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Running Journal Grand Prix XXXI Champions

Date: 
07/28/2009 - 10:51

hughes.jpg The Running Journal Grand Prix completed its 31st season on Memorial Day at the Cotton Row 10K in Huntsville, AL. The 10-race series began in early September in Anderson, SC, for the Midnight Flight 10K, the only nighttime race of the series. A couple of weeks later, GP runners tackled the hills of Asheville, NC, at a new race on the series, the Citizen-Times Half-marathon. Old favorites in the Vulcan 10K in Birmingham, AL, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 8K, in Charlotte, NC, and the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL, completed the 2008 portion of the GP series.

In January, runners headed to the beaches of St. Pete Beach, FL, for the St. Pete Classic 10K. February found the circuit traveling to another beach location, Myrtle Beach, SC, and the Myrtle Beach Half-marathon. The half-marathon theme continued in March as runners ran the distance once again at the Germantown Half-marathon in Germantown, TN. Grand Prix participants visited Charlotte again in April for the Racefest 10K. Then it was on to the Cotton Row 10K where season-ending awards were announced.

The following is a recap of the season and performances of the individual runners who became champions of Grand Prix XXXI.

Only runners who resided in the southeast were eligible for competiton on the Grand Prix. Runners had to run in at least two Grand Prix races to be eligible for final awards and only the top eight performances of the season were counted in the point totals. Those receiving open and other overall awards were not included in the age group competition at year’s end.

Open and Masters Division Champion – Ed Hughes
Forty-eight-year-old Ed Hughes (photo above) of Greenville, SC, was the big winner in the 31st season of the Grand Prix as he scored wins in both the Male Open and Masters divisions. Hughes consistently ran times across the various distances of the GP races that were fast enough to score points in both the masters and open categories.

In the open division, Hughes totaled 390 points while competing in eight races. He competed in every distance contested on the circuit, including the only marathon of the series -- the Rocket City Marathon, where he ran 3:06:15. Hughes also ran two half-marathons – the Asheville Citizen-Times (1:24:22) and Germantown (1:19:16). He ran 29:20 for the 8K distance at Turkey Trot. His 10K times included – Charlotte Racefest (36:23), St. Pete Beach (37:04), Midnight Flight (37:08), Vulcan (37:55), and Cotton Row (37:11).

On the masters side, Hughes clearly dominated the field tallying 550 points. His top performance in the division was the masters win at the Charlotte Racefest 10K in April.

The runner-up spot in the male open division went to Michael Green, 32, of Troy, AL. Green finished with 290 points in two races. He scored 200 of those points by being the top southeastern finisher at the Rocket City Marathon, running 2:23:49. He was second at the Vulcan 10K in 30:42.

Daniel Ellis, 25, of Birmingham, AL, scored 255 points in two races to finish third in the division. The 25 year old was second at the Rocket City Marathon (2:24:12) and the Vulcan 10K (31:47).

Grandmasters Champion -- George Dewitt
George Dewitt of Madison, AL, was perfect in his three races on the Grand Prix, scoring 400 points to lead the Male Grandmasters division. Dewitt scored 200 points for his win at the Rocket City Marathon, running an impressive 2:39:16. His other wins came at the Vulcan 10K (34:59) and Cotton Row 10K (36:05).

wessely.jpgSenior Grand masters Champion -- Wes Wessely
Wes Wessely (photo) of Clermont, GA, is a veteran on the Grand Prix circuit and this year the 60-year-old took top honors in the Senior Grand Masters category. Wessely scored 600 points in his six GP races. He tallied double points for his second-place run at the Rocket City Marathon in 3:21:11. He had first-place finishes at the Vulcan 10K (40:02) and the Turkey Trot 8K (31:43). Wessely ran 1:37:30 at the Citizen-Times Half Marathon for third place.

Veterans Champion -- Hal Lerch
A newcomer to the Grand Prix competition this year was Hal Lerch of Gainesville, FL. Lerch, 71, made his first GP run a winning one by topping the Male Veterans division. Lerch ran in seven races, scoring 630 points. He had first-place finishes at the Vulcan 10K (49:03) and Midnight Flight 10K (52:27). He was second in four events, the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (2:11:19), Turkey Trot 8K (38:55), St. Pete 10K (49:16), and Cotton Row 10K (50:17). Lerch also ran the Rocket City Marathon, placing fifth in the division in 5:37:29.

Female Open Champion -- Emily Hardin
In the Female Open division, 25-year-old Emily Hardin of Madison, AL, led the way with 335 points in three races. She was the fourth southeastern finisher at the Rocket City Marathon (2:56:31). Hardin ran 37:01 for third place at the Vulcan 10K and finished up the season with a second-place finish at the Cotton Row 10K (36:58).

Janet Cherobon of Rome, GA, was second in the division this season after placing first the previous two years. The 30-year-old was perfect in her three GP events, scoring 310 points. She was first at the Vulcan 10K (34:01), Cotton Row 10K (34:25), and Germantown Half Marathon (1:14:17) where she broke her own course record.

Zola Pieterse of Myrtle Beach, SC, scored 220 points in two races to place third. She had wins in two half marathons – the Citizen-Times (1:25:16) and Myrtle Beach (1:20:41).

