Practice runs cover old Old Centerville, Tall Timbers territory – Tallahassee Democrat

Practice runs cover old Old Centerville, Tall Timbers territory  Tallahassee Democrat

It almost escapes one’s memory – but for a couple days Tallahassee was directly in the path of hurricane Ian. Tallahassee has had its share of storm damage over the years but nothing compared to the damage Ian left in its wake.

After so much destruction from Ian, this past weekend was almost perfect for running in Tallahassee while saying a quiet thanks. 

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There were no road races in the area to my knowledge. Very unusual for an October weekend. However, I was able to run in two of my favorite places — old Centerville Road and Tall Timbers Research Station — this weekend.

Running Old Centerville Road

Old Centerville Road remains a mecca for runners (and cyclists). On the one hand a long line of Tallahassee’s fastest distance runners (from Herb Wills to Patrick Koon, who currently has the best time for a cross country competitor with a time of 14:43.09) have used the red clay hills to train.

But by no means is this running haven reserved for the fast or elite. Almost, any weekend morning (except during deerfly season) you will find all levels of runners on the road.

The giant oaks and tall pines can make runners forget the road is open to traffic which can be moving very fast. Residents and regular travelers on this road ask runners to be alert and not strung out across the road. 

Prepping for Pine Run

Sunday was prep day for the Pine Run 20K. The Pine Run 20K race is a Gulf Winds Track Club race and is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2022, at the Tall Timbers Research Station located at 13093 Henry Beadel Drive which is accessible from Highway 12.

It is one of the toughest courses in the area but it is also one of the most beautiful. The land is planted in slash pines managed by Tall Timbers and it’s located in the heart of the red hills area. Tall Timbers states the following as it mission, in part:

“Our primary research focus is the ecology and management of fire-dependent ecosystems, and its wildlife, including bobwhite quail, in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Our conservation efforts are dedicated to helping protect the distinctive, rural landscape of South Georgia and North Florida and its traditional land uses. Our education program transfers research and conservation information for resource management.”

The race presents a unique opportunity for runners to access the forest areas in the research area and in view the wonderful impact of tall Timbers. The course offers views of Lake Iamonia.

You can register for the race at

Kipchoge breaks record at Berlin Marathon

Among the most amazing athletic accomplishments over the past few weeks (or maybe in my lifetime) was the world record marathon performance of Eliud Kipchoge in the Berlin Marathon.

His winning time of 2:01:09 on Sept. 25, 2022 broke the old record, which he held by 30 seconds.

Back story:A helping hand for Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner of all time

He won the race by a wide margi. He probably had the title of Greatest of All Time (GOAT) locked up long before the Berlin performance, but there can be no doubt now at all. His resume includes winning 15 of 17 marathons he has entered, including two Olympic gold medals.

His life story is one of a man who treats others with respect. There is one time when he can be a bit rude. In many of his races there will be a pack of the late runners of 15 or 16 testing each other.

Runners like to take different positions within the pack and some will simply try to sit in behind everybody else and draft. After a couple miles, the finger comes out and Kipchoge subtly encourages the drafter to take their turn in the front position. If that doesn’t work Kipchoge will turn his head and sternly tell his competition to take their turn. And if that doesn’t do it, he just starts turning the pace up and just like the poor old frog in the boiling water he didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late.

This time however Kipchoge just blasted off from the beginning. His splits: 5K – 14:14, 10K – 28:23 and at the half he was still under a 2-hour pace with a time of 59:51.  He “faded” over the second half to finish in 2:01:09 just 69 seconds away from the 2-hour mark.

Kipchoge of course is the same runner who ran a sub-2-hour marathon in laboratory conditions that has not been recognized as a valid time for record purposes.

It is fair to say that in addition to winning the race and lowering the world record, he also wanted to pull back the cover to see just how far from that sub-2-hour goal he might be.

It is rare for Kipchoge to run positive splits in a marathon. However, he seems to be able to win and break records any time he wants and those are just two of the reasons to call him the GOAT.

David Yon is addicted to running. In his spare time, he is an attorney with the Radey Law Firm.

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