Monday, September 10, 2018

Haynes and Estremera burn a 15:16 at the Sickle Cell 5K

In 2017, Gulf Winds Track Club started advertising the Run For Sickle Cell 5K as "the fastest race in town." There wasn't really any evidence for this; just a belief that athletes should be able to turn in fast times on that particular course. The actual performances, though, didn't live up to the billing. So for the 37th annual Sickle Cell 5K on Saturday morning, 8 September 2018, the track club introduced a new course. This time there were indeed some fast runs, with Christopher Haynes and Ricardo Estremera breaking the tape in 15:16, finishing the race hand in hand. The women's competition was more cutthroat, with Amy Hines edging Sheryl Rosen for first, 18:07 to 18:11, with Ann Centner trailing in 18:18.

Ricardo Estremera, Chris Haynes
Ricardo Estremera and Chris Haynes

The Sickle Cell 5K course hadn't changed in decades, but the wasn't the first time the route had been altered. After all, the race had been a four-mile run in the 1980s before becoming a more typical 3.1-mile event. Bill McGuire was largely responsible for designing the course for 2018. He kept the start and finish near the Jake Gaither Community Center, eliminated a major uphill and a major downhill, and made the loop through the Jake Gaither neighborhood clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. A master runner, 71-year-old McGuire also ran this year's race, placing 47th overall in 24:00.

"I always wondered why they ran Sickle Cell in that direction," said McGuire. "And then this morning I turned onto Springsax and got the sun in my eyes."

Ricardo Estremera, Chris Haynes
Ricardo Estremera and Chris Haynes

The rising sun was at the runners' backs on the starting line at 8:30 AM. Haynes and Estremera jumped out into the lead, Haynes a few steps behind. This was by design; Estremera was pacing Haynes.

"The whole point was that he wanted to go sub-5:00 [per mile] the whole way," said Estremera. "I tried to run as even as possible for him."

Estremera had only just resumed training after taking a month off following the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia on 2 August 2018, where he won a silver medal in the 3000-meter steeplechase, running 8:46.24. Still, he was up to setting a steady pace for Haynes, who ran right behind or beside Estremera the whole way. With about 400 meters to go, they agreed to cross the finish line together, posting identical times of 15:16. Only Justin Garrard had run faster on the Tallahassee roads during 2018, posting a 15:15 at the Palace Saloon 5K in April.

Chris O'Kelley
Chris O'Kelley

Chris O'Kelley edged Charlie Kline for third, 16:40 to 16:42. Hong-Guo Yu was the first master runner in the race, placing twelfth overall in 18:30.

Ann Centner wasn't pacemaking for the women's field when she took the lead early in the race; the Blakely, Georgia athlete was going for the win. Just five days earlier, she had run 17:56 in the 5K at Macon, Georgia's 42nd annual Labor Day Road Race, taking the women's title.

Amy Hines
Amy Hines

"At Monday's race I thought there would be much more competition," said Centner. "I knew Sheryl would be here, but then Amy showed up."

Sheryl Rosen been the first woman at the 2008 Sickle Cell 5K, and runner-up in 2017. Amy Hines hadn't run Sickle Cell before, but had a history of fast runs, including a 17:45 at the 2014 Palace Saloon 5K, the fastest women's time in Tallahassee that year. Centner stayed ahead for three kilometers, but Hines took over during the second half of the race. At the finish line Hines was the first woman and eighth overall in 18:07. Rosen was the women's runner-up and ninth overall in 18:11, and Centner third woman and tenth overall in 18:18. Jennifer McGranahan was fourth in the women's standings and sixteenth overall in 19:22. Lourena Maxwell was the top woman master and ninth female finisher, 37th overall in 22:34.

Sheryl Rosen
Sheryl Rosen

McGuire's re-design of the course made for a flatter run, a popular change. No one could do anything about the summer heat, though.

"They should do a December race on this course, when it's cooler," suggested Centner.