Masters Champion -- Barbara Holcomb
In the Female Masters division, 46-year-old Barbara Holcomb of Birmingham, AL, took the win with 270 points in two races. She was second in the division at the Rocket City Marathon with a 3:01:01 run and was first at her hometown Vulcan 10K in 40:03.

harlan.jpg Grandmasters Champion -- Jane Harlan
Another newcomer to the Grand Prix series this year was Jane Harlan (photo) of Greenville, SC. The 56-year-old Harlan dominated the Female Grand masters division, winning the division in each of the six GP races she competed at. She totaled 710 points.

Harlan picked up 200 points by running 3:32:43 at the Rocket City Marathon. She had a half-marathon time of 1:41:07 at the early season Citizen-Times Half Marathon and ran 35:13 for the 8K distance at the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Her 10K times included – Midnight Flight (46:41), St. Pete (46:22) and Cotton Row (47:13).

Female Senior Grandmasters Champion -- Janice Hicks hicks.jpg
Another dominating performance was seen in the Female Senior Grand masters division as 66-year-old Janice Hicks (photo) of Bristol, VA, took the win. Hicks ran in all 10 of the GP races, one of only two runners on the circuit to do so this season. She scored 670 points in her top eight races.

She had her best finish at the Vulcan 10K where she placed first in the division in 53:15. She had second-place finishes at the Germantown Half Marathon (2:05:29), Cotton Row 10K (58:38), and Midnight Flight 10K (59:35). Hicks was third at the St. Pete Beach 10K (56:00), Racefest 10K (58:00), and Turkey Trot 8K (43:31). She ran 4:52:02 at the Rocket City Marathon to finish fifth in the division.

Veterans Champion -- Donna Lea Brown
Donna Lea Brown of Charleston, SC, led the Female Veterans division, scoring 555 points in seven races. Brown was first in the season-opening Midnight Flight 10K in 1:37:27. She followed that with another first-place run at the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (3:33:04). She had second-place runs at the two Charlotte Grand Prix races -- the Turkey Trot 8K (1:15:18) and Racefest 10K (1:31:41). She traveled to the St. Pete 10K, where she placed fourth in 1:31:05.

Male Age Group Champions
In the Male 40-44 division, Chris Hicks, 43, of Florence, SC, scored 220 points in two races to take first place. He was first at both the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (1:18:00) and Asheville Half Marathon (1:21:28).

Duane Ricketts, 49, of Cullman, AL, scored 270 points in two events to win the 45-49 category. He scored double points for his win at the Rocket City Marathon (3:01:14) and was third at the Cotton Row 10K (39:56).

Marty Clarke, 47, of Huntsville, AL, was second in the division with 195 points in two races. He was fourth at the Rocket City Marathon (3:06:27) and second at the Cotton Row 10K (37:57).

Charles Reagan of Milan, TN, competed on the Grand Prix series again this year and took the win in the 50-54 division. The 52-year-old Reagan scored 420 points in five races. He was first at the Germantown Half Marathon (1:23:43) and second at the Rocket City Marathon (3:08:37). He ran 37:29 at the Vulcan 10K to place third. He was fourth at the final race of the season, the Cotton Row 10K, running 40:02.
George Adickes, 51, of Cornelius, NC, was second in the group with 170 points in two races. He was first at the Racefest 10K (40:53) and third at the Turkey Trot 8K (33:02).

Bob Nelson of Charlotte, NC, scored 460 points in five races to lead the 55-59 division. Nelson had first-place finishes at the Midnight Flight 10K (42:50), Turkey Trot 8K (32:40) and Racefest 10K (41:28). He was third at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon, running 1:34:07 and completed the season with a third-place run of 43:18 at the Cotton Row 10K.

Charles Morrow of Winston-Salem, NC, was second in the division with 380 points in four races. He was first at both the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (1:40:20) and the Germantown Half Marathon (1:35:31). Morrow took second place at the Turkey Trot 8K (32:54) and the Racefest 10K (42:08).

Robert Wilson, 61, of Toano, VA, led all competitors in the 60-64 division with 515 points in six races. Wilson had second-place finishes at the Turkey Trot 8K (35:08) and the Racefest 10K (45:36). He placed third at the Rocket City Marathon in 3:30:06. He had another third-place finish at the St. Pete 10K (44:22) and finished the season with a fourth-place finish at the Cotton Row 10K (46:59).

Sherman Stanford, 61, of Opelousas, LA, scored 380 points in four races to finish second. He was first at the Midnight Flight 10K (42:56) and St. Pete 10K (40:12). Stanford finished second at both the Vulcan 10K (40:56) and Citizen-Times Half Marathon (1:34:14).

Sixty-year-old Jeffrey Hawkins of Birmingham, AL, was third with 240 points in two races. He was third at the Rocket City Marathon (3:28:05) and fourth at the Vulcan 10K (42:16).

Jerry Harris of Durham, NC, scored 365 points in three races to lead the 65-69 age group. The 68 year old began the year with a second-place finish at the Midnight Flight 10K (47:30). He took first place at the Citizen-Times Half Marathon in 1:47:53 and was second at the Rocket City Marathon in 3:41:08.

