Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Get ready for the 2018 Springtime Road Race, Tallahassee!

In Tallahassee, Florida, this is the week of the Springtime Road Race. Featuring a 10K, a 5K, and a one-mile kids’ run, the event is slated for Saturday morning, 7 April 2018, starting from in front of the Leon County Courthouse and finishing next to Cascades Park. It’s not the oldest race in town, nor is it the longest. It’s not the largest, either. But after being run in center city during five different decades and two different centuries, it’s the best known race in town. For many people, it’s the only Tallahassee event they ever run.

Chris Haynes
Chris Haynes

For a road race, Springtime is old. This will be the 43rd annual Springtime, making the event older than a good number of the people running it. The Springtime course has changed several times over the years, often enough that runners can assert seniority based on the courses they remember. You might boast, for instance, that you ran the race the year it started south on Monroe Street instead of north. But another athlete will upstage you by claiming to have done Springtime before that, when the race finished with a one-kilometer loop in front of the Florida Department of Transportation building. A different runner will say that he has you both beat, bragging that he ran back when Springtime finished with an uphill climb back to Monroe Street. Then there’s the silver-haired competitor who will tell all of you that the uphill was on Call Street one of the years he ran.


I’m in the fraternity of geezers who were in the race when it was a two-loop, four-mile course on the Florida State University campus. The run wasn’t even called Springtime then; it was named after its title sponsor, a bank that no longer exists. It was probably thirty years later before I found out that I had run in the first Springtime that day.

Ani Veltcheva
Ani Veltcheva

More might remember a relatively recent change; the addition of the 5K race in 2008. Purists might argue that the 5K distracted from the 10K main event. After all, the Boston Marathon doesn’t have a 5K option, nor does the Peachtree Road Race 10K. But that line had already been crossed when the mile for kids had been added to Springtime.


The winners of the Springtime 5K seldom match the pace of the front-runners in the 10K. The shorter race is more of a people’s event. Florida Governor Rick Scott ran the Springtime 5K in 2011, his first year in office, placing 174th out of 731 finisher in 29:37. He hasn’t been back since. While executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, Bob Gabordi ran the Springtime 5K a couple of times. He didn’t run quite as fast as Gov. Scott, but he did write a piece for the op-ed page about the experience, doing much to establish the 5K as part of Springtime tradition.

Alyson Churchill
Alyson Churchill

Some notable runners have been at the front of the pack in the 5K. For example, Alyson Churchill won the women's division in the 2015 race, running 19:44. A year and a half later, Churchill won the girls' class 3A FHSAA State Cross-Country title while competing for Lincoln High.


Of course, before that Churchill had graduated to running the 10K at the 2016 Springtime.

Stanley Linton and Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan


In either the 10K or the 5K, hills are part of the Springtime tradition. Actually, hills are part of the topography. Complaining about the hills is the tradition. If you talk to any Springtime runner, they will be sure to tell you about climbing through the hills of Myers Park. It is true that the Springtime 10K takes runners to one of the highest points in Tallahassee. What’s also true, though, is that because part of the course runs along the Saint Augustine Branch, you also hit one of the lowest points in town. The finish line along Suwannee Street is not quite the lowest spot on the course, but it’s close enough that the runners have a net elevation loss of almost 100 feet from the start of the race to the finish. It’s enough of a net downhill that any world record run on the Springtime course wouldn’t be recognized by the IAAF.


The Springtime course probably won’t change in 2019, but just in case it does, you may want to run Springtime this year to ensure you have bragging rights for the 2018 course--5K or 10K. Either way, make sure to work on your story about running up the young mountain on the second mile of the run.

