Monday, June 19, 2017

Ann Centner takes it all at the first Saint Peter's Anglican Church 10K

Ten kilometers, 6.2 miles, is a respectable distance. The longest event on the track at the Olympics is ten kilometers. But would anyone want to run that far on the roads in summer weather? Well, some 60 thousand runners would, the ones who sign up for the July 4 Peachtree 10K in Atlanta. Add to that throng the 165 athletes in Tallahassee, Florida who finished the inaugural Saint Peter's Anglican Church 10K on Saturday, 17 June 2017. Leading that group of 165 runners through the sultry summer air were Ann Centner and Michael Peymann. Centner, a member of Albany, Georgia's Good Life City Runners, was the overall winner and first woman in the race, running 42:02. At 42:32, Tallahassee master runner Peymann was the overall runner-up and top male finisher.

Ann Centner
Ann Centner

The competitors that morning faced a USATF-certified out-and-back course that covered roads, streets, and trails. After leaving Saint Peter's Anglican Church, the first mile would take them south along US 319. The next mile would be on the suburban High Grove Road, followed by a third mile on the trails of the Lake Overstreet Tract of Maclay Gardens State Park. After that the athletes would turn back and retrace the route back to the church and the finish line.

The race started at 8:00 AM. The runners headed out and the church carillon rang. Before the bells were too far away to hear, Peymann took the lead. By the time he reached High Grove Road, Peymann was more than twenty seconds ahead of the next runner. Meanwhile, Ann Centner had moved into second. Peymann maintained his lead on the pavement, but then the race turned onto the trails.

Michael Peymann
Michael Peymann

"I went out too fast," recalled Peymann. "I had a side stitch at the turnaround, at three miles, and that's where Ann passed me. I tried to stay with her after that, but she finished 30 seconds ahead of me."

"100 or 200 meters after the turnaround I took over," said Centner.

Centner was indeed in charge after that, leading the rest of the way and breaking the race open during the fifth mile. She crossed the line first in 42:02 while Peymann was second in 42:32. Chris Stanley was third overall and second in the men's standings, running 46:38. Blake Singer was fourth overall in 46:52, the third male finisher.

Ann Centner
Ann Centner

Deanna McVay was the second woman in the race, placing seventh overall in 48:14. Kristen Bowers was the first woman master and third female finisher, 22nd overall in 53:29.

"It was a hilly course," reflected Centner. "With the heat and humidity it was challenging, so the time wasn't great."

42:02 wasn't as fast as the 40:56 Centner had posted two months earlier to win the women's title at Thomasville's Rose City 10K. Still, any winning time is a good time.

Chris Stanley
Chris Stanley

When she isn't running, Centner is a family and consumer sciences public service professional at the Early County University of Georgia Extension Office in Blakely. There is plenty of racing in her immediate future.

"Peachtree is the thing," said Centner, who plans to race that classic Atlanta 10K next month. "Before that I might run the Prediction 5K or the Flint River Ramble in Albany. The Good Life City Road Mile comes after Peachtree."

Centner wasn't the only runner to mention the June heat. Anticipating warm conditions, the race management had provided water tables along the course for the runners. Some High Grove residents had also set up their own water tables, much the way people in the crowds along the Boston Marathon course offer water and fruit to runners. No athlete crossed the finish line without being offered a cloth soaked in ice water. After the 10K, runners could refresh themselves with watermelon, oranges, bananas, and bagels. Cold beer was supplied by Proof Brewing, hot pizza by Momos.

Deanna McVay
Deanna McVay

While the 10K runners were out on the course, 62 other athletes completed a one-mile fun run. Both events were timed by Gulf Winds Track Club.

The 2017 Saint Peter's Anglican Church 10K was a first-year event. Will the race return in 2018?

"The course certification is good for ten years," said race director Mark Priddy. "I don't see why we wouldn't do it again."

Top Ten Women, 2017 Saint Peter's Anglican Church 10K
  1. 42:02, Ann Centner (F, 25)
  2. 48:14, Deanna McVay (F, 34)
  3. 53:29, Kristen Bowers (F, 42)
  4. 54:12, Darcy Brinkmann (F, 36)
  5. 55:29, Deirdre McCarthy (F, 37)
  6. 56:44, Jenna Kolby (F, 27)
  7. 57:00, Eva Horton (F, 36)
  8. 56:50, Ashley Maxwell (F, 26)
  9. 57:29, Betsy Miller (F, 39)
  10. 58:29, Cassie Brooks (F, 36)

Top Ten Men, 2017 Saint Peter's Anglican Church 10K
  1. 42:32, Michael Peymann (M, 54)
  2. 46:38, Chris Stanley (M, 39)
  3. 46:52, Blake Singer (M, 23)
  4. 47:19, Aaron Taylor (M, 24)
  5. 47:36, Chase Campbell (M, 32)
  6. 48:33, Mack Crews (M, 53)
  7. 49:34, David Simison (M, 35)
  8. 50:06, Magnus McKay (M, 29)
  9. 49:59, Michael Savage (M, 60)
  10. 50:16, Agustin Vilardo (M, 37)


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