A whirlwind month for Stan Linton ended at a familiar spot Thursday morning.
In the annual Turkey Trot in Southwood.
The former Florida State and Wakulla High runner captured the 15K (9.3 miles) in 47 minutes, 33 seconds.
Linton, who married earlier this month and arrived in Tallahassee from Memphis Wednesday at midnight with wife Linsey and stepson Jameson, 7, was among the 5,200 entrants in the holiday tradition.
The event featured four races – Turkey Gobbler 1 mile, 5K (3.1 miles), 10K *6.2 miles) and 15K – and brings runners, families and friends together.
Trains, planes and automobiles
“It has been a whole bunch of trains, planes and automobiles for us,” said Linton, who has served the United States Navy since graduating from FSU in 2016. “I’ve been on a bunch of hotel treadmills, trying to get the training in as much as I could.”
Married with the Smokey Mountains serving as a backdrop, Linton and Linsey traveled to Switzerland and Italy for their honeymoon.
Stationed near Memphis – and after an outdoor run Wednesday – they drove from Tennessee and stayed in a hotel near Southwood for Thursday’s race. Stepson Jameson ran in the 1-mile race while Linsey snapped photographs. A Thanksgiving celebration with Linton’s family in Crawfordville was also scheduled.
Linton’s goal is set a new Turkey Trot record in the 15K. Former FSU runner Paul Waldron set the standard of 46:26 (different course) in 1987.
“With the elevation and the weather – it was probably in the 60s – a couple of miles in there were pretty bad. But all the other miles were pretty good,” said Linton, who averaged 5:07 per mile and has previously competed in the 5K twice, the 10K twice and the 15K twice.
“My goal was to at least try to run close to as a 5-minute pace as possible. I was probably a few seconds off. But it was fun, a huge race.
“I won’t stop until I get the record,” Linton said and laughed.
Sheryl Rosen, 38, of Arlington, Virginia was the first women’s finisher in the 15K at 1:02:29.
The 10K race had a unique feel to it, too.
Best friends – and former Valdosta State University running teammates – Nick Flatt, 23, (33:16) and Angie Cipriani, 23,(37:12) shared the podium.
Flatt, in the ministry in Clinton, Mississippi, enjoyed his first Turkey Trot. The 2021 VSU graduate averaged a 5:22 mile to finish ahead of Kevin Chin Sue (34:42) of Portland, Oregon.
Flatt didn’t realize he had won the 10K until it was announced as he neared the finish line.
“I went out with some of the 5K guys and we worked hard together,” Flatt said.
For Cipriani, a registered nurse, graduate student and graduate student assistant coach with the VSU cross country team, it was fourth overall Turkey Trot – but first at the 10K distance.
She placed in front of Adriana Piekarewicz (38:42), who helped lead the Maclay cross country team to a 2005 state title and now resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Following the race, Cipriani and Flatt headed to Thomasville, Georgia, to celebrate Thanksgiving with Cipriani’s family.
“We came in together (at VSU) as freshmen and just have grown really close ever since,” Cipriani said. “We still keep in touch.”
Reach Jim Henry at email@example.com.