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Running Journal Grand Prix XXX Champions

Date: 
07/22/2008 - 10:33

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Running Journal Grand Prix Completes 30th Season

Morris Bodrick Takes Wins in Open and Masters Division While Janet Cherobon Repeats as Female Open Champion

Running Journal/August 2008
The Running Journal Grand Prix ended its 10-race series with the running of the Cotton Row 10K in Huntsville, AL, on Memorial Day. The season started with a nighttime race at Maggie Valley, NC, in August where runners competed in the Maggie Valley 8K. From there, the circuit moved to Anderson, SC, for another night event, the Midnight Flight 10K, then on to Birmingham, AL, for the Vulcan 10K in November. Thanksgiving Day found GP runners in Charlotte, NC, for the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K. In December, many runners vied for double GP points by running the series’ only marathon, the Rocket City Marathon.

2008 started out with the newest race on the circuit, the St. Pete Beach Classic 10K. In February, it was off to another beach destination, at Myrtle Beach, SC, for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. Another half-marathon followed in March in Germantown, TN, where runners competed in the Germantown Half-marathon. In April, runners went back to Charlotte, this time for the Charlotte Racefest at SouthPark 10K and in May, the Cotton Row 10K served as the series finale, where season-ending awards were given.

The 30th season saw exciting competitions in several categories and featured many outstanding performances. The following is a re-cap of the season and the champions of the various overall and age group divisions contested on the Grand Prix series. Runners must have run in at least two Grand Prix races to qualify for season-ending awards and those runners receiving overall awards were not eligible for age-group honors.

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Morris Bodrick Takes Wins in Male Open and Masters Divisions/Janet Cherobon Repeats as Female Champion

Morris Bodrick of Fort Lee, VA, was very successful in his first competition on the Running Journal Grand Prix. Not only did the 41-year-old runner capture the top spot in the Male Masters division, he also scored enough points to put him on top of the Male Open division.

Bodrick finished the season with 300 points in the open division, competing in seven GP events. In the masters division, he scored 505 points to take a decisive win.

Bodrick’s performances on GP XXX included several 10K runs, Vulcan (35:45), St. Pete (35:53), Midnight Flight (37:32), and Racefest (37:50). Bodrick ran 1:21:16 at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon in February and finished in 28:13 at the Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving, where he led the masters.

Christopher Winter of Jackson, TN, was second in the open male division with 260 points. Winter was third (2:38:27) at the Rocket City Marathon and finished fourth in the Germantown Half-marathon (1:11:28).

George Sykes of Spartanburg, SC, was a new runner to the grand masters ranks this season. The 50-year-old Sykes took the top spot in the highly competitive Male Grand masters division, scoring 315 points. Sykes ran in six GP races. He was second in the grand masters category at the Racefest 10K in 41:35. Sykes competed in both the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:28:29) and the Rocket City Marathon (3:13:10). At the Turkey Trot 8K, he ran 32:15 for fifth place in the division.

J.C. Kelley of Baxter, TN, ran in eight of the GP races this season and took the win in the Senior Grand masters division, scoring 590 points. The 63-year-old Kelley had several first-place division finishes on the year. He was first at the Germantown Half-marathon (1:36:40), Midnight Flight 10K (44:40), and Racefest 10K (45:25). Kelley had his fastest 10K at Vulcan (42:37) where he was second. At the Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving, he was fourth, running 36:13.

Jacob Cooter of Grovetown, GA, not only won the Male Veterans division, he was also one of only two runners to compete in all 10 of the Grand Prix races. Cooter is a true “veteran” on the circuit, having competed for several years. Last year, he won the 70-74 age group.

The 71-year-old started the year out right with a second-place run at the Maggie Valley 8K (47:50) followed by taking first-place at the Midnight Flight 10K (1:03:21). He was third at the Turkey Trot 8K (48:50) and fourth at the St. Pete 10K (59:52). Cooter ran the Rocket City Marathon (6:11:24) and the Germantown Half-marathon (2:26:09), where he was third. He scored 610 points on the season. Cooter’s wife Brenda, led the Female Senior Grand masters division.

Age group competition was contested beginning with the 40-44 division. Randy Ashley, 41, of Asheville, NC, led that category for the males, scoring 200 points. He was first in both the Maggie Valley 8K (26:48), and the Midnight Flight 10K (35:39).