"I ran faster than I have in five or six years," said master runner Brian Corbin, who placed nineteenth overall in 19:40. "Loved it. I'd love to run it again in January."

Ann Centner
Ann Centner

Complaints about the climate and the calendar aside, 171 athletes finished the 2018 Run For Sickle Cell 5K, with another 90 in the walking division and 42 more in the one-mile fun run. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.

Top Ten Men, 2018 Sickle Cell 5K
  1. 15:16, Christopher Haynes (M, 26)
  2. 15:16, Ricardo Estremera (M, 32)
  3. 16:40, Chris O'Kelley (M, 25)
  4. 16:42, Charlie Kline (M, 26)
  5. 17:38, Brad Busboom (M, 30)
  6. 17:41, Nick Yaeger (M, 24)
  7. 18:06, Jimmy Schafer (M, 31)
  8. 18:27, Ryan Truchelut (M, 32)
  9. 18:30, Hong-Guo Yu (M, 50)
  10. 19:00, Geb Kiros (M, 52)

Top Ten Women, 2018 Sickle Cell 5K
  1. 18:07, Amy Hines (F, 37)
  2. 18:11, Sheryl Rosen (F, 34)
  3. 18:18, Ann Centner (F, 26)
  4. 19:22, Jennifer McGranahan (F, 39)
  5. 20:01, Alyssa Terry (F, 25)
  6. 20:35, Brittney Barnes (F, 30)
  7. 21:46, Nikky Manausa (F, 37)
  8. 22:09, Laura McDermott (F, 38)
  9. 22:34, Lourena Maxwell (F, 43)
  10. 23:09, Nancy Proctor (F, 57)

Known Sickle Cell 5K winners, 1982 - 2018


8 September 1984 *

31 August 1985


19 September 198715:14.2, Jessie Close17:31.8, Karen MacHarg
17 September 198815:12, Jessie Close16:40, Carla Borovicka
16 September 198915:14, Jessie Close19:38, Barbara Balzer
15 September 199016:04, Bill Crooks18:23, Karen MacHarg
14 September 199115:18, Gary Droze18:47, Vikki Saga
12 September 199215:07, Gary Droze18:39, Carrie Hunnicutt
11 September 199315:50, Peter Kirk21:06, Leah Bonds
10 September 199415:47, Andy Palmer18:06, Jane Johnson
9 September 199515:51, John Otterson19:00, Carrie Weyant
14 September 199615:23, Bryan Erb17:58, Jane Johnson
13 September 199715:23, Gary Droze17:40, Sara Docter-Williams
12 September 199816:26, Tim Simpkins20:28, Julie Clark
11 September 199916:24, Robert Pautienus19:44, Kingsley Broughton
9 September 200016:55, Tim Unger17:40, Sandra Williams
8 September 200117:05, Tony Pearson19:39, Renata Strakova
14 September 200219:15, Michael LaBossiere24:03, Jane Cormier
13 September 200318:24, David Yon22:25, Kim Likens
11 September 200418:32, Scott Ruplinger22:29, Krista Killius
10 September 200518:28, Dan Pick22:00, Cathleen Willy
9 September 200617:36, Chris Gregory21:05, Summer Shepherd
8 September 200716:52, Michael Martinez20:18, Lindsay Thomas
13 September 200816:05, Chris Lake19:11, Sheryl Rosen
12 September 200915:44, Chris Lake22:27, Julie Clark
11 September 201018:36, Trey Edwards22:13, Nancy Stedman
10 September 201116:29, Gary Droze21:21, Tiffany Barz
8 September 201218:18, Paul Guyas20:06
14 September 2013??
13 September 201416:48, Roger Schmidt22:18, Paula O'Neill
12 September 201517:24, Matthew Nazareth20:10, Brittney Barnes
10 September 201617:41, Geb Kiros20:05, Brittney Barnes
9 September 201717:38, Tristan Cravello17:43, Katie Sherron
8 September 201815:16, Christopher Haynes18:07, Amy Hines
* Four-mile run


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