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Grand Prix XXXIII Champions

Date: 
07/25/2011 - 10:22

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The Running Journal Grand Prix completed its 33rd season at the Cotton Row 10K in Huntsville, AL, on Memorial Day. Champions of the Grand Prix season were named after the race and final awards were given out.

The series had begun nine months earlier on the streets of Anderson, SC, at the 33rd annual Midnight Flight 10K, the only nighttime race on the GP. A couple of weeks later, GP runners took the challenge of the hilly course in Asheville, NC, at the 11th annual Asheville Citizen-Times Half-marathon. The 35th annual Vulcan 10K in Birmingham, AL, was the next stop on the tour in early November, and Thanksgiving morning found runners in Charlotte, NC, for the 22nd Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot 8K. The first half of the season finished out at the 34th Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL, the only marathon on the series.

The first race of 2011 was the popular Myrtle Beach Half-marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC, in mid-February. Next up was the newest race of the circuit, the 34th annual Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, FL, in early March a race that also served as the USATF 15K National Championship. Later in March, GP runners traveled to Memphis, TN, for the Germantown Half Marathon as the race saw a record number of entrants in its 13 running. In April, runners returned to Charlotte, NC, for the 10th annual Racefest at SouthPark 10K. The final chance to score points came at the season-ending Cotton Row 10K.

Runners who ran in the Rocket City Marathon earned double points for their placing and 10 bonus points were scored for all half-marathons. Runners who ran in the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon, the Gate River Run 15K, and the Racefest Half-marathon scored double points for their highest placing of the three. Only runners who resided in the South were eligible for competition on the GP and competitors had to run in at least two events to earn final awards. Only the top eight races for any runner were counted in the final scoring. Runners who earned overall awards were removed from age-group placing at the end of the season.

Charlotte runners lead open divisions

arreola.jpgAlejandro Arreola was a new competitor on the Grand Prix this season and his debut was a successful one as he finished as the Open Male Champion. The 29-year-old Arreola lives in Charlotte, NC. He ran in six GP races and tallied 435 points for the season.

Arreola was second overall in the tough Citizen-Times Half-marathon, running 1:18:02. He was third at the Germantown Half Marathon (1:18:07) and 15th at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:19:53). He also ran in the highly competitive Gate River 15K (58:16) making him eligible for double points for his finish at Germantown. He was seventh at the Turkey Trot 8K (27:44) and fourth at the Racefest 10K (36:29). He finished up the season with a 38:32 run at the Cotton Row 10K.

Finishing second in the division was Josh Whitehead, 32, who ran in two races and scored 250 points. Whitehead earned double points for his fifth place finish at the Rocket City Marathon (2:35:18) and was first place from the South at the Cotton Row 10K (31:38).

Forty-year-old Scott Fanning of Lebanon, TN, was third with 195 points in two races. He was 13th at the Rocket City Marathon (2:37:21) and ninth at the Cotton Row 10K (36:09).

Another Charlotte, NC, runner led the Female Open Division as Alice Rogers, 32, took the win, scoring 375 points in four races. She had two first-place finishes for the season as she took overall honors at both the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:20:46) and the Turkey Trot 8K (28:34).

Rogers was second at the Racefest 10K (37:54) and finished the season by placing fifth at the Cotton Row 10K (38:56).
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Candace Jacobs, 30, of Huntsville, AL, was second in the division with 300 points in two races. Jacobs was the overall winner at the Rocket City Marathon, running 2:54:21. She was first from the South at the Cotton Row 10K (37:38).

Forty-four-year old Lisa Tolley of Seneca, SC, scored 255 points in two races to finish third. She was third at the Rocket City Marathon (3:02:34) and fifth at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:25:05).

Fanning, Tolley Double as Masters Winners

Scott Fanning not only finished third in the Open division, but also won the Masters. He scored 270 points in the division. He was first at the Rocket City Marathon and third masters at the Cotton Row 10K.

Lisa Tolley also placed third in the Female Open and led the Masters. Tolley scored 310 points in the division as she placed first in both the Rocket City Marathon and Myrtle Beach Half-marathon.

Reagan takes late win in Male Grand masters, Smith repeats as Female Champion

Charles Reagan, 54, of Milan, TN, needed a good run in the final race of the season, the Cotton Row 10K to take the lead in the Male Grand masters division and he got it, placing first in 39:55. Reagan tallied 450 points in four races on the season. He placed second in the other three races, Vulcan 10K (38:56), Rocket City Marathon (3:07:09), and Germantown Half-marathon (1:24:44).