Tim Anderson of Greensboro, NC, took his second win on the Grand Prix circuit, leading the 45-49 division with 365 points in four races. The 46-year-old was first at both the Turkey Trot 8K (29:25) and Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:19:59). He took second place at the Midnight Flight 10K (36:46) and was third at the Maggie Valley 8K (29:33).

George Dewitt of Madison, AL, was second in the division with 300 points. He scored double points at the Rocket City Marathon with a first-place 2:38:28. He was also first at the Vulcan 10K (33:42).

Former overall and masters champion, Larry Taylor of Fayetteville, WV, was third in the age group with 285 points in three races. He was first at both the Maggie Valley 8K (29:05) and Midnight Flight 10K (36:10). At the Vulcan 10K in November, he was second, running 35:18.

Fifty-year-old Marc Embler of Folly Beach, SC, led the 50-54 division with 210 points. He was first at both the Maggie Valley 8K (30:54) and Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:28:26).

In one of the most competitive age groups on the series, William Walker of Winston-Salem, NC, took top honors in the 55-59 category, scoring 535 points. Walker, who has competed many times on the circuit, winning various divisions, ran in five races this season. He was first at both the Germantown Half-marathon (1:34:56) and Turkey Trot 8K (32:43). Walker was second at the season-opening Maggie Valley 8K (32:29) and in the Rocket City Marathon (3:19:00). He ran 41:46 for third-place at the Midnight Flight 10K.

Robert Doolittle of Greensboro, NC, led this division last season and this year finished in the runner-up spot. Doolittle ran the first three races of the season, taking first place in all three: Maggie Valley 8K (31:26), Midnight Flight 10K (38:34) and Vulcan 10K (37:54).

Charles Morrow of Winston-Salem, NC, was third in the age group with 260 points in four races. The 55-year-old was first at the Racefest 10K (43:33). Morrow was fourth in both the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:38:00) and Turkey Trot 8K (34:05).

Jerry Sofley of Gastonia, NC, won the 60-64 age group, running in seven GP races and scoring 415 points. The 61-year-old Sofley led the age group at the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 8K in 25:53. He was second in both the Midnight Flight 10K (46:06) and Racefest 10K (49:42). Sofley took third place with his best 10K time at Vulcan, running 43:36 and was fourth at the St. Pete Classic 10K in 44:48. He finished the season with a 51:25 run at the Cotton Row 10K on Memorial Day.

The 65-69 age group was another very competitive division on the GP season. At the end, it was Guenter Full, 68, of Simpsonville, SC, who came out on top. Full ran in eight races and scored 545 points. He was first at the season-opening Maggie Valley 8K (37:08) and took second at the Midnight Flight 10K (48:03). Full had second-place finishes at both the St. Pete Classic 10K (44:48) and Myrtle Beach Half-marathon (1:46:18). Full ran 49:52 at the Vulcan 10K for third place.

Pete Horney of Calabash, NC, was second in the division, scoring 445 points in eight races. The 66-year-old was first at the Germantown Half-marathon, running 1:51:25 and was second at the Racefest 10K in 52:19. He had third place finishes at both the Turkey Trot 8K (39:03) and Midnight Flight 10K (50:11).

Ken Brewer of Oxford, AL, scored 285 points to finish third in the category. He took double points at the Rocket City Marathon, winning the division in 3:18:49. He was second at the Vulcan 10K in 44:09.

Kelly Stinson, 74, of Huntsville, AL, won the 70-74 age group with 270 points in two races. He was first at the Rocket City Marathon (4:22:57) and second at the Cotton Row 10K (56:31).

Dillard Vaughn of Greer, SC, a former champion on the Grand Prix, took second place in the division with 180 points in four races. Vaughn was third at both the Maggie Valley 8K (57:30) and the Midnight Flight 10K (1:10:28).

Bill Chubb of Harvest, AL, led the 75-79 age group with 285 points in two races. The 77-year-old Chubb was first at the Rocket City Marathon (5:06:46) and was second at the Cotton Row 10K (1:02:25).

Joe Conrad, 81, of Gainesville, FL, was first for the second consecutive year in the 80-over division. Conrad ran in six races and took first place in all but one. He was first at the Midnight Flight 10K (1:18:30), Vulcan 10K (1:05:50), Turkey Trot 8K (53:36), St. Pete 10K (1:04:15), and Cotton Row 10K (1:07:32). His only second place came at the first race of the year, the Maggie Valley 8K (56:46).

