One household wraps up 10K wins

Published January 24, 2008

The fifth annual St. Pete Beach Classic 10K produced two races with completely different patterns. Both involved members of the same household.

In the men's race, consistent area winner Lee Stephens of Tampa had a battle on his hands from Craig Schmidt of Zephyrhills. Stephens led the first 2 miles with Schmidt breathing down his neck. For the next 3 they ran virtually together in a chess match, both waiting to see when someone was going to risk surging too soon.

With about a mile to go, Schmidt, 24, made a bold move, picking up the pace that he maintained to the finish line, winning in 33:12 to Stephens' 33:38.

"He (Schmidt) just had more at the end than I did," said Stephens, who finished second last year in this race with a slightly faster time, 33:04, as Judson Cake of Blowing Rock, N.C., won in 32:31.

In the concurrent women's race at St. Pete Beach, Dana Parrot of Tampa jumped out to an early lead over Vicki Stum of Dunedin and Tampa's Lois Waite and never wavered as she cruised to the finish line unchallenged, maintaining a 6:10 per mile pace to win in 38:16. Jetton clocked 38:50; Waite finished third in 38:56.

In winning, Parrot finished just one place overall behind her husband, Ed. Stephens lives and trains with the Parrots.

"I knew early on that I was leading the women's field," said Parrot, who posted the third-fastest 10K in the state last year, 36:46, behind Sonja Uhl and Christa Benton."But I didn't want to look back. I felt strong and just tried to maintain a consistent pass."

That strategy worked as the former University of Massachusetts track star gradually pulled away at the 3-mile mark and cruised home comfortably.

"I like the waterfront course in this race and the fact it's well marked, accurately measured and well run," added Parrot, who is coming off some injuries from last year. Now I'm looking forward to next month's Gasparilla 15K."

Parrot's best finish in that highly competitive Tampa race is fourth.

Kathy Frailing, 40, won the women's masters award Saturday with a time of 41:58. The men's winner in that category was John Noland, 45, of Kingston, Mass., in 34:02 since Steve Mandel of Temple Terrace, in the same bracket with a time of 34 even, earned the third-place award.

The top finishers received framed prints designed by local artist Bill Castleman.

Former Northeast High 800-meter track runner Jon Mott won the 5K event at St. Pete Beach with Karen Collins of the Forerunners Club first woman in 19:38.

CLEARWATER HALF MARATHON: Although the course record of Elias Gonzalez, 1:14:25, set in 2006, on the two major bridges race looked to hold up for a few years, Sunday's winner Justin Lutz ran alone, breaking it without breaking a sweat in a laid-back time of 1:12:30.

Lutz, a Marine sergeant stationed in Providence, R.I., after serving in Iraq last year, said his prerace goal was to average 5:30 per mile pace but settled for 5:32.

"We have hills in Massachusetts where I live and train, but those bridges (Clearwater Memorial and Clearwater Pass) were long and steep, plus the wind coming back was fierce," Lutz said.

Lutz has ambitions to compete in June's Olympic track team trials, set for Eugene, Ore. His specialty in the steeplechase event with a best time, set last year at Vanderbilt, of nine minutes flat. The trials qualifying time is 8:45.

St. Petersburg's Trey McDonald, 38, a former Auburn swimmer, was a distant second in 1:22:09 followed by Chris Petrock of Tampa in 1:24:11.

The pattern of the women's race was 180 degrees different than Lutz's breeze. Madeleine Zolfo, 43, of Treasure Island started slowly then proceeded to reel in the top five along the way. She caught the last leader at the crest of Clearwater Memorial Bridge.

Sharon Beltran del Rio of Clearwater finished second in 1:34:44.

Veteran race director Chris Lauber said it was a close call to even run the race.

"If Saturday night's storm had come through about 12 hours later, we would have had to cancel it," he said.

FOOTNOTES: Coach Burgasser not only won his 65-69 age division in 1:40:46, his time was faster than the winners of the 50-54, 55-59 and 60-64 divisions. However, Fred Dorsey of Tampa was grandmaster award winner (50-plus) in 1:20:04.

Burgasser was coming off an age-group win (3:27:23) at the previous weekend's Disney Marathon. Also, Albert Wieringa of St. Petersburg was first, 60-64, in 3:06:43, at Disney.

-John Voorhis of St. Petersburg added his touch of durability. He ran his 167th career marathon (3:44:13) at Disney, finished second in his age division at Saturday's St. Pete Beach Classic 5K, then drove to Clearwater to run in Sunday's half marathon. He took third place, 50-54, in 1:50:08.

Complete results of Saturday's and Sunday's races are on coolrunning.com.

MORE DISNEY: Congratulations to St. Petersburg's Melanie Peters for running away with the coveted gold medal at the Jan. 13 Disney Marathon. Peters, now being coached by Burgasser, improved on her previous best time by more than 10 minutes, winning in 2:47:29 and beating prerace favorite Sonja Uhl of West Palm Beach in the process.

-Benton improved by five minutes - 2:52:49 - over her debut marathon there last year but slipped a place in the standings finishing third.

Benton joins St. Petersburg's Mary Ann Protz as second- and third-place Disney Marathon finishers.

-Steve Edwards of Treasure Island doubled at Disney running the half marathon Saturday and the full marathon Sunday, his 15th consecutive, for which he was presented a special award.

Four others also were recognized as completing all 15 Disneys. They are Robert McQuilkin, Clearwater; Dave Kohler, Largo; Bonnie Theall, Dunedin; and St. Pete Mad Dogs co-founder Rue Morgan.

U.S. RECORDS: Ryan Hall of California set the American half-marathon record of 59:43 in Houston last January. In November, he won the Olympic marathon trials in New York's Central Park with a 2:09:02 effort. In the Beijing Olympics, he'll be joined by qualifiers Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell. The women's marathon trials are set for April 20 in Boston, but not on the historic Boston Marathon route starting in Hopkinton.