Sunday, December 2, 2018

Charlie Kline and Alyssa Terry rise to the Challenge

"It's guaranteed that a Charlie is going to win this race either way," declared Charlie Johnson.


It was Saturday morning, 1 December 2018, and Johnson was not quite halfway through Gulf Winds Track Club's 43rd annual Ten-Mile Challenge, running north of Tallahassee, Florida on the streets of Ox Bottom Manor. He had won the race in 2016 and in 2017, but this time the champion was a different Charlie--Charlie Kline. Finishing nearly 500 meters ahead of the next runner, Kline posted a winning time of 58:42. Alyssa Terry was the first woman in the Challenge, placing sixth overall in 73:43.

Charlie Kline

"It's going to be a wet one," Charlie Johnson observed before the race.


It already was. A gentle rain had fallen overnight, soaking the pavement. It would continue on and off during the race and for the rest of the day. Wet or dry, the race started as scheduled, the runners setting out from Hawks Rise Elementary School just after 8:00 AM. Charlie Kline was in command of the race by the five-mile mark, leading the rest of the field by nearly a hundred meters. Formerly a cross-country runner at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and Essex High in Vermont, Kline continued to march away from the competition during the remaining miles, returning to Hawks Rise to cross the finish line first in 58:42. In Tallahassee area races throughout the fall--the Sickle Cell 5K, the Prefontaine 5K, the Boston Mini Marathon--Chris O'Kelley had finished ahead of Kline. On Saturday morning, though, he watched Kline slip out of sight during the second half of the race. Third in the Ten-Mile Challenge in 2017, O'Kelley finished runner-up in 2018, running 60:29. Charlie Johnson, the defending champion, took third in 61:06. Myles Gibson was the top master runner in the race, placing fourth overall in 65:42. Gibson couldn't be fazed by the weather--the eye of Hurricane Michael had passed over his home in Donalsonville, Georgia just six weeks earlier.

Chris O'Kelley

During the 1800s, most of northern Leon County was planted in cotton. Most of the land in Ox Bottom Manor, however, was too hilly for cotton cultivation. The course for the Ten-Mile Challenge is two laps around a five-mile loop, giving the runners a couple of trips up every hill in Ox Bottom Manor. 2018 was Alyssa Terry's second time racing the Challenge.

Alyssa Terry

"I have a love-hate relationship with this course," said Terry.


The Challenge may have risen in her affections after Saturday's win. Near the end of the first lap, Terry was leading the women in the race, a few steps ahead of Amanda Sava. During the second lap Terry lengthened that lead to more than 300 meters. Third in the women's standings in 2017, Terry got the win in the 2018 Challenge with a 73:43 performance. Sava took second in the women's division, placing seventh overall in 75:21. Monica Judd was the first woman master and third female finisher, tenth overall in 77:25.

Amanda Sava

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Ten-Mile Challenge
  1. 58:42, Charlie Kline (M, 26)
  2. 60:29, Chris O'Kelley (M, 25)
  3. 61:06, Charlie Johnson (M, 39)
  4. 65:42, Myles Gibson (M, 52)
  5. 67:06, Carter Hay (M, 47)
  6. 75:29, Joel Piotrowski (M, 49)
  7. 77:03, Philip Sura (M, 48)
  8. 79:55, Fanxiu Zhu (M, 49)
  9. 80:44, Chuck Lang (M, 53)
  10. 82:17, David Yon (M, 63)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Ten-Mile Challenge
  1. 73:43, Alyssa Terry (F, 25)
  2. 75:21, Amanda Sava (F, 24)
  3. 77:25, Monica Judd (F, 44)
  4. 78:07, Melissa Thompson (F, 34)
  5. 80:14, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 35)
  6. 83:46, Nancy Stedman (F, 56)
  7. 85:50, Shelby Augustyniak (F, 42)
  8. 86:36, Nikki Wheeler (F, 27)
  9. 88:32, Birgit Maier-Katkin (F, 56)
  10. 92:35, Martha Guyas (F, 34)

Gary Droze

Gary Droze, the Tallahassee Community College cross-country coach, has won the Ten-Mile Challenge four times over the years. His third Challenge win was in 2004, the same year that a five-mile race was added to the event. Droze took advantage of the shorter option in 2018, taking first in the five-mile with a 31:39. Master runner Geb Kiros ran 32:39 for second. Another master runner, Wayne Thumm, was third in 35:31, making it a master runner sweep of the first three places.


Master runner Alison Thumm was the first woman in the five-mile, finishing fourth overall in 35:58. Monica Toth was the second woman and seventh overall in 39:55. In a close race for third, Tsige Tadesse ran 40:28 to finish just ahead of Angela Dempsey's 40:33 and the 40:36 posted by Ruffian Tyner. The three master runners were ninth, tenth, and eleventh overall.

