Thursday, October 20, 2016

Droze and McDermott run fast at Run With The Moose

2016 is an election year so you hear a lot about polls. Sample size is an important consideration when discussing public opinion polls. Most presidential preference polls use a sample size of about a thousand. By polling that many people, you get a fairly accurate statistic--within the "3% margin of error" that you see in the fine print accompanying so many poll results. To bring the margin of error down to 2% you'd need to poll many more people--a sample size of about 2500. Smaller sample sizes, on the other hand, will increase your error. Very small samples could give you bizarre results. Quincy, Florida's annual Run With The Moose 5K has only been around for four years, so if you take as your sample the winners of that race, you'd have a tiny sample indeed. You'd also end up concluding that half of all overall winners of road races are women, and that the other half are named Droze.

Gary Droze
Gary Droze

2016 is not only an election year, it was a Droze year. On Saturday morning, 15 October 2016, Gary Droze won the fourth Run With The Moose 5K in 18:16, finishing close to 200 meters ahead of the next runner. Tallahassee school teacher Laura McDermott was the first woman in the race, placing fifth overall in 22:38.

That sample size could have been even smaller. After holding the Run With The Moose each year from 2010 to 2012, the Quincy chapter of the Moose Lodge shelved the race. The Loyal Order of the Moose revived the event after a four-year hiatus, but with a few changes. Instead of a summer run, the race was now in October, a less torrid month. The course was the same, but now it was USATF certified, a guarantee that the athletes would actually be running five kilometers. Improvements? You'd think so. On the other hand, anyone who ran slow couldn't point to the torrid summer weather or speculate that the course was long. The runner had a better event, but they had lost two excellent excuses for poor performance.

Laura McDermott
Laura McDermott

If you wanted a reason for running less than your best, though, the course still included some huge hills. After starting north on Shelfer Street, the runners turned east onto King Street and plunged into a ravine, a branch of Quincy Creek. After racing to the bottom the athletes had to struggle up the other side of the depression. Late in the race, the runners had to make another trip in and out of the ravine on their way to the finish line. It wasn't a second visit to look forward to.

On the outward journey, Gary Droze, Tallahassee Community College's cross-country coach, was the first one out of the defile. His challenges for the rest of the race didn't come from rival athletes, but from the law enforcement vehicle escorting the runners. Droze kept overtaking that lead car, which wasn't often a comfortable distance ahead.

"The fumes are killing me!" exclaimed Droze.

Paul Guyas
Paul Guyas

But Coach Droze overcame both hills and hydrocarbons to win the race in 18:16. Tallahassee runner Paul Guyas took second in 19:04, and "Marathon Jack" McDermott was third in 20:10.

"That was tough!" declared Laura McDermott after clearing the final hill on the course.

But that was less than 200 meters from the finish line, at which point it was all over but the cheering. McDermott got the women's title, finishing fifth in 22:38. Monica Judd was the first woman master and second female finisher, seventh overall in 23:59. Tallahassee master runner Paula O'Neill was third in the women's standings and ninth overall in 24:10.

Monica Judd
Monica Judd

46 athletes completed the 2016 Run With The Moose, not a bad turnout for a race back from the dead after four years. Proceeds of the race went to benefit the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign of the American Cancer Society.

Jack McDermottTop Ten Men, 2016 Run With The Moose 5K
  1. 18:16 ~ Gary Droze (M, 55)
  2. 19:04 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 39)
  3. 20:10 ~ Jack McDermott (M, 47)
  4. 20:30 ~ Duane Evans (M, 49)
  5. 23:20 ~ Mike La Bossiere (M, 50)
  6. 24:06 ~ David Anderson (M, 66)
  7. 24:35 ~ Douglas Gorton (M, 58)
  8. 25:06 ~ Jay Silvanima (M, 56)
  9. 26:24 ~ Paul Peavy (M, 56)
  10. 26:42 ~ Hal Davis (M, 60)

Paula O'NeillTop Ten Women, 2016 Run With The Moose 5K
  1. 22:38 ~ Laura McDermott (F, 36)
  2. 23:59 ~ Monica Judd (F, 42)
  3. 24:10 ~ Paula O'Neill (F, 55)
  4. 24:20 ~ Krista Killius (F, 53)
  5. 24:39 ~ Nancy Stedman (F, 54)
  6. 25:37 ~ Ludmila DeFaria (F, 48)
  7. 25:41 ~ Sarah Dugas (F, 37)
  8. 25:45 ~ Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 54)
  9. 26:23 ~ Sherrie Peavy (F, 48)
  10. 26:48 ~ Nancy Lewis (F, 51)

Run With The Moose 5K winners, 2010 - 2016
14 August 201022:01, Jay Silvanima20:52, Sheryl Rosen22
23 July 201117:57, Gary Droze24:05, Vicky Droze87
28 July 201221:16, Duane Evans18:45, Violah Lagat52
15 October 201618:16, Gary Droze22:38, Laura McDermott46