Looking Back on 2009: Part One

The Lake Monroe Roadkillers were well represented at the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon, which signaled the start of a new running year in Central Florida. We’re sure that great things are ahead for our group in 2010, but it was the 2009 season that got us here. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights we experienced in 2009...

Mike “Fly T” Baron kicked off 2009 with a remarkable performance in Disney’s Goofy Challenge; running the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon & Marathon on consecutive days. After cruising to a 1:47 finish in the half, Baron ran a 3:18 marathon the following day. His incredible performance came on the heels of his 3:21 finish at the Chicago Marathon in Oct. 2008. Great running, Mike!

At the end of January,
Shawn Barkley and April “Shortcut” Darrow both qualified for the Boston Marathon by finishing the ING Miami Marathon in 3:37 and 3:43, respectively. Wade “Runner of 1” Compton finished another edition of the Ocala Marathon on Feb. 1, as “GPS” Jim Masters completed his first marathon and won his age group at the Tallahassee Marathon. By the end of the year, Masters had won his age group in 12 of 13 races he ran in 2009. Incredible.

“Psycho” Dan Stojic also qualified for Boston, at the State Farm Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon the following week. As a prelude to Stojic’s performance in that marathon, Baron visited Melbourne and ran a solid 19:55 5K the day before, his best 5K result in several years.

Meanwhile,
Mike “T-Dog” Scures was busy compiling great finishes, on the way to winning his age group title in the prestigious Track Shack Grand Prix. On Feb. 21, Scures posted an 18:28 finish in the Run Around the Pines 5K, in his hometown of Winter Park.

Craig Dixon sprinted to a 1:18 finish in the Five Points of Life Half-Marathon in Gainesville, while “Young” Daniel McCarthy ran a most-impressive 3:00 at the Five Points of Life Marathon. And McCarthy wasn’t done yet. Just seven days later, McCarthy bravely paced Sara “Crash” Van Meter to her Boston-qualifying 3:49 finish at the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa. Also running in Tampa was Jeremy Davidson, who posted a 2:56 finish. The 2009 Gasparilla Marathon would be remembered for punishing winds and heavy rain. Not ideal conditions, but the Roadkillers ran through them!

Elliott Strouse became the Roadkillers’ first race winner of the year on March 14, with a 19:14 finish at the Victoria Park 5K in DeLand. This race was also one of Jim Masters’ many age group victories. The following week at the Winter Park 10K, Scures clinched his Grand Prix championship with a 39:20 finish.

March 14 was also the date for the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, one of the nation’s premier distance running events. Dixon and McCarthy both finished the race in under an hour. Other Roadkillers completing the 9.3-mile race were
“Man Pants” Danny Fritz, “Psycho” Dan and Martine McCarthy.

Diana Hampel had joined the group in the spring, and was the first overall female in the March 21 Be a Trailblazer 5K in Lake Mary. On March 28, Strouse finished the ING Georgia Marathon in 3:36.

Roadkillers were running strong as the season continued and temperatures began to rise. The “Summer of Speed” was ahead, but our runners were already showing plenty of speed in local races.

To be continued...