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Goal met, in part, at Memorial 5K

By DAVE THEALL, Times Correspondent
Published October 21, 2007


A member of the Forerunners Club of St. Petersburg achieved one goal at last weekend's Tampa Police Memorial Run 5K but missed another.

Karen Collins, 43, went out fast, covering the first mile in 6:03 and aiming to duplicate that pace for the second mile. Although she didn't accomplish that, she maintained her opening lead over the women's field of 538 runners and went on to win the 13th annual event in 19 minutes, 34 seconds.

She averaged 6:19 per mile.

The overall women's win was Collins' third in her past four races. In late September, she won the Run to the Rock 5K in Palm Harbor and the Fall Classic 5K (19:20) at Tampa's Al Lopez Park.

"One reason I went hard at the Police Memorial Run is that I had to be to work in St. Petersburg at 10 a.m.," said Collins, a licensed massage therapist at the Stress Relief Clinic on Fourth Street. "And another factor was that I was coming off a marathon (Twin Cities) the previous weekend, although I dropped out at 12.5 miles due to the heat and humidity. I could have gone further, but that would have lengthened my recovery time."

Kit Van Allan of Palm Harbor finished as the sixth woman at the Police Memorial Run in 22:09, followed closely (22:12) by Molly Moore, 49, of Clearwater.

Jill Voorhis of St. Petersburg took 20th in 23:14, and Delaney Owen (23:58) of Clearwater was 27th.

Lee Stephens of Temple Terrace won the men's division in 16:09, spacing himself well ahead of runnerup Sebastian Ruiz (17:25) and Tim Masterson (17:45).

St. Petersburg's Albert Wieringa, 61, fearlessly ran with the younger men, finishing 14th of 532 men in 18:39 - a 6:01 per mile pace. Other top Pinellas men were Brian Wilson (19:16) of St. Petersburg, Duncan Cameron, 64, of Palm Harbor in 20:04 and Steve Ballew of Largo in 20:14.

TWIN CITIES REVISITED: Collins was looking for a sub-3:11 marathon time at the Oct. 7 event in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Usually the temperature is cool and the course scenic. But the temperature in the mid 70s at the 8 a.m. start was warm and the humidity was high.

Collins did a lot of long-distance training at night to avoid the sun and wasn't ready for the conditions in Minnesota. She said she will aim for December's Jacksonville Marathon, her seventh since debuting at the 2004 Gulf Beaches Marathon, to eclipse her best time of 3 hours,11 minutes.

Ginger Herring of St. Petersburg marked her 65th birthday with an age-group win at the Twin Cities Marathon, the designated USATF National Masters Marathon Championship. Among a field of seven, she won in 4:51 even.

"That's one reason I went there for the third time," Herring said. "I would have run faster except for the heat, but at least I beat last year's winner in my age division."

Herring will receive a USATF gold medal, a badge and $300 for her age-group win. It was her 21st marathon since 1992. Her fastest was a 3:35 effort at the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.

Coach Joe Burgasser, 69, a frequent age-group winner at the national level, clocked 3:47:48 for second among 30 in the 65-69 category in the 119th marathon of his career. Roger Rouiller of Florida's Gold Coast won in 3:36:35.

Ken Dent (3:41:24) and Lenore Rupert (6:01:35) of the Forerunners completed the marathon, as well as Tampa's Bill Merlin (3:38:45).

Former Florida Gator Keith Brantly, the top American at the 1996 Olympic Marathon in Atlanta, coasted to a 3:36:35 finish at Twin Cities. His girlfriend, Kim Pawelek of Jacksonville, managed to clock only 3:09:21 compared with the 2:43:33 she recorded last year.

Complete Florida results, listed without cities or towns, are

CORRECTION: J.J. Waller, a native of New Port Richey, completed the Chicago Marathon in 4:46:04. A Oct. 8 item in the Sports section stated he was forced to drop out just after 22 miles due to the oppressive heat.

[Last modified October 20, 2007, 22:42:50]

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