Monday, September 4, 2017

Halley and Sherron take the Bluebird 5K

Over the ages, the land east of Tallahassee, Florida that makes up the Alford Greenway has seen cattle ranching, cotton plantations, the Chaires Massacre, and thousands of years of pre-columbian activity. Nowadays, the human interaction with the 874-acre Greenway is mostly confined to hiking, running, and trail bicycling. There's also the occasional cross-country race, as there was on Monday morning, 4 September 2017. It was the second annual Bluebird 5K Run For Brookie B, and Jim Halley won the 3.1-mile event in 19:12. Katie Sherron took the women's title, placing third overall in 19:53.

Katie Sherron
Katie Sherron

It was actually the second attempt at a second annual Bluebird 5K. The inaugural race had gone off successfully on Labor Day, 2015. The 2016 race, however, was initially postponed and finally canceled due to damage from Hurricane Hermine. As restless as the tropics were in 2017, the Labor Day weather in Tallahassee was favorable for the revival of the Bluebird 5K.

The race got under way a few minutes after its scheduled starting time of 8:30 AM. After the initial scramble, Jim Halley emerged as the leader.

Jim Halley
Jim Halley

"Five of them went out pretty hard," said Halley. "I went by them after the first hill."

Halley continued to lead, meeting a new challenge later in the race.

"Gary Droze crept on me a bit," said Halley. "I put in a second effort and pulled away."

Gary Droze
Gary Droze

Leaving Droze behind, Halley went on to win in 19:12. Droze, the Tallahassee Community College cross-country coach, was the top master and second overall in 19:28. Paul Guyas took third in 19:57.

"It is tough," Halley said about the Alford Greenway course. "It's definitely not single-track tough, but you still have to watch every step like in a single-track race. I wish I had run high school cross-country. I might be better at this."

Better would always be nice, but on Labor Day at the Alford Greenway, Halley was good enough.

Hannah Hosay
Hannah Hosay

Women's champ Katie Sherron also had a word or two about the course.

"It's very nice!" said Sherron. "It's cross-country, but I don't excel at cross-country. I prefer the roads."

In the early going, Sherron was behind some of the younger runners in the women's field. By the end of the first mile, though, she was fourth overall and leading the women's competition. Sherron moved up to third during the second half of the race, going on to take the women's title in 19:53. Hannah Hosay, a sophomore on the Maclay School cross-country team, was second in the women's standings and Jenna Flemons, an alumna of the Cardinal Gibbons cross-country program, was the third woman and fifteenth overall in 22:51. Monica Judd was the top woman master and sixth female finisher, 29th overall in 24:25.

Jenna Flemons
Jenna Flemons

After the Bluebird 5K, Sherron is ready to return to the road racing she prefers. Where?

"Probably the Women's Distance Festival," said Sherron, referring to a 23 September 2017 race in Tallahassee's Indianhead Acres. "That's a good one. I like that course."

Top Ten Men, 2017 Bluebird 5K
  1. 19:12, Jim Halley (M, 37)
  2. 19:28, Gary Droze (M, 56)
  3. 19:57, Paul Guyas (M, 39)
  4. 20:03, Kurt Dietrich (M, 26)
  5. 21:26, Bill McNulty (M, 59)
  6. 21:27, Matthew Steen (M, 14)
  7. 21:40, Jamichael Steen (M, 15)
  8. 22:09, Jay McDuffie (M, 16)
  9. 22:22, Gary Johnston (M, 42)
  10. 22:32, David Guhl (M, 17)

Top Ten Women, 2017 Bluebird 5K
  1. 19:53, Katie Sherron (F, 35)
  2. 22:35, Hannah Hosay (F, 15)
  3. 22:51, Jenna Flemons (F, 19)
  4. 23:04, Alyssa Terry (F, 24)
  5. 24:14, Rebecca Landry (F, 20)
  6. 24:25, Monica Judd (F, 43)
  7. 25:18, Kristi McPherson (F, 19)
  8. 25:38, Maggie Gilbert (F, 17)
  9. 25:41, Maggie Boyd (F, 11)
  10. 25:44, Madison Crews (F, 16)

Bluebird 5K Run For Brookie B winners, 2015 - 2017
7 September 201518:00, Tyler Heath20:07, Alyson Churchill226
4 September 201719:12, Jim Halley19:53, Katie Sherron187


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