
  2. 39:54 ~ Sheryl Rosen (F, 31) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 40:44 ~ Allison Eagen (F, 37) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 43:31 ~ Alicia Carter (F, 30) Thomasville, GA
  5. 43:48 ~ Anna Busby (F, 25) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 46:50 ~ Rosalie White (F, 21) Thomasville, GA
  7. 48:53 ~ Shelbi Evans (F, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 48:56 ~ Julie Carico (F, 50) Thomasville, GA
  9. 49:12 ~ April Scruggs (F, 47) Valdosta, GA
  10. 49:27 ~ Kelly Garland (F, 45) Tallahassee, FL

Rose City Run 10K Champions, 1978 - 2016
29 April 197831:25, Gary Slayton36:45, Janice Hochstein
28 April 197931:47, Mike Rasper37:49, Janice Hochstein
26 April 198031:18, George West38:14, Colleen Joiner
25 April 198130:21, Mabry McCray40:26, Nicole Batchelder
198230:33, Ernie McKee38:31, Nicole Batchelder
198330:47, Noel Shuman34:57, Darien Andreu
198433:05, Gary Slayton37:51, Barbara Balzer
27 April 198532:36, Rick Miller37:41, Barbara Balzer
26 April 198632:05, Rick Miller37:35, Janice Hochstein
198729:57, Herb Wills37:39, Karen MacHarg
198831:55, Jessie Close37:59, Karen MacHarg
198931:39, Jessie Close36:49, Karen MacHarg
199031:56, Jessie Close37:04, Karen MacHarg
199131:15, Jessie Close38:33, Vikki Saga
199233:04, Trent Smith37:48, Vikki Saga
24 April 199331:28, Gary Droze38:24, Vikki Saga
23 April 199430:19, Robin Rogers37:37, Lisa Herman
29 April 199531:52, Jessie Close35:37, Suzanne Rigg
27 Aprl 199632:18, Jessie Close39:37, Carrie Weyant
26 April 199732:29, Brian Erb36:40, Sarah Docter-Williams
25 April 199831:58, Alan Black36:07, Sarah Docter-Williams
24 April 199932:21, Alan Black37:14, Sarah Docter-Williams
29 April 200034:15, Sean Daniels35:20, Anna Pichrtova
28 April 200132:05, Paul Spangler36:22, Sarah Docter-Williams
27 April 200230:53, Alan Black39:35, Jane Johnson
26 April 200331:58, Matt Kalinski41:53, Julie Carico
25 April 200433:44, Jessie Close39:52, Kate Remillard
23 April 200533:44, Jessie Close37:08, Sarah Docter-Williams
29 April 200634:32, Jessie Close38:38, Barbara Jarnagin
28 April 200731:21, Alan Black39:02, Sheryl Rosen
26 April 200833:10, Malcolm Campbell37:40, Donna Garcia
25 April 200932:34, Nathaniel Haskins41:38, Mary Anne Grayson
24 April 201032:51, Chris Lake37:42, Amy Hines
23 April 201132:46, Chris Lake38:58, Donna Garcia
28 April 201232:51, Chris Lake36:51, Sheryl Rosen
27 April 201332:52, Will Stanford37:08, Sheryl Rosen
26 April 201433:21, Chris Lake38:58, Amy Hines
25 April 201532:04, Nathan Haskins41:32, Beth Sweeny
23 April 201634:37, Roger Schmidt38:11, Ani Veltcheva


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