Schedule keeps many on the run
By DAVE THEALL
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 21, 2000
Area runners had a wide range of opportunities to choose from over the past two weeks.
The Boley Jingle Bell Run attracted a record 3,600 participants to the non-competitive event from The Pier.
There was the first-class Hops Marathon By The Bay Marathon, Half and 8K.
The Lansbrook Lakefront Classic in Palm Harbor had a special kids program.
Sunday's 12th annual Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic in Clearwater had an international flavor.
Surprisingly, many runners successfully doubled, competing in the marathon then a week later jumping into the Holiday Classic.
The most successful were marathon winners Tony Teats of Oldsmar and Christy Phillips of St. Petersburg.
Teats followed up his 2:30 marathon debut win with a 33:53 10K effort -- good for 10th place -- under Sunday's blustery wind conditions.
Phillips, who struggled home in the heat and high humidity in the marathon, captured fifth place in Sunday's 10K in 37:58.
Both said they felt the aftereffects of the marathon, particularly in their quads.
The weather conditions were said to add a minute or two to each runner's time.
For instance, veteran runner Jim Keppeler of Clearwater clocked in at 40:16 for first place in his 50-54 age division after running last month's Times Turkey Trot in 38:38.
Similarly, St. Petersburg's Royston Dillon, who ran the Wingding 5K on Thanksgiving Day in 17:59, was held to a time of 19:06 in Sunday's 5K.
Runners returned to the Harborview Center for a breakfast and awards presentation.
"We had a wider choice of pancakes and toppings than you'd find in a restaurant," said Jim Larson, who worked up an appetite by running 21/2 miles from home to the race start then running back across Memorial Causeway after the race.
The breakfast and race were put on by the Church of Scientology with the help of 200 volunteers.
Official scorer Ric Dorrie had to deal with a few headaches, which he turned over to co-race director Chris Alexander of the Dianetics Running Team for resolution.
One involved the 5K, in which Steve Wilson signed up for the 10K. But feeling the effects of an asthma attack, he turned early for the 5K.
The question was should he be disqualified or declared the winner?
The second issue involved second place of the 10K, in which the runner failed to fill out and turn in his identifying finish card.
After the top-10 men finishers were announced and awarded prize money, should the real runner-up be recognized and rewarded?
The fairest solution, in the eyes of Alexander, was to declare a tie for first in the 5K and a tie for second in the 10K.
Thus, Stephenson Nyamu of Kenya was elevated to a tie for second and was awarded $400 -- the same amount given to Matt Thull of Racine, Wis., who actually finished 20 seconds behind Nyamu.
Winner Mike Donnelly, who represents the Team New Balance of Boston, is an American hopeful with aspirations for making a mark on the international scene.
He has a 10K best of 28:24 and is getting ready for February's national cross country championships in Vancouver, Wash., where the top Americans will advance to the World Championships in Dublin, Ireland, March 24-25.
Donnelly is featured in a large color photo in the Racing Report section of the December issue of Runner's World.
In the picture of the Boston Race for the Cure 5K, he's running at the front. He eventually finished second in 14:52.
LANSBROOK LAKEFRONT CLASSIC: Kevin Lyons, 15, of Palm Harbor led through the first mile in 5:02, then saw Perry Small of Cape Coral slip past him for a victory in 16:20.
Lyons finished 13 seconds back.
"That didn't bother me at all," said Lyons, who won at Hidden River two weeks ago in a personal-best 16:09.
"I want to get used to going out hard and holding on," he said. "I'm getting ready for next year's cross country season."
Jacki Waller, a senior at Ohio University and the Bobcats' No. 1 runner, took the women's title in 18:34. Alicia Caldwell was the runner-up, 20:10.
Races for children 2 and older were the highlight of the day as they covered distances ranging from 26.2 yards to a mile.
HOPS MARATHON: Full coverage of the highly successful event appeared in the Times on Dec. 11.
However, relay team results were not available at press time.
George and Bea Altieri of Clermont won among a field of 118 two-person teams in a time of 2:40:30.
The sisters squad of Denise Skinner of St. Petersburg and Karen Gately of Largo came from behind to take the women's masters and first women's team overall titles.
Skinner ran a swift 1:32:19 for her half, but she was behind Kathy Kaye of St. Pete at the handoff.
Skinner's sister, Karen, was able to overtake Karen Alexeev of Gulfport over the early miles of the second 13.1 miles for the team win.
Steve Mikles of Clearwater made a successful marathon debut, finishing 16th with a time of 2:54:27. That earned him the third-place award in the masters division.
"I was trying to run 6:30 miles throughout, but the heat got to me, especially during the last four miles," said Mikles, 48.
"Now people won't be asking me when I was going to run a marathon," he said. "I've finally got that monkey off my back."
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Dee Anna Farnell was Mikles' third-place counterpart in the women's masters division, clocking in 3:30:41. The division was won by Palm Harbor's Mary Delie, 3:20:35.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Director Roger Sweeney ran a 3:08:35 for second place among men 50 and over.
ELSEWHERE: Judy Maguire ran a 36:13 for 10th place in the Avon Women's Championship in Phoenix two weeks ago.
She finished second in the masters division to nationally ranked Marie Boyd (35:40) of New Mexico. Elaine Nicholson placed 30th in 39:27.
Wilson, 41, led the Dec. 9 Rocket City Marathon for 18 miles before suffering an asthma attack.
He yielded to Russia's Andrey Shalagin, who went on to win in 2:21.
Wilson settled for fourth in 2:24, winning $1,750 in his estimated 11th marathon of the year.
Jeff Myers, 42, of St. Petersburg won his first 50-mile ultra marathon in Ocala three weeks ago with a time 6:34.
He took the lead at 13 miles and passed the marathon mark in 2:57.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Larson, 64, of Clearwater has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Larson plans to get a second opinion at Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center before he decides on his corrective options.
He said he thinks his condition has been detected in its early stages.
T-SHIRTS: About 1,000 surplus Turkey Trot T-shirts, sizes large and extra large, are available ($12) at the Clearwater Municipal Building, 100 S Myrtle Ave.
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times
North Pinellas desks