Monday, June 18, 2018

Elvis Maradzike and Sheryl Rosen go one-two at Monticello's Melon Run

Elvis Maradzike was a reluctant athlete in Monticello, Florida on Saturday morning, 16 June 2018.


"I really didn't want to run the race today," said Maradzike, a doctoral student at Florida State University. "But I had already signed up and it was too late to cancel."

Elvis Maradzike
Elvis Maradzike

So Maradzike got up early and made the 30-mile trek from Tallahassee to Monticello for the 40th annual Melon Run 5K. He may have been disinclined to race, but he ran well, winning the 3.1-mile event in 19:15. Placing second to Maradzike, Tallahassee lawyer Sheryl Rosen was the first woman in the 5K, running 19:40.


The runners lined up on West Washington Street for the 8:15 AM start of the race with the Jefferson County Courthouse looming behind them, the domed structure seeming to symbolize Monticello's one-time status as the watermelon seed capital of the world. Chris Myrick of Tallahassee set the early pace, running ahead of the rest of the field. Sheryl Rosen and Elvis Maradzike weren't far behind.

Elvis Maradzike, Chris Myrick, Sheryl Rosen
Elvis Maradzike, Chris Myrick, Sheryl Rosen

"It was hot, but I just tried to run at a steady pace," said Maradzike.


The steady-pace strategy allowed Maradzike to overtake Myrick about halfway through the race, when the course turned south onto the Monticello Bike Trail. On the trail, Maradzike opened a gap on Rosen and Myrick, breaking contact. He was well ahead when he reached the final quarter mile of the race, the Water Street hill--a climb the height of a seven-story building.

Sheryl Rosen
Sheryl Rosen

"I hadn't run here before and I heard that there was a big hill at the beginning and a big hill at the end," said Maradzike. "But it wasn't that big."


Other athletes have declared Water Street a hill aspiring to be a mountain, but Maradzike raced smoothly up the slope, crossing the finish line in a winning 19:15--quite a performance for someone who only recently came to the distance running game.

Bryce Cole, Simon Cole
Bryce Cole, Simon Cole

"I started running just four years ago, just before entering graduate school at Florida State," said Maradzike. "I don't really train seriously, about twenty miles a week."


Sheryl Rosen, on the other hand, has been racing the Melon Run since before Maradzike took up running; she won the women's title in the 2013 race. Finishing runner-up to Maradzike in 19:40, Rosen picked up her second women's win. Early leader Chris Myrick was third overall in 20:11. Simon Cole outkicked Bryce Cole for fourth, both runners clocked in 21:20. Joel Piotrowski was the top master runner in the race, placing seventh overall in 21:44.

Alyssa Terry
Alyssa Terry

Alyssa Terry took second in the women's standings and sixth overall in 21:28, moving up several places after the first half of the race. Lilli Unger, a rising sophomore on the Leon High cross-country team, was the third woman and eighth overall in 21:52. Paula O'Neill was the first woman master and sixth female finisher, 26th overall in 24:58.


202 athletes finished the 2018 Melon Run 5K. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.


Top Ten Men, 2018 Melon Run 5K
  1. 19:15, Elvis Maradzike (M, 31)
  2. 20:11, Chris Myrick (M, 25)
  3. 21:20, Simon Cole (M, 15)
  4. 21:20, Bryce Cole (M, 19)
  5. 21:44, Joel Piotrowski (M, 48)
  6. 22:09, Tim Unger (M, 58)
  7. 22:13, Dalton Gray (M, 18)
  8. 22:17, David Wirgau (M, 24)
  9. 22:43, William Carter (M, 53)
  10. 23:16, Joey Davis (M, 15)

Top Ten Women, 2018 Melon Run 5K
  1. 19:40, Sheryl Rosen (F, 34)
  2. 21:28, Alyssa Terry (F, 24)
  3. 21:52, Lilli Unger (F, 15)
  4. 22:20, Kat Sack (F, 26)
  5. 22:32, Brittney Barnes (F, 30)
  6. 24:58, Paula O'Neill (F, 56)
  7. 25:33, Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 55)
  8. 25:50, Abigail Batia (F, 39)
  9. 26:07, Renee Beshears (F, 44)
  10. 26:25, Carrie Smith (F, 43)

Known winners of the Monticello Melon Run 5K, 1979 - 2018
DateMenWomenFinishers
23 June 197915:39, Gary Slayton20:36, Carolyn Crochet
28 June 198015:28, Gary Slayton19:49, Debbie Dickson
1981

19 June 198215:10, Andy Whitener17:38, Laura Ledbetter
18 June 1983
23 June 198415:37, Gary Slayton19:45, Cindy Walker
22 June 198516:09, Felton Wright19:12, Barbara Balzer
21 June 198615:55, Bill Crooks18:32, Karen MacHarg
20 June 198716:14, Bill Crooks19:33, Peggy Johnson257
25 June 198815:47, Bill Crooks18:18, Karen MacHarg324
24 June 198915:02, Jeff Pigg19:05, Vikki Saga
23 June 199015:20, Jessie Close18:06, Karen MacHarg
22 June 199115:23, Phillip Rowan19:34, Vikki Saga
20 June 199215:10, Jessie Close18:35, Lynda Nilges386
26 June 199316:07, Bill Crooks19:37, Sue Kany
29 June 199416:13, Gary Droze18:49, Sarah Heeb
24 June 199514:57, John Charlton19:54, Sissi Carroll
22 June 1996

28 June 1997

27 June 199816:33, Tommy Kunish17:51, Sarah Docter-Williams
26 June 199916:23, Tommy Kunish21:05, Peggy Simpson193
17 June 200017:08, Tim Simpkins18:32, Kim Winn141
16 June 200116:29, Ryan Deak17:54, Sarah Docter-Williams238
22 June 200217:54, Doug Gorton21:41, Laura Atlee139
21 June 2003

19 June 200417:18, Tim Unger20:30, Kate Remillard121
18 June 200518:31, Jack McDermott18:07, Sarah Docter-Williams123
17 June 200617:36, Nathan Haskins22:35, Loranne Ausley170
16 June 200716:28, Nathan Haskins18:50, Sarah Docter-Williams261
21 June 200816:08, Nathan Haskins20:16, Deb Jones194
20 June 200916:54, Charlie Johnson23:49, Sandy Holt267
19 June 201018:07, Gabriel Leitz19:59, Micah Adriani283
18 June 201116:38, Sammy Palmer19:28, Katie Showman258
16 June 201216:28, Stephen Cox18:59, Seeley Gutierrez379
15 June 201316:42, Stanley Linton18:49, Sheryl Rosen284
21 June 201416:17, Chris Lake19:08, Seeley Gutierrez244
20 June 201518:03, Roger Schmidt20:49, Teresa Ristow232
18 June 201615:50, Stanley Linton19:44, Brittney Skiles212
17 June 201716:55, Charlie Johnson19:13, Katie Sherron326
16 June 201819:15, Elvis Maradzike19:40, Sheryl Rosen202
Thank you to Pat Dugan for providing information about the 1987 race.


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