On the women’s side, it was the second consecutive win for Janet Cherobon of Norcross, GA, in the Female Open division. The 29-year-old Cherobon scored 410 points in three races to lead the category. She was perfect in those three events, leading the women’s field in all of them.

In November, Cherobon ran 33:42 to lead the field at the Vulcan 10K. Next, she took her second consecutive overall win at the Rocket City Marathon, where she ran 2:48:01, and scored double Grand Prix points. She ran away with the victory at the Germantown Half-marathon in 1:14:30, a time that set a new course record and shattered the previous mark by more than seven minutes.

Second-place for the females went to Katherine Herring of Birmingham, AL, with 265 points. Herring was second in both of her GP races, running 36:58 at the Vulcan 10K and 2:58:46 at the Rocket City Marathon.

Caroline Blatti, 33, of Chapel Hill, NC, finished third. She was second at the Racefest 10K (39:25) and third at the Maggie Valley 8K (30:30). Blatti finished fourth with a 1:28:06 run at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon.

Jamie Clay, 51, of Huntsville, AL, led the Female Grand masters with 300 points. She was first in both of her hometown GP races, the Rocket City Marathon (3:39:56) and the final race of the season, the Cotton Row 10K (46:58).

One of the most prolific runners on the Grand Prix circuit for the past several years has been Brenda Cooter of Grovetown, GA. A past winner in several divisions, this year she led the Senior Grand masters group, scoring 670 points. Brenda, along with her husband Jacob, who won the Male Veterans title, competed in all 10 of the Grand Prix races this season.

The 61-year-old had a couple of first-place runs on the series, the Midnight Flight 10K (59:25) and Vulcan 10K (58:48). She ran 2:20:58 for a third-place finish at the Germantown Half-marathon in March. Cooter ran 1:00:02 for a fourth-place finish at the St. Pete Beach Classic 10K and finished up the year at the Cotton Row 10K, running 1:00:03.

Susie Kluttz of Winston-Salem, NC, another perennial GP champion led the Female Veterans division. Kluttz ran in only three races this season, but was perfect in all of them, picking up three first-place finishes.

The 71-year-old ran the first race of the season, finishing in 42:18 at the Maggie Valley 8K. She competed at the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 8K with a 41:30 run. Her third GP race was at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon where she clocked 1:55:02.

Amanda Jacobs of Anderson, SC, was a new competitor on the Grand Prix circuit this season and was very successful, leading the 45-49 age group. Jacobs, 48, scored 265 points in six races.

She was first at her hometown race, the Midnight Flight 10K, running 51:27. She had a fourth-place finish at the Turkey Trot 8K (38:57) and was fifth at the Germantown Half-marathon (3:59:23). She was eighth at the Rocket City Marathon in December with a 3:59:23 run. Jacobs finished the season, running 52:36 at the final event, the Cotton Row 10K.

Last year’s Grand masters champions, this season Toni Cruz of Concord, NC, took top honors in the 55-59 age group, scoring 300 points on three GP first-place finishes. The 56-year-old competed at the Maggie Valley 8K (36:16), Midnight Flight 10K (46:02) and the Racefest 10K (51:07).

Lee Wilson, 68, of Morganton, NC, was another newcomer to the GP series this year and led the 65-69 age group. Wilson scored 365 points in four races.

Wilson ran the first race of the season, the Maggie Valley 8K, finishing third in 48:02. She was first at both the Turkey Trot 8K (47:08) and the Racefest 10K (1:00:17). She was second at the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon, running 2:20:41.

Yoshiko Setser of Weaver, AL, picked up 200 points in two events to lead the 70-74 females. The 71-year-old was first at both the Vulcan 10K (1:02:02) and the Memorial Day Cotton Row 10K (1:08:09).

Another veteran on the Grand Prix circuit, this year Margaret Hagerty of Concord, NC, took top honors once again in the 80-over division. Hagerty has competed on the Grand Prix for many years and is the past winner of several divisions.

Hagerty, 85, took first place in all three GP events she competed in. She ran the Midnight Flight 10K (1:39:31), the Turkey Trot 8K (1:19:50) and the Racefest 10K (1:44:30).

Photos by Mary Lou Day

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