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Magee feels Heat after fast start

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 9, 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, 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."

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.

TAYLOR PARK NOTES: Magee was not 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 age 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. ... 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 took first (40-44) in 17:36. His nearest rival was Bill Ulmer, 17:59.

MARATHON SCENE: Palm Harbor's Mary Delie 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. She 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.

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.

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