Saturday, March 4, 2017

McCurdy and Sherron outrun a sea of green at the Shamrock Scurry

Over 50 years ago the Beatles sang about the Yellow Submarine sailing a Sea of Green. There was another Sea of Green on the north side of Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday morning, 4 March 2017. It was a sea of green shirts, peppered with a few green kilts and green tutus, as more than 600 athletes assembled on Roscommon Drive in Killearn Estates for the Shamrock Scurry 5K. And when that green wave had washed over the course, Matt McCurdy had won the race, running 16:38. Katie Sherron was the women's champ, placing tenth overall in 19:09.

Matt McCurdy
Matt McCurdy

“Perfect weather this morning!” declared Jillian Heddaeus after the race. Heddaeus ran 20:57, finishing fourth in the women's standings. Her take on the conditions was echoed by most of the athletes at the Scurry. It was an almost optimum morning for running clear skies, calm air, and cool but not cold temperatures. A few runners may have been shivering a bit when the starting siren went off a few minutes after 8:30 AM, but it didn't take much racing to cure that.

By the end of the first quarter mile Matt McCurdy, Vince Molosky, and Chris O'Kelley were out in front, having broken away from the rest of the field. Those same runners had taken the first three places at the Run For The Cookies 5K three weeks earlier. McCurdy had waited until the third mile to make his move that morning, but at the Shamrock Scurry he left Molosky and O'Kelley behind during the second mile. Then the uphills started.

Matt McCurdy, Vince Molosky, Chris O'Kelley
The leaders at 1500m

“The first two miles of the race today were great,” reflected McCurdy. “The hill around mile two and the subsequent mile weren't as great!”

After starting on high ground near Killearn United Methodist Church, the Shamrock Scurry descends toward Lake Killarney for the first half of the race. After that, the runners start a series of climbs back to the church and the finish line. The first and worst of these is a hill that the runners crest at the two mile mark, the one that McCurdy mentioned. The final ascent comes with less than half a mile to go in the race--Pancake Hill.

Geb Kiros
Geb Kiros

McCurdy may not have enjoyed the hills, but he widened his lead as he climbed them. He crested Pancake Hill before any of his rivals had reached the base, then raced home to win the race in 16:38. Molosky reached Pancake Hill a few steps ahead of O'Kelley, then added a few steps more on the way to the finish line, taking second in 17:13 while O'Kelley was third in 17:19. Ryan Truchelut was fourth in 17:19. Geb Kiros was the first master runner, placing fifth overall in 17:56.

It was McCurdy’s first time running the Shamrock Scurry, but women’s champ Katie Sherron was already a veteran of the race. Sherron not only won the women’s title at the 2014 scurry, she and her husband Zach DeVeau live right in the neighborhood.

Katie Sherron
Katie Sherron

“Zach and I ran from our house this morning,” said Sherron. “About a mile to the starting line. This course isn't flat, but it's pretty and close to home so I run it frequently. Course knowledge is definitely an advantage with those mid- and end-of-race hills!”

Sherron had the competition wrapped up before those hills, though. Brittney Barnes and Sherron led the women’s field during the first mile, then Sherron made a move just before the mile mark. It was Sherron’s race after that, and she went on to claim her second Shamrock Scurry win with a 19:09. Barnes was second in the women's standings, placing 23rd overall in 20:22. Katie Sack was the third woman and 26th overall in 20:43. Stephanie Liles-Weyant was the top woman master and fifth female finisher, 32nd overall in 21:04.

Brittney Barnes
Brittney Barnes

634 athletes finished the 2017 Shamrock Scurry 5K, with another 167 completing a one-mile fun run. Many of the finishers enjoyed a post-race pancake and sausage breakfast served at the church. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the event.

Top Ten Men, 2017 Shamrock Scurry 5K
  1. 16:38, Matthew McCurdy (M, 24)
  2. 17:13, Vince Molosky (M, 37)
  3. 17:19, Christopher O'Kelley (M, 23)
  4. 17:51, Ryan Truchelut (M, 31)
  5. 17:56, Geb Kiros (M, 50)
  6. 18:01, Jim Halley (M, 37)
  7. 18:13, Eric Godin (M, 32)
  8. 18:47, Paul Guyas (M, 39)
  9. 19:07, Michael Martinez (M, 51)
  10. 19:12, Zach Deveau (M, 29)

Top Ten Women, 2017 Shamrock Scurry 5K
  1. 19:09, Katie Sherron (F, 35)
  2. 20:22, Brittney Barnes (F, 29)
  3. 20:43, Katie Sack (F, 25)
  4. 20:57, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33)
  5. 21:04, Stephanie Liles-Weyant (F, 44)
  6. 21:41, Alyssa Terry (F, 23)
  7. 21:58, Laura McDermott (F, 37)
  8. 22:00, Laura Reina (F, 52)
  9. 22:14, Monica Judd (F, 42)
  10. 22:17, Tylo Farrar (F, 23)

Known Shamrock Scurry 5K winners, 1981 - 2017

13 March 198217:05, Paul Hodge21:22, Cathy Shuler
12 March 198315:35, Adam Pinkston19:21, Cheryl Jennings
17 March 198416:19, Bobby Shackleford17:42, Nellie Orr
16 March 198514:35, Jeff Wentworth19:20, Angie Crook
15 March 198615:33, David Keen18:42, Janice Hochstein
7 March 198715:21, Richard Corbett18:15, Janice Hochstein
12 March 198816:01, Bill Crooks19:59, Robin Tanner
11 March 198915:57, Bill Crooks19:32, Yvonne Gsteiger
17 March 199015:39, John Charlton20:07 Jane Henderson
16 March 199115:32, Gary Droze19:15, Vikki Saga
14 March 199215:53, Jessie Close17:50, Paula Johnson
8 May 1993

19 March 199415:17, Robin Rogers18:38, Jane Johnson
18 March 1995


13 March 200416:02, Ryder Leary16:44, Sinead Evans
5 March 200516:29, Matthew Dobson19:21, Breeda Willis
18 March 200618:21, Michael Martinez20:10, Jennifer Emo
17 March 200715:43, Joey Zins21:55, Jun Inoue
15 March 200814:47, Mark Carroll16:55, Barbara Parker
13 March 201017:25, Jay Wallace21:03, Anna Busby
12 March 201118:14, Peter Kaus19:35, Sheryl Rosen
10 March 201216:27, Stephen Cox19:43, Carrie Seiberlich
9 March 201316:13, Stanley Linton20:38, Mary Anne Grayson
8 March 201415:44, Stanley Linton19:48, Katie Sherron
14 March 201516:30, Chris Lake20:45, Emily Molen
12 March 201619:51, Duane Evans22:47, Emma Spencer
4 March 201716:38, Matthew McCurdy19:09, Katie Sherron
Originally scheduled for March 13, the 1993 race had to be
postponed because of a severe winter storm.
The Shamrock Scurry was held from Killearn UMC from 1981
to 1996.
The Shamrock Scurry was not held from 1997 to 2003.
From 2004 to 2008 the Shamrock Scurry was held from
Celebration Baptist Church.
The Shamrock Scurry was not held in 2009.
From 2010 to 2017 the Shamrock Scurry was held from Killearn