Shirley Smith, 52, of Easley, SC, made it two in a row as the Female Grand masters winner. Smith ran in three races and scored 270 points. She was first at both the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 8K (37:13) and the Cotton Row 10K (49:17). Smith finished third at the first race of the season, the Midnight Flight 10K in 48:45.

Bob Milan leads Male Senior Grand masters, Cooter repeats as Female Champion

Bob Milan, 61, of Greensboro, NC, scored his first win in the Male Senior Grand masters division and also ran in most races of any other runner on the series. He competed in nine of the 10 events, only missing the Rocket City Marathon. In his top eight races, he scored 715 points, also the highest point total of any GP runner this season.

Milan started out the season very well with a first-place finish at the Midnight Flight 10K (47:04) He was second at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:37:33) and seventh at the Gate River 15K (1:08:21). He was first at the Germantown Half-marathon (1:38:59) and was eligible for double points for competing in the three events. Other finishes included a second place at the Racefest 10K (45:01), third at Turkey Trot 8K (35:29) and fourth at the Cotton Row 10K (45:39).
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Brenda Cooter of Grovetown, GA, has scored more wins than any other competitor on the Grand Prix this season and she kept her streak going by repeating as the Female Senior Grand masters champion. Cooter, 64, ran in seven races and scored 485 points.

She started the season with a first-place finish at the Midnight Flight 10K, running 58:03. She finished fifth at the challenging Citizen-Times Half-marathon (2:12:31) and was second at the Vulcan 10K (57:09). She was second at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (2:08:23) and first at the Germantown Half-marathon (2:10:40). Cooter also ran in the Rocket City Marathon (5:33:39). She finished the season with a fourth-place run at the Cotton Row 10K (1:01:18). Brenda’s husband, Jacob, won the Male Veterans division.

Jacob Cooter is Male Veterans Champ, Margaret Hagerty leads Females

Jacob Cooter, 74, of Grovetown, GA, scored 530 points in seven races to lead the Male Veterans division. Like his wife Brenda, who won her division, Jacob has placed well in the Grand Prix for several years.

This season he had several first-place finishes on the year as he led the way in the division at the Vulcan 10K (1:01:53), Asheville Half-marathon (2:42:34) and Germantown Half-marathon (3:06:17). He was third at the Midnight Flight 10K (1:15:04) and finished fifth at the Rocket City Marathon (5:55:46) where he scored double points.

Eighty-seven-year-old Margaret Hagerty of Concord, NC, led the Female Veterans, running in three races and scoring 235 points. Hagerty has been a frequent competitor on the series winning her division many times in the past. This season, she was second at the Turkey Trot 8K (1:29:24), fourth at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (4:11:34) and third at the Racefest 10K (1:57:29).

Male Age Group Champions

Jon Clary, 40, of Monroe, NC, scored 180 points in two races to take first place in the Male 40-44 division. He was first at the Racefest 10K (37:39) and third at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:22:47).

Robert Heck, 43, of Charlotte, NC, was second with 170 points in three races. Heck finished second at the Midnight Flight 10K (39:48), fourth at the Turkey Trot 8K (30:26) and was seventh at the Citizen-Times Half-marathon (1:34:14).

George Sykes, 53, won the 50-54 division with 440 points in five races. Sykes was first at the Citizen-Times Half-marathon, running 1:31:49. He was second at the Midnight Flight 10K (41:49) and third at the Turkey Trot 8K (32:07). He was fourth at both the Rocket City Marathon (3:11:30) and the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:29:02).

Last year’s Grand masters champion, Richard Hefner, 59, of Gastonia, NC, led the 55-59 division this season. Hefner ran in seven races, scoring 535 points. His top finish was a first place at the season-ending Cotton Row 10K (44:42). He was fourth at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:34:19), second at the Germantown Half-marathon (1:36:38) and also competed at the Gate River Run 15K, making him eligible for double points at Germantown. Hefner also took second at the Midnight Flight 10K (47:07) and was fourth at the Citizen-Times Half-marathon (1:43:15).

Bob Nelson, 59, of Charlotte, NC, was second with 255 points in three races. Nelson was first at both the Racefest 10K (44:48) and Midnight Flight 10K (45:30). He was fourth at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon, running 1:43:41.

