Thursday, November 3, 2016

Presto! Estremera and Hines prevail at the Magic Mile

"They were 2:02 at the half!" called out Bill McGuire.


McGuire was riding a lead bicycle during Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Rex Cleveland Magic Mile in Tallahassee, Florida. The only athlete reaching the half mile in 2:02, though, was Ricardo Estremera, who was already enjoying a sizable lead. That gap only grew during the final half mile of the race, and Estremera went on to win the inaugural event in 4:09.14. Amy Hines was the top woman in the race, placing eighth overall in 5:34.19.

Ricardo Estremera
Ricardo Estremera

When the course was being designed for the 2017 Tallahassee Marathon, someone noticed that a one-mile stretch of the route was almost entirely downhill, dropping from the heights near Capital City Country Club to FAMU Way, where the waters of the Saint Augustine Branch flowed through a box culvert. As a bonus, the mile included the Capital Cascades Crossing, the new pedestrian bridge across South Monroe Street.


Naturally, there had to be a race on that mile. There was an untimed mile run across the bridge on 17 October 2016, but the first timed event was the Rex Cleveland Magic Mile on Wednesday evening, 2 November 2016.


Most of the elevation loss on the course was in the first half of the race. Ricardo Estremera took advantage of that descent to reach the midpoint of the run in 2:02. His 2:07 second half wasn't exactly pedestrian, either.


"I was really comfortable," said Estremera. "I just wanted to get a workout in. Maybe if they do it again in the spring I'll break 4:00."

Amy Hines
Amy Hines

Triathlete Armando Abaunza was runner-up in the race with a 4:32.98. Right behind Abaunza in 4:33.63, Florida State University undergrad Mark Zamani took third. A year earlier Zamani had been racing on the cross-country team at Naugutuck High in Connecticut.


Amy Hines made it across the bridge leading the women, running just ahead of Katie Sack. Hines widened that margin over the final 600 meters of the race, winning the women's division in 5:34.19. Sack was the second female finisher and eleventh overall in 5:41.49. Lincoln High cross-country runner Alyson Churchill was running sixth in the women's race at the bridge, but she moved up three places late in the race to place third in the women's standings and fourteenth overall in 5:43.66. The mile came three days before Churchill was scheduled to race in the State Cross Country Championships at Apalachee Regional Park.


Juan Ordonez was the first master runner and ninth male finisher in the mile, placing Lyssa Oberkreser was the top female master and ninth in the women's standings; she was 27th overall in 6:14.44.


174 athletes finished the race.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Cleveland Magic Mile
  1. 4:09.14, Ricardo Estremera (M, 30)
  2. 4:32.98, Armando Abaunza (M, 24)
  3. 4:33.63, Mark Zamani (M, 18)
  4. 5:04.54, Zach DeVeau (M, 29)
  5. 5:07.18, Jon Nash (M, 37)
  6. 5:28.19, Don Smith (M, 37)
  7. 5:33.44, Jordan Cooper (M, 29)
  8. 5:36.34, Jeff Shaver (M, 39)
  9. 5:40.91, Juan Ordonez (M, 42)
  10. 5:42.44, Tim Unger (M, 57)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Cleveland Magic Mile
  1. 5:34.19, Amy Hines (F, 35)
  2. 5:41.49, Katie Sack (F, 25)
  3. 5:43.66, Alyson Churchill (F, 14)
  4. 5:49.18, Jocelyn Chan (F, 27)
  5. 5:53.19, Paige Churchill (F, 11)
  6. 5:53.62, Melanie Leitman (F, 32)
  7. 6:00.30, Emma Spencer (F, 35)
  8. 6:14.16, Kristin Halley (F, 35)
  9. 6:14.44, Lyssa Oberkreser (F, 45)
  10. 6:21.83, Layla Thompson (F, 11)

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