Alison Thumm

98 athletes competed in the 2018 Challenge, 39 in the ten mile and 59 in the five mile. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Five-Mile Road Race
  1. 31:39, Gary Droze (M, 57)
  2. 32:39, Geb Kiros (M, 52)
  3. 35:31, Wayne Thumm (M, 46)
  4. 36:30, Michael Weyant (M, 53)
  5. 37:43, Lucas Mauch (M, 14)
  6. 40:19, Patrick Bateman (M, 31)
  7. 40:46, David Anderson (M, 68)
  8. 41:04, Stephen Gensits (M, 63)
  9. 42:40, Jim Tully (M, 72)
  10. 42:51, Joe Vega (M, 65)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2018 Five-Mile Road Race
  1. 35:58, Alison Thumm (F, 41)
  2. 39:55, Monica Toth (F, 29)
  3. 40:28, Tsige Tadesse (F, 51)
  4. 40:33, Angela Dempsey (F, 50)
  5. 40:36, Ruffian Tyner (F, 43)
  6. 41:00, Nancy Proctor (F, 57)
  7. 43:52, Debby Tipton (F, 45)
  8. 46:26, Stephanie Hurt (F, 66)
  9. 47:41, Gail Skofron Jackson (F, 55)
  10. 47:54, Michelle Comeaux (F, 45)


Champions of Gulf Winds Track Club's Ten-Mile Challenge, 1977 - 2018
DateDistanceMenWomenFinishers
January 197720 Km67:06, Herb Wills89:20, Rosemary Desloge
28 January 197820 Km65:18, Joe Germano85
13 January 197920 Km67:33, Jim Eastman85:31, Rosemary Desloge
15 December 197920 Km66:23, George West89:51, Rosemary Desloge
20 December 198020 KmMike BordelLaura Ledbetter
19 December 198120 Km67:42, Rick Miller90:12, Chris Levi
18 December 198220 Km63:14, Noel Shumann80:28, Donna Miller
3 December 198320 Km68:20, Noel Shumann79:25, Margaret Coomber
1 December 198420 Km70:13, Steve Meade76:24, Barbara Matthews154
7 December 198520 Km69:40, Felton Wright80:00, Karen McHarg158
6 December 198620 Km67:29, Tim Simpkins81:18, Karen McHarg157
5 December 198720 Km65:04, Jessie Close79:42, Karen MacHarg157
3 December 198810 Miles51:05, David Keen65:19, Janice Hochstein165
2 December 198910 Miles52:05, Jessie Close64:09, Paula Johnson163
1 December 199010 Miles51:39, David Keen62:53, Paula Johnson181
7 December 199110 Miles54:20, Jessie Close63:40, Paula Johnson151
5 December 199210 Miles54:32, Jessie Close63:09, Paula Johnson159
4 December 199310 Miles55:30, Steve Wilcox61:53, Paula Johnson148
3 December 199410 Miles54:16, Herb Wills61:43, Jane Johnson164
2 December 199510 Miles55:30, Gary Droze65:55, Carrie Weyant120
7 December 199610 Miles56:27, Brian Erb66:21, Carrie Weyant113
6 December 199710 Miles55:06, Lee Willis62:38, Sarah Docter-Williams133
5 December 199810 Miles58:45, Robert Pautienus62:27, Breeda Willis127
4 December 199910 Miles56:24, Gary Droze69:44, Carrie Weyant188
2 December 200010 Miles56:29, Zachery Heissner66:07, Laurel Slyck146
1 December 200110 Miles60:11, Tim Unger64:40, Sarah Docter-Williams169
7 December 200210 Miles54:30, Lee Willis63:54, Sarah Docter-Williams111
6 December 200310 Miles61:33, Bill McCord63:20, Sarah Docter-Williams158
4 December 200410 Miles55:29, Gary Droze61:41, Sarah Docter-Williams142
5 Miles26:45, Chris Nickinson38:32, Kara Taylor26
3 December 200510 Miles56:46, Gary Droze66:43, Kara Newell167
5 Miles32:24, Conor Sweeney39:14, Vicky Droze37
2 December 200610 Miles59:13, Jay Wallace62:27, Sheryl Rosen126
5 Miles28:53, Gary Droze30:46, Amy Paine84
1 December 200710 Miles58:47, Tripp Southerland64:04, Sheryl Rosen150
5 Miles31:19, Tim Unger38:11, Janice Hochstein53
6 December 200810 Miles55:56, Chris Lake65:30, Sheryl Rosen177
5 Miles32:59, Gennaro Scibelli32:51, Amy Paine80
5 December 200910 Miles57:59, Vince Molosky65:47, Sheryl Rosen117
5 Miles30:15, John Robida38:27, Claire Fruchtnicht49
4 December 201010 Miles57:19, Vince Molosky64:25, Allison Eagen180
5 Miles31:54, Chase Harris31:37, Lisa Johnson90
3 December 201110 Miles56:13, Stephen Cox68:15, Katie Showman169
5 Miles30:16, Brian Manry36:11, Kate Chunka89
1 December 201210 Miles56:18, Stanley Linton68:05, Micah Adriani183
5 Miles29:19, Zac Buchholz38:24, Moriah Campbell119
7 December 201310 Miles55:30, Stanley Linton73:42, Micah Adriani151
5 Miles30:51, Tony Guillen35:38, Vicky Droze87
6 December 201410 Miles56:37, Stephen Cox72:48, Katie Sherron109
5 Miles31:54, Gary Galvez37:24, Paula O'Neill82
5 December 201510 Miles59:14, Zach DeVeau65:19, Katie Sherron89
5 Miles27:29, Joseph Garcia33:58, Amy Hines88
3 December 201610 Miles59:10, Charlie Johnson74:31, Katie Sherron92
5 Miles29:30, Zach DeVeau33:00, Brittney Barnes132
2 December 201710 Miles56:26, Charlie Johnson64:26, Katie Sherron133
5 Miles29:44, Tristan Cravello32:36, Katerina Caltova82
1 December 201810 Miles58:42, Charlie Kline73:43, Alyssa Terry39
5 Miles31:39, Gary Droze35:58, Alison Thumm59


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