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By JAMAL THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 15, 2001
When a runner hasn't competed in a while, she or he doesn't know what to expect toeing the line in an unfamiliar race.
Cathy Kalway of Seminole was in for a pleasant surprise in Saturday's SWAT Stride Against Tobacco 5K in New Port Richey when she not only took the women's title but posted a time of 19 minutes, 20 seconds.
"I haven't run that fast since February of 1994, so my first reaction was to question the accuracy of the course," said Kalway, 48, a fifth-grade teacher at Fuguitt Elementary School in Largo.
"I asked the race director, Joe Fernandez, about the course's accuracy, and he assured me it was since he measured it himself," Kalway said. "It was a flat course with only one turn."
Kalway went out fast, with Vicky Greenwood of New Port Richey at her side for the first three-quarters of a mile.
"I backed off a little at that point, knowing Vicky goes out too fast," Kalway said, "but shortly after that, I passed her and stayed ahead.
"It was nice to win, but the time is the most important thing to me. I wanted to use this race to gauge where I am for Gasparilla. I don't expect to break 60 minutes again, but I think a goal of 1:01 or 1:02 is realistic for me."
Kalway, a former Times Turkey Trot women's winner, recalls running the 1993 Gasparilla in 59:59, placing 59th in a strong, international field.
The USF graduate didn't take up running until she was 26.
"I find running a great way to start the day," she said, explaining that she covers 7-14 miles a day and takes a day off whenever her body tells her it needs rest.
"Running is also a great stress reliever, and I like the idea of being fit."
RACE NOTES: Greenwood, who taught at Plumb Elementary School in Clearwater, held on for second place in the women's field in 19:45. She was followed by Kay Capozzi-Weiler of Largo, Kalway's training partner.
Keith Roberts of Augusta, Michigan, was the overall winner in 17:21.
Craig Virgin of Lebanon, Ill., placed seventh in 17:57, winning his 45-49 age division. Virgin's running credentials put him on the list of American greats of the sport with Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Steve Prefontaine, Johnny Kelley, Billy Mills and Alberto Salazar.
In fact, Virgin is the only American male to win the World Cross Country Championships, an event contested by representatives of 200 nations, which he did twice in 1980 and '81.
Following his 1981 victory in Spain, he entered the Boston Marathon that April and ran 2:10:26 for second place behind Toshihiko Seko of Japan. Rodgers finished third.
Virgin was an Olympic qualifier in the 10,000-meter event in 1976, 1980 and '84.
GAINESVILLE: The bay area was well-represented in Saturday's Great Gainesville 5K.
USF graduate Muchapiwa Mazano was the top area finisher, fourth in 15:39.
Kevin Lyons of Palm Harbor, a sophomore honor student at Clearwater Central Catholic, finished sixth (15:54) in a field of 378. He was followed by Forerunners Mike Ferreira (16:54) in eighth place and Dan Ecker (17:41) in 18th.
Lyons was looking to improve on his personal best of 15:50 for the distance, which he logged in St. Augustine the week before, but was pleased with the outcome.
"I'm using these races to work on my speed to get ready for high school track season," said Lyons, a member of the the 2000 Times all-county first team in cross country.
"I want to be ready to run aggressively," he said. "I covered the first mile in 4:55, went through 2 in 10:05, then faded. The course had some hills and turns, and it was warmer up there."
Lyons is set for another big race Saturday in Fort Myers in the Edison Festival of Light 5K. He expects to duke it out with Admiral Farragut Academy sophomore John Bifar, a Fort Myers resident. Bifar was the Times 2000 Pinellas Runner of the Year.
Then on the 24th, Lyons will toe the line in the Gasparilla 5K. He finished ninth there last year in 16:35.
Darin Shearer (14:54) of Gainesville was the overall winner, followed by 42-year-old Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who was two seconds back.
WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP: Kim Pawelek, winner of the Saucony Super Run in downtown St. Petersburg on Jan. 26, traveled to Columbia, S.C., last weekend for the USATF women's 8K (4.97 miles) national championship. The Jacksonville resident finished fourth in 27:19.
Colleen De Reuck, 36, won in 26:16. She's a former South African national who now is a U.S. citizen. De Reuck set a women's 10-mile record of 51:16, winning the 1998 Nortel Cherry Blossom Classic in Washington, D.C.
OCALA MARATHON: Kim Donaldson of the Forerunners won this third-year marathon for the second time last weekend. She maintained a 7:08 pace to finish in 3:06:58 -- good for eighth place overall in a field of 215.
Randy Hollinger of Gainesville won overall in 2:44:06.
Pinellas finishers included Steve Rainwater (3:12:35), Bert Tegge (3:25:16) and John Voorhis (3:39:38).
TRAVELING TEAM: A contingent of West Florida Y Runners traveled to Georgia last weekend for the Tybee Island Marathon.
Jim Patton ran 4:29:55 for third place, ages 60-64. Skip Rogers clocked in at 4:41:37 and Kevin Crowley at 4:58:27.
Tom Hoeler of St. Petersburg was the first Pinellas finisher in 4:18:47.
Kathi Patton ran the companion half-marathon in 2:44:21.