Monday, July 4, 2016

Linton and Barnes win a steamy Firecracker 5K

"Look for the man in orange," Stan Linton announced the evening before the Firecracker 5K in Tallahassee, Florida.

Linton himself was that man, sporting Gulf Winds Track Club orange and black during the Capital City Kiwanis' 34th annual race. He was also easy enough to spot because he was far ahead of everyone else, winning the 4 July 2016 race in 16:06. Brittney Barnes won the women's title, placing 26th overall in 20:35. 399 athletes finished the 3.1-mile race.

Stan Linton
Stan Linton

The Firecracker 5K started on Suwannee Street in Cascades Park at 8:00 AM, just a few minutes after the last of 69 people had finished the one-mile. Conditions were not optimum.

"The dew point was 77 degrees when I got up this morning," said Ryan Truchelut. "There's not much you can do when it's like that."

In other words, typical weather for North Florida in July. You were expecting frost?

Patrick Whitehead
Patrick Whitehead

Shrugging off the heat, Linton dashed out to a 30-meter lead in the first 300 meters. That margin only widened as the race progressed. By the time Linton darted past the Edison and over the finish line on Suwannee Street, he was nearly 400 meters ahead of the next runner. Linton's winning time of 16:06 wasn't the 15:45 he had been aiming for, but it was the fastest 5K run on any Cascades Park course.

While Linton ran against the clock, Darton State College psychology professor Patrick Whitehead was running a more cautious race.

"I wasn't sure where I was in terms of fitness," said Whitehead. "So I started off conservatively."

Travet Witherspoon
Travet Witherspoon

Buried in the pack early in the race, Whitehead worked his way up through the field. He never made any ground on Linton, but eventually overtook Geb Kiros and Travet Witherspoon to move into second. Whitehead held the runner-up position all the way to the finsh line, crossing in 17:28. Witherspoon, a Clayton State University cross country runner, ran down Geb Kiros on the homestretch to take third in 18:03. Kiros was the top master runner in the race and fourth overall in 18:04. Maclay School cross country runner Jake Mazziotta was fifth in 18:08.

Brittney Barnes
Brittney Barnes

Brittney Barnes had finished runner-up in the women's standings of the 2015 Firecracker 5K, but she wasn't settling for second best in 2016. Shortly after the start, Barnes grabbed the lead in the women's field and never relinquished it, taking the women's title in 20:35. Jillian Heddaeus was second in the women's division, placing 35th overall in 21:56. Kenya Rich was the first woman master and third female finisher, coming in 43rd overall in 22:46.

Jillian Heddaeus
Jillian Heddaeus

Capital City Kiwanis inherited the Firecracker 5K from the Greensboro Kiwanis, who had conducted the race in their town from 1983 to 2012. After a year in Phipps Park, the race moved to Cascades Park in 2014, where it has been ever since. There have been slight course adjustments each year, but the Firecracker 5K seems to have found a home in Cascades Park. Look for it there again on Tuesday morning, 4 July 2017. Don't expect frost.

Geb KirosTop Ten Men, 2016 Capital City Kiwanis Firecracker 5K
  1. 16:06 ~ Stan Linton (M, 22)
  2. 17:28 ~ Patrick Whitehead (M, 30)
  3. 18:03 ~ Travet Witherspoon (M, 18)
  4. 18:04 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 49)
  5. 18:08 ~ Jake Mazziotta (M, 18)
  6. 18:11 ~ Mickey Moore (M, 46)
  7. 18:11 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 52)
  8. 18:24 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
  9. 18:28 ~ Christopher O'Kelley (M, 23)
  10. 18:29 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 30)

Kenya RichTop Ten Women, 2016 Capital City Kiwanis Firecracker 5K
  1. 20:35 ~ Brittney Barnes (F, 28)
  2. 21:56 ~ Jillian Haddaeus (F, 33)
  3. 22:46 ~ Kenya Rich (F, 43)
  4. 22:56 ~ Jenny Snyder (F, 26)
  5. 23:18 ~ Kellie Hays (F, 20)
  6. 23:23 ~ Vaishali Desai (F, 29)
  7. 24:02 ~ Katie Sack (F, 24)
  8. 24:03 ~ Shelly Herman (F, 67)
  9. 24:07 ~ Megan Churchill (F, 14)
  10. 24:08 ~ Laura Reina (F, 51)

Recent winners of the Firecracker 5000m
4 July 201616:06, Stanley Linton20:35, Brittney Barnes399
4 July 201517:00, Michael Potter19:23, Alyson Churchill370
4 July 201417:06, Joseph Garcia18:58, Katie Slater431
4 July 201318:22, Roger Schmidt20:53, Katie Showman
4 July 201216:14, Stanley Linton22:36, Nancy Stedman
4 July 201117:20, Joel Piotrowski21:35, Stephanie Stout
3 July 201018:45, Cliff Skelton22:29, Nancy Stedman
4 July 200916:46, Daniel Lee19:26, Emily Ness
4 July 2008
4 July 200718:05, Tony Guillen21:51, Julie Clark
4 July 200617:40, James Cook20:03, Julia Vola
4 July 200516:44, Jeff Dubias20:30, Heather Bailey
3 July 200415:48, Caleb Carmichael18:39, Kara Newell
4 July 2003
4 July 200216:57, Jason Fulghum22:07, Janice Hochstein
4 July 200117:22, Paul Hoover17:53, Sarah Docter-Williams
4 July 200015:57, Gary Droze18:10, Sarah Docter-Williams
4 July 199916:37, Tim Simpkins17:56, Sarah Docter-Williams
4 July 199816:05, Damian Wilson17:35, Sarah Docter-Williams
4 July 1997
4 July 199615:45, Gary Droze19:13, Carrie Weyant
4 July 199416:07, Gary Droze18:19, Lisa Herman
4 July 199016:55, Bill Crooks19:10, Vikki Saga
4 July 198916:47, Paul Hoover20:27, Mae Cleveland
4 July 198817:02, Paul Hoover
From 1983 to 2012 the Firecracker 5000 was run in Gadsden County from
Sycamore to Greensboro.
In 2013 the Firecracker 5000 was run in Tallahassee on trails in Phipps

In 2014 the Firecracker 5000 was run in Tallahassee from Cascades Park
on USATF Certified Course FL14067EBM.

In 2015 the Firecracker 5000 was run in Tallahassee from Cascades Park
on USATF Certified Course FL15071EBM.

In 2016 the Firecracker 5000 was run in Tallahassee from Cascades Park
on USATF Certified Course FL14149EBM.


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