Katie Sherron, Sheryl Rosen
Katie Sherron and Sheryl Rosen

Springtime 10K Champions, 1976 - 2017
DateDistanceMenWomenFinishers
24 April 1976*4 miles20:30, George West,Donnie Cook25:27, Janice Gage106
197710K31:24, Morrison Reid40:57, Nancy McCormac205
1 April 197810K31:43, George West38:03, Laura Ledbetter468
7 April 197910K33:10, David Ferrell37:14, Janice Gage658
29 March 198010K32:35, Rick Swiderski40:02, Lisa Kinch
4 April 198110K32:06, Mabry McCray37:14, Janice Gage683
3 April 198210K32:11, George West39:56, Pam Ledbetter
9 April 198310K31:21, Noel Shumann38:15, Janice Hochstein
7 April 198410K30:03, Larry Greene35:57, Carla Borovicka917
30 March 198510K30:30, Paul Waldron35:32, Carole Rouillard
22 March 198610K31:15, Dennis Rice37:16, Karen MacHarg
5 March 198710K31:52, Jessie Close35:30, Carla Borovicka757
26 March 198810K31:22, Paul Waldron38:18, Karen MacHarg760
8 April 198910K30:49, Paul Waldron37:54, Janice Hochstein827
199010K31:48, Jessie Close38:16, Vikki Saga913
199110K32:02, Jessie Close38:29, Paula Johnson
199210K32:09, Jessie Close37:38, Paula Johnson
199310K33:11, Andy Palmer36:54, Paula Johnson
199410K32:17, Matthew Dobson37:37, Lisa Herman692
1 April 199510K31:43, Matthew Dobson37:27, Jane Johnson
13 April 199610K32:21, Jessie Close37:11, Jane Johnson610
12 April 199710K31:12, Juri Punda35:30, Tamara Karloukova847
4 April 199810K31:07, Randy Hollinger34:09, Breeda Dennehy789
27 March 199910K30:56, Muchapiwa Mazano37:01, Sarah Docter-Williams681
1 April 200010K32:28, Muchapiwa Mazano36:05, Anna Pichrtova770
31 March 200110K32:18, Muchapiwa Mazano34:46, Tatyana Maslova717
6 April 200210K31:18, Conor Holt36:40, Larisa Timchina732
5 April 200310K30:56, Joseph Zepherinus34:52, Larisa Timchina634
3 April 200410K33:22, Caleb Carmichael37:03, Sarah Docter-Williams694
2 April 200510K32:43, Joey Zins36:51, Sarah Docter-Williams758
1 April 200610K33:25, Joey Zins34:36, Vicky Gill663
31 March 200710K33:27, Matthew Dobson37:23, Lara Shaw867
29 March 200810K31:59, Joey Zins38:16, Sarah Docter-Williams820
5K17:58, Cray Peron23:17, Angela Gibbs423
28 March 200910K35:00, David Altmaier38:34, Lisa Johnson658
5K16:44, Daniel Lee18:48, Allison Eagen409
27 March 201010K33:09, Chris Lake38:23, Sheryl Rosen850
5K19:14, Etienne Mazimpaka21:58, Katherine Lindsay686
2 April 201110K32:34, Chris Lake34:52, Pasca Cheruiyot934
5K19:10, Etienne Mazimpaka18:18, Lisa Johnson731
31 March 201210K33:29, Chris Lake37:33, Lindsay Zeiler905
5K19:02, David Witman18:24, Lisa Johnson809
6 April 201310K31:42, Kevin Sullivan36:05, Stefanie Slekis993
5K16:48, Alex Smyth19:24, Lisa Johnson788
29 March 201410K32:03, Kevin Sullivan38:09, Seeley Gutierrez716
5K17:50, Adam Greenstein18:17, Amy Hines443
28 March 201510K32:59, Stephen Cox37:30, Sheryl Rosen986
5K17:31, Adam Greenstein19:44, Alyson Churchill709
2 April 201610K34:06, Roger Schmidt39:09, Adriana Piekarewicz942
5K18:42, Nicholas Loffer21:53, Megan Churchill426
1 April 201710K32:51, Christopher Haynes37:21, Ani Veltcheva909
5K18:36, Nick Loffer20:53, Shannon Turner582
* The 1976 race was a four-mile run on the FSU campus.


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