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  • Magee feels Heat after a fast start

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    Magee feels Heat after a fast start

    By DAVE THEALL
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published June 6, 2002

    What should a runner do if she or he completes the opening mile of a race about 15 seconds faster than expected?

    In the case of Laura Magee, the winner of the women's division in the Beat the Heat 5K at Largo's Taylor Park on Sunday, she tried to adjust to the rapid pace and hold on to first place.

    "I guess I got a little excited at the begining of the race," said Magee, 20, a former Seminole High School standout who is competing in cross country and track at North Florida.

    "I definitely went out too hard," she said. "I was expecting a first mile of 6 minutes, and I was timed in 5:46. It's a lot easier to pace yourself on the track than in cross country or road races."

    Magee held the lead through the 2-mile mark, but she saw her closest female rival as Magee looked over her shoulder at a turn.

    "I thought (Kit Van Allan of Palm Harbor) was closing on me and figured I'd have to have a strong finish to hold her off," Magee said.

    "I heard my sister, Jackie, and my parents yelling for me, but I didn't know how much of a lead I had."

    In the third and final mile, a male competitor encouraged Magee to pick up the pace and run to the finish line with him. She stayed with him for a while. At the end, it was Magee in first, 18th overall, with a time of 18:57. Van Allan was right behind her in 19th place, 19:06.

    "The effort was definitely comparable to my best 5K time ever," said Magee, referring to her track record of 18:19 at North Florida.

    "It was a hot day; that was a good time under those conditions," she said. "Overall, it was fun running again at Taylor Park, a place I used to run a lot when I was in high school."

    The highlight of Magee's 2002 track season was producing a 37:45 10K at Duke, a provisional NCAA Division II Championship qualifying time.

    In preparation for the cross country season, she plans to increase her weekly mileage this summer from 45 miles to 60-70. "Part of my training will be competing in a few key races, such as the Midnight Run in Dunedin," Magee said. "That's always a fun event. I'll try to get a couple of my friends to go out and get patriotic with me."

    TAYLOR PARK NOTES: Magee was the only family member to win an award.

    Her sister, Mary, a Seminole freshman who ran in the state meet this spring as a member of the school's record-breaking 4x800-meter relay team, was the first girl under 14. Their brother, Ken, 16, clocked in at 17:41 to finish fourth by a second in the tough 15-19 division.

    Their sister, Jackie, who ran for coach Bruce Calhoun at Seminole, just completed her freshman year at the University of Central Florida.

    Magee said that if it wasn't for Calhoun's inspiration and coaching, she would be playing college soccer rather than running.

    Largo's Karen Gately, 45, ran a strong race, taking third among women in 20:46. She was followed by Debby Farias (21:41) and Kattie Horn (21:43).

    In the men's event, a runner eased his way through the field from last place to second by a tick of the clock.

    Tampa's Muchapiwa Mazano, last year's Gasparilla winner, arrived late to the site. He just made it to the narrow starting area, where he stood at the back of the field of 138 competitors when the gun went off.

    Mazano systematically reeled in everyone except winner Dan Bedell, 18, of Avon Park. He was timed in 16:39, Mazano 16:40.

    Teenagers Jeremy Berry (17:11), Jeremy Meyer (17:18) and John Tuccio (17:24) placed 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

    Largo's David Putnam returned to the racing scene, taking first (40-44) in 17:36. His nearest age-group rival was Bill Ulmer, 17:59.

    MARATHON SCENE: Mary Delie of Palm Harbor ventured to Pittsburgh for its annual marathon, receiving an age-group trophy and a promise of a "check in the mail" for finishing third in the masters division.

    Accompanied by her husband, Jeff, winner of December's Hops Marathon in Tampa, Mary covered the hills of the Steel City in 3:21:06, good for 28th among women and 263rd overall in a field of 2,500 competitors.

    Kenyan Reuben Chesang, 39, won in 2:14:53. Poland's Violetta Kryza captured the women's championship in 2:31:45.

    FORERUNNERS: The St. Petersburg club's Don Clark, 65, ran the May 19 Callaway (Ga.) Gardens 5K in 22:38 to place third overall.

    Club member Chuck McCann traveled to Lakeland last month to run in the Mayfaire By-The-Lake 5K. He won the 50-54 division in 21:18.

    Celene Peters took the women's masters division of the 800- and 1,500-meter events in the Central Florida Track Meet in Orlando.

    DID YOU KNOW? Ethiopian distance runner Mamo Wolde, who died last week at age 68, captured Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals.

    In the 1968 Games in Mexico City, he won the marathon and placed second in the 10,000. Four years later in Munich, Wolde finished third in the marathon behind American Frank Shorter and Belgium's Karel Lismont.

    TV ALERT: CBS is scheduled to delay telecast Sunday's Oracle U.S. Open track meet at 4 p.m.

    ESPN is scheduled to delay telecast the USATF Championships on June 23 at 5:30 p.m.

    COMING UP: A 3-mile run is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Indian Rocks Beach. For information, call Bert Valey, 517-8888.

    The ninth annual Spring Around the Pines 5K is Saturday from The Palms of Largo, 400 Lake Ave., NE.

    Breakfast will be served after the race. For information, call David Carmichael, 518-6008. The West Florida Y Runners Club Sunsets at Pier 60 Series starts June 14 at 7 p.m.

    The low-key 5K events are every two weeks on Friday nights through August 9 at Clearwater Beach. Age-group awards go five-deep. The cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members.

    For information, call Dan Boyle, 736-3562, before 8 p.m.

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