Jerry Sofley, 64, of Gastonia, NC, led the Senior Grand masters division last season and this season won the 60-64 age group. He scored 415 points in six races. Sofley was first at the Citizen-Times Half-marathon (1:49:57) and second at the Midnight Flight 10K (48:12). He was third at both the Turkey Trot 8K (36:10) and the Racefest 10K (47:40) and placed sixth at the Cotton Row 10K (48:43).

Wayne Heckler, 61, of Decatur, AL, was second with 285 points in two races. Heckler finished first at the Rocket City Marathon (3:12:10) and was second at the Cotton Row 10K (43:50).

J.C. Kelley, 65, of Baxter, TN, won the 65-69 division with 310 points in three races. He was first in all those races: Midnight Flight 10K (47:21), Asheville Half-marathon (1:43:57) and Vulcan 10K (44:44).

Earl Jackson, 65, of Rock Hill, SC, finished second with 295 points in three races. He was first at both the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:38:34) and the Racefest 10K (46:27). Jackson finished second at the Turkey Trot 8K (36:02).

Guenter Full, 70, of Simpsonville, SC, was first in the 70-74 age group with 265 points in three races. He finished second in all his races: Midnight Flight 10K (57:59), Turkey Trot 8K (46:08) and Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (2:03:54).

Sam Gillis, 75, of Birmingham, AL, won the 75-79 division with 300 points in two races. He placed first at both the Vulcan 10K (55:03) and the Rocket City Marathon (4:25:02).

Joe Nettles, 77, of Tybee Island, GA, was second with 210 points in two races. He was first at both the Citizen-Times Half-marathon (2:25:42) and Gate River Run 15K (1:33:33).
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Female Age Group Champions

In the women’s age group competition, Julie Linder, 46, of Matthews, NC, led the 45-49 age group with 200 points in two races. She was first at both the Turkey Trot 8K (37:36) and Racefest 10K (45:49).

Cherry Kent, 50, of Belton, SC, won the 50-54 division with 180 points in two races. She was first at the Citizen-Times Half-marathon (1:49:04) and third at the Midnight Flight 10K (50:00).

Cathy Henry, 55, of Guntersville, AL, scored 240 points in two races to lead the 55-59 division. She was third at the Rocket City Marathon (4:59:41) and first at the Cotton Row 10K (58:18).

Jodie Coombs, 60, of Birmingham, AL, led the 60-64 group with 200 points in two races. She was first at both the Vulcan 10K (51:14) and Cotton Row 10K (57:18).

Betty Burrell, 67, of Pendleton, SC, was a repeat winner in the 65-69 age group, scoring 510 points in five races. Burrell was perfect for the season, winning her division in all five races. She was first at the Midnight Flight 10K (1:07:07), Turkey Trot 8K (47:24), Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (2:43:24), Racefest 10K (1:05:38) and Cotton Row 10K (1:06:18).

Lee Wilson, 72, of Morganton, NC, won the 70-74 division with 210 points in two races. She was first at both the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (2:43:24) and Racefest 10K (1:03:56).

Yoshiko Setser, 74, of Weaver, AL, was second with 200 points in two races. She finished first at the Vulcan 10K (1:07:11) and Cotton Row 10K (1:07:57).

Harriette Thompson, 87, of Charlotte, NC, led the 80-over females with 200 points in two races. She was first at both the Turkey Trot 8K (1:09:31) and Racefest10K (1:27:00).

Photo #1: Running Journal Grand Prix XXXIII Champions at the 32nd Mercedes-Benz Cotton Row 10K, held in Huntsville, AL on May 31. Back Row (L-R): Scott Fanning, Charles Reagan, Jacob Cooter, Alejandro Arreola, Richard Hefner, Bob Milan. Front Row (L-R): Brenda Cooter, Betty Burrell, Shirley Smith, Alice Rogers. Kneeling (L-R): Robert Heck, Jerry Sofley.

Photo #2: Men's Open Champion Alejandro Arreola

Photo #3: Female Open Champion Alice Rogers

Photo#4: Male Senior Grand masters Champion Bob Milan

Photo#5: L-R: Brenda Cooter (Senior Grand masters Champion) Shirley Smith (Grand masters Champion), & Betty Burrell (65-69 Champion).

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