Monday, September 26, 2016

Kiros and Reilly add their names to Prefontaine 5K history

West of Tallahassee, Florida, the Silver Lake Recreation Area became the main Off-Highway Vehicle trail head for the Apalachicola National Forest. Silver Lake still includes a nature trail, picnic tables, a swimming beach, and two scenic ponds. At one time the Recreation Area included a campground, but that has been closed for quite a few years now. A Girl Scout camp and a Boy Scout camp were once nearby, but those are also gone now. Silver Lake was developed for recreation in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, but earlier settlers must have been aware of the area. It couldn't have been unknown to the even earlier Native Americans, either. Before that it was probably a popular watering hole for mastodons and other prehistoric fauna. But since 1976, Silver Lake has been the home of Gulf Winds Track Club's annual Salute To Prefontaine 5K. That event returned to Silver Lake for the 41st time on Saturday morning, 24 September 2016.

Geb Kiros
Geb Kiros

Silver Lake has a history, but the Prefontaine Forest 5K has acquired a history over the years. Several of the athletes whose performances made that history were on the starting line for the 2016 race. 2015 champion Peter Van Brussel was racing, and so was 2010 winner Jay Wallace and 2002 winner David Yon. Ten-time Prefontaine 5K champion Gary Droze was also starting that morning. But with no respect for history, Geb Kiros dashed out into the lead right after the start of the race. The Florida A & M University biostatistics professor was twenty meters ahead when the runners disappeared into the forest near the 400-meter mark.


The Prefontaine Forest 5K has never been much of an event for spectators. In most years the runners vanished into the woods right after the start, only to be seen again right before the finish. Their struggles with sand, hills, and tree roots went unwitnessed, as did their unscheduled encounters with wildlife. In the 2016 race, the athletes went twice around a 2500-meter loop, so onlookers at least caught a glimpse of the runners at halfway before the competition returned to the forest. What they saw was that master runner Kiros had lengthened his lead and was more than 100 meters ahead of Gary Droze, the next runner.

Gary Droze
Gary Droze

That didn't change during the second lap. When Kiros emerged from the forest he was still more than 100 meters ahead and maintained that margin to the finish line, winning in 18:38. Droze was second in 19:05 and Jay Wallace third in 19:21. Zach DeVeau moved up three places on the second lap to take fourth in 19:39. Jim Halley was fifth in 19:47 and defending champ Peter Van Brussel placed sixth in 19:53.


In the women's competition Samantha Reilly set the early pace, getting 80 meters ahead on the first lap then maintaining that lead for the rest of the race. Reilly crossed the finish line with the women's title, placing 22nd overall. It was the best 5K time yet for Reilly, a member of the Tallahassee Community College Women's Cross Country team, and the fastest 5K ever by anyone on her team. Emily Smith was runner-up in the women's standings, 24th overall in 23:22. Another TCC Eagle, Mia Widerkehr, was third in the women's division, placing 26th overall in 23:28. TCC's Monet Madeux was the fourth woman and 35th overall in 24:44. Monica Judd was the top woman master and sixth female finisher, 39th overall in 24:47.

Samantha Reilly
Samantha Reilly

162 athletes finished the challenging 3.1-mile course through the Apalachicola National Forest. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.


Jay WallaceTop Ten Men, 2016 Salute to Prefontaine 5K
  1. 18:38 ~ Geb Kiros (M, 50)
  2. 19:05 ~ Gary Droze (M, 55)
  3. 19:21 ~ Jay Wallace (M, 52)
  4. 19:39 ~ Zach DeVeau (M, 28)
  5. 19:47 ~ Jim Halley (M, 37)
  6. 19:53 ~ Peter Van Brussel (M, 23)
  7. 20:01 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
  8. 20:10 ~ Eric Godin (M, 32)
  9. 20:32 ~ Philip Sura (M, 46)
  10. 20:59 ~ Don Smith (M, 37)

Emily SmithTop Ten Women, 2016 Salute to Prefontaine 5K
  1. 22:58 ~ Samantha Reilly (F, 25)
  2. 23:22 ~ Emily Smith (F, 31)
  3. 23:28 ~ Mia Wiederkehr (F, 18)
  4. 24:35 ~ Monet Madeux (F, 20)
  5. 24:44 ~ Kendall Ward (F, 16)
  6. 24:47 ~ Monica Judd (F, 42)
  7. 24:50 ~ Jessa Stewart (F, 13)
  8. 25:18 ~ Laura Reina (F, 52)
  9. 25:37 ~ Angela Dempsey (F, 48)
  10. 25:55 ~ Deborah Congdon (F, 46)

Known winners of GWTC's Prefontaine Forest 5K
1976 - 2016
DateMenWomen
25 September 197615:43, Tim Simpkins19:20, Nancy McCormac
September 197715:35, Tim Simpkins19:00, Janice Gage
23 September 1978

September 1979

20 September 198017:17, George West20:52, Donna Miller
September 198118:20, Shannon Sullivan22:27, Pam Ledbetter
September 1982

24 September 198317:17, Jeff Doherty20:36, Donna Miller
September 198417:11, Larry Abele20:43, Barbara Balzer
September 198516:51, Tim Simpkins20:40, Darien Andreu
27 September 198617:20, Tim Simpkins22:14, Laura Partin
12 September 198717:33, Tom Burr21:20, Linda Nicholson
24 September 198817:38, Tom Burr22:23, Yvonne Gsteiger
23 September 198917:25, Tim Simpkins21:30, Vikki Saga
22 September 199017:12, Bill Crooks22:23, Tina Davies
22 September 199117:54, Gary Droze24:48, Tina Davies
19 September 199218:29, Gary Droze22:05, Diane Blas
18 September 199317:58, Tim Simpkins24:16, Sissi Carroll
17 September 199417:00, Gary Droze21:16, Carrie Weyant
30 September 199517:12, Gary Droze22:56, Sissi Carroll
28 September 199619:18, Gary Droze22:56, Jane Johnson
27 September 199718:50, Bill Crooks23:07, Julie Clark
26 September 199819:26, Paul Hoover24:44, Peggy Simpson
25 September 199917:56, Gary Droze24:13, Brandi Rook
30 September 200017:49, Gary Droze22:17, Allie Hunter
29 September 200119:37, Scott Poindexter22:17, Allie Hunter
5 October 200222:17, David Yon25:47, Yvonne Gsteiger
27 September 200318:35, Shawn Patterson23:49, Angela Dempsey
25 September 200417:43, Gary Droze22:46, Seeley Lovett
24 September 200518:13, Gary Droze24:06, Jane Johnson
23 September 200617:24, Gary Droze19:59, Stephanie Liles
29 September 200717:29, Chris Gregory20:26, Micah Adriani
27 September 200818:16, Daniel Lee21:10, Kati Gosnell
26 September 200920:28, Joel Piotrowski21:20, Micah Adriani
25 September 201018:53, Jay Wallace22:17, Kelly Stevens
24 September 201119:08, Michael Martinez22:31, Olivia Swedberg Yinger
22 September 201217:18, Stanley Linton20:58, Micah Adriani
21 September 201316:27, Stanley Linton23:34, Melissa Geary
27 September 201417:43, Chris Lake22:30, Cora Atkinson
26 September 201518:42, Peter Van Brussel23:38, Emily Smith
24 September 201618:38, Geb Kiros22:58, Samantha Reilly


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