John Sneed, 65, of Charleston, SC, was second in the division with 250 points in three races. He was second at the Vulcan 10K (44:08) and third at the Midnight Flight 10K (49:26). He ran the Citizen-Times Half Marathon where he was second in 1:48:13.

Tad Jurgens, 66, of West Monroe, LA, totaled 200 points in two races to place third. He was first at both the Midnight Flight 10K (44:48) and Vulcan 10K (43:08).

Bobby Chandler of Greenville, SC, led the 70-74 division with 265 points in three races. The 71-year-old Chandler was second in all three races -- Midnight Flight 10K (54:01), Vulcan 10K (49:22) and Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (1:56:52).

Dewayne Morris, 77, of Birmingham, AL, scored 300 points in two races to win the 75-79 age group. Morris was first at both the Rocket City Marathon (5:07:21) and the Cotton Row 10K (55:51).

David Duncan, 75, of Charlotte, NC, ran both of his hometown GP races and scored 185 points to finish second. He was first in the division at the Racefest 10K (58:20) and second at the Turkey Trot 8K (45:19).

Eighty-two-year-old Joe Conrad of Gainesville, FL, is another veteran of the Grand Prix circuit having won his division several times. This season he once again topped the 80-over age group with a point total of 400. He was unbeaten in his four GP races. Conrad started out the season with a 1:10:45 finish at the Midnight Flight 10K. He also competed at the Vulcan 10K (1:07:18), Turkey Trot 8K (54:48), and Cotton Row 10K (1:14:36).

Female Age Group Champions
Carol Pritchard of Vestavia Hills, AL, led the Female 45-49 age group with 210 points in three races. She placed first in the season’s first race, the Midnight Flight 10K, in 46:46. She was third at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (1:44:35) and sixth at the Vulcan 10K (46:16).
In the 50-54 division, Julianne Amidon of Marshville, NC, scored 280 points in four races to place first. The 54-year-old runner was first at the Racefest 10K (49:24) and second at the Midnight Flight 10K (50:14). She was fourth at the Turkey Trot 8K (39:38) and sixth at the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (1:54:32).

Jamie Clay, 52, of Huntsville, AL, was second in the division, scoring 270 points in two races. She was second at the Rocket City Marathon (3:48:47) and third at the Cotton Row 10K (48:31).

Brooke Nelson, 50, of Munford, AL, scored 210 points in two races to finish third. She was the third-place finisher in both the Vulcan 10K (46:01) and Rocket City Marathon (3:54:27).

campbell.jpg Judy Campbell (photo) of Johnson City, TN, was one of only two competitors to run all 10 races on this season’s Grand Prix circuit. The 59 year old took top honors in the 55-59 age group, totaling 680 points in her top eight finishes on the series. Campbell was first at both the Vulcan 10K (52:59) and the Racefest 10K (55:34). She had third-place finishes at the Germantown Half Marathon (2:05:06) and Rocket City Marathon (4:32:33). She was also third at the St. Pete 10K in 54:25 and ran 43:01 for the 8K distance at the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

Toni Cruz, 57, of Concord, NC, finished second with 195 points in two races. Cruz was first at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (1:52:36) and second at the Midnight Flight 10K (47:41).

Joan Mulvihill of Charleston, SC, led the 60-64 age group with 510 points in seven races. The 64 year old was first at the Racefest 10K in 56:59. Mulvihill was second at the St. Pete 10K (56:56) and Midnight Flight 10K (1:03:09). She finished fourth in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon with a 2:04:30 run and fourth at the Turkey Trot 8K in 48:09.

Brenda Cooter of Grovetown, GA, has been a champion on the Grand Prix series many times and this year finished second in the division. Cooter, 62, ran in four races and scored 315 points. She was first at the Germantown Half Marathon in 2:11:53. She was second in the season-ending Cotton Row 10K (59:23) and third at the Vulcan 10K (1:01:05). She also had a fifth-place finish in the Citizen-Times Half Marathon (2:26:53).

Sally Kaiser of Myrtle Beach, SC, scored 250 points in three races to lead the 65-69 age group. The 66 year old was second at both the Turkey Trot 8K (54:51) and Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (2:33:45). She ran 1:03:33 at the Racefest 10K for a third-place finish.
In the 70-74 age division, Yo Setser, 72, of Weaver, AL, led the way with 200 points in two races. She won both the Vulcan 10K (1:01:46) and Cotton Row 10K (1:09:14).

Eighty-six-year-old Harriet Thompson of Charlotte, NC, took top honors in the 80-over category with 200 points in two races. She was first in both the Turkey Trot 8K (1:05:26) and Racefest 10K (1:18:43).

A familiar face on the Grand Prix series, Margaret Hagerty, 86, was second in the division this season. She had a first-place finish at the Midnight Flight 10K (1:45:29) and was second at the Racefest 10K (1:48:18).

(Hughes, Wessely, Campbell photo by Donna Manley/Harlan photo by Carolina Snapshot/Hicks photo by Huntsville Track Club)

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