US Navy Ensign Stan Linton, a recent alumnus of the Florida State University cross country team, was at Saint George Island that evening with the Sizzler record on his mind. He found the conditions more than favorable.
"Perfect for the Sizzler," reported Linton. "Cloudy, 80 degrees. The rain had cooled off the run and there was a slight breeze blowing east so half of the race was against the wind and the finish was with the wind. Ideal conditions."
The race got underway at 7:00 PM. With the wind at his back, Linton set an aggressive pace for the field. Leininger wasn't about to let him go, though.
"I took the lead right from the start," said Linton. "He [Leininger] took it from me at 400 meters. By 800 meters he was ten seconds in front of me. It stayed that way to the end."
It did. After cruising the mile mark in 4:43, Leininger made it home first in 15:10 while Linton took second in 15:20, the two fastest times in the nineteen-year history of the Sizzler. Laurent Liote was third in 16:47 and Ryan Slyter, the Franklin County Forester, was fourth in 17:14.
|Mark Leininger, Dylan Hassett, Paula O'Neill, Renee Cox, Stan Linton|
On the women's side, Dylan Hassett didn't trifle with ten-second leads. Finishing fourth overall in 16:59, Hassett finished more than 700 meters ahead of the female runner-up. Renee Cox, a University of West Florida cross country runner, was second in the women's standings and tenth overall in 19:51. Cox was the Sizzler women's champ in 2013. Kelsey Elrod was the third woman and seventeenth overall in 21:57.
The fastest master runner in the Sizzler was Philip Sura, a Florida State University meteorology professor. Sura finished ninth overall in 19:22. Paula O'Neill of Tallahassee was the top master woman and fifth female finisher, placing 26th overall in 23:34.
The 2016 Saint George Island Sizzler was sponsored by the Tates Hell Track Club, an organization that seems to exist mostly in the mind of race director Hobson Fulmer. However uncertain the reality of the Tates Hell TC, it is certain that proceeds of the race benefit the very real Franklin County Humane Society. Gulf Winds Track Club of Tallahassee, Florida chip timed both the Sizzler 5K and the one-mile fun run.
Top Ten Men, 2016 St. George Island Sizzler 5K
- 15:10 ~ Mark Leininger (M, 25)
- 15:20 ~ Stan Linton (M, 22)
- 16:47 ~ Laurent Liote (M, 24)
- 17:14 ~ Ryan Slyter (M, 26)
- 18:17 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
- 18:55 ~ Frank Denes (M, 30)
- 19:08 ~ Chance Logan (M, 19)
- 19:22 ~ Philip Sura (M, 46)
- 19:55 ~ Tad David (M, 47)
- 20:03 ~ Johnathan Miller (M, 17)
Top Ten Women, 2016 St. George Island Sizzler 5K
- 16:59 ~ Dylan Hassett (F, 23)
- 19:51 ~ Renee Cox (F, 29)
- 21:57 ~ Kelsey Elrod (F, 25)
- 23:02 ~ Sarah Denes (F, 28)
- 23:34 ~ Paula O'Neill (F, 55)
- 23:59 ~ Sam Fortunas (F, 25)
- 24:15 ~ Dorothy Thames (F, 34)
- 24:22 ~ Becki Webb (F, 51)
- 24:24 ~ Sarah Dugas (F, 37)
- 24:41 ~ Melissa Zapata (F, 37)
|St. George Island Sizzler 5K Champions, 1997 - 2016|
|21 June 1997||17:36, Tim Unger||21:40, Julie Clark||34|
|13 June 1998||16:09, Gary Droze||22:53, Donna Finney||69|
|12 June 1999||17:05, Tim Unger||19:24, Summer Calder||61|
|10 June 2000||16:07, Gary Droze||21:18, Julie Clark||34|
|2001||No race held|
|15 June 2002||15:46, Lee Willis||18:43, Luanne Coulter||53|
|21 June 2003||16:44, Caleb Carmichael||20:45, Jane Johnson||95|
|12 June 2004||16:42, Caleb Carmichael||19:48, Kara Newell||77|
|18 June 2005||16:02, Alex Miletich||20:53, Angela Dempsey||142|
|24 June 2006||17:24, Robert Beazley||18:39, Kara Newell||169|
|23 June 2007||17:02, Jasen Fulghum||20:41, Jane Johnson||106|
|28 June 2008||16:44, Tripp Southerland||19:11, Stephanie Liles||175|
|27 June 2009||16:53, John Robida||19:47, Kelsey Scheitlin||214|
|26 June 2010||19:06, Carl Nordhielm||22:06, Nancy Stedman||147|
|25 June 2011||17:06, Brandon Hough||22:44, Nicole Reichenbach||218|
|11 August 2012||16:25, Vince Molosky||21:58, Polina Bondarenko||280|
|10 August 2013||16:16, Caleb Carmichael||20:28, Renee Cox||318|
|9 August 2014||18:02, Carl Nordhielm||20:25, Polina Bondarenko||222|
|8 August 2015||17:05, Roger Schmidt||18:53, Katie Fackler||181|
|6 August 2016||15:10, Mark Leininger||16:59, Dylan Hassett||145|
|The 1997 race was called the Summer Island 5K.|
- Complete results of the 2016 St George Island Sizzler 5K at gulfwinds.org
- 2015 story, “Smoking runs at the Sizzler for Schmidt and Fackler”
- 2014 story, “Second time in first place for Nordhielm and Bondarenko in the Sizzler 5K”
- 2013 story, “Carmichael and Cox seize Sizzler 5K titles”
- 2012 story, “Heated competition from Molosky and Bondarenko at the Sizzler”
- 2011 story, “Hough and Reichenbach grab Sizzler wins on St George”
- 2010 story, “Sizzler runners beat BP to St. George Island”
- 2009 story, “Back to the Beach--Robida Wins 2009 Summer Sizzler 5K”
- St George Island Sizzler
- 2016 St. George Island Sizzler 5K course certification map FL13045EBM
- Upcoming races in the Tallahassee region, both inland and on the coast