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Lee Stephens squeaks by in 5K Midnight Run

Lee Stephens, a 28-year-old Tampa resident who won the Dunedin Midnight Run 5K in 15 minutes, 52 seconds, also finished first in the Run Thru Hell 5K at Al Lopez Park on Sunday.


Lee Stephens, a 28-year-old Tampa resident who won the Dunedin Midnight Run 5K in 15 minutes, 52 seconds, also finished first in the Run Thru Hell 5K at Al Lopez Park on Sunday.

The Fourth of July would be incomplete without Dunedin's legendary Midnight Run. The 29th annual event, with 5K, 10K and one-mile awards, drew a large crowd as usual.

Tampa's Lee Stephens, 28, finished first in the 5K with a time of 15:52, just one second ahead of Tampa's Mark Parrish. Melanie Peters, 24, of St. Petersburg was the fastest female with a time of 19:10.

Seventeen-year-old Buka Harris of St. Petersburg was second in his age group, 11th overall, with a time of 17:45. In the male 18-19 age group, Aaron Thomas and Julio Silva, both of Seminole, and Kenneth City's Mark Benjamin had a foot race with a pace just one second apart (5:35, 5:36, 5:37), finishing fourth, fifth and seventh overall, respectively.

Other age group winners included Jackie Sullivan of Clearwater Beach; Stephanie Rancich, Lilly Roush, Ray McCreight, Douglas McGarvey and Allison Smith of Clearwater; Eugene Fanning, Erik Logan, Joe Palmer, Bret Jardine, Joe Daly, Dennis Byron of Palm Harbor; Kim Langevin, Carol Zaffiri, Alia Kaiser of Dunedin; Rosalyn Randall of Oldsmar and Sheila Basque of Tarpon Springs.

In the 10K, 21-year-old Ryan MacManus of Seminole turned in the fastest time in 33:37. World class triathlete Spencer Smith finished third overall in 35:12.

Rounding out the top 10 were Keith Sawayda, 45, of Clearwater in fifth place in 36:29, and Thomas McGrath, 17, of Largo in ninth in 37:36.

The one-mile awards went to Bobby DeSantis, 48, of Clearwater, who ran a 5:05, and Christina Patterson, 18, of Dunedin, who clocked in at 6:18.


Several local athletes headed to the Crystal River for the city's annual Sprint Triathlon on Saturday. Lucas Caron of Palm Harbor was 12th overall in 1:01:40.

Thomas Hoffman of Palm Harbor, finished 22nd in 1:08:22.

Age group winners included Harold Singer of Largo (65-69), Gary Bonacorsi of Seminole (60-64) and Molly Moore of Clearwater (50-54).

Young triahletes showed their stuff June 30 at the Tri if you Dare Triathlon in Seminole. Sarah Sykes, 13, of Largo won the female 13-15 division, and John Farese, 13, of St. Petersburg was the male winner. Among the 11- and 12-year-olds, it was Courtney Smith of St. Petersburg and Caleb Hudak of Seminole.

In the 9-10 age group, Grace Rose of Oldsmar and Riley Hawes of Sarasota finished first. In the 7-8 age group, Reagan Quilty of St. Petersburg and Tristin Hawes won. In the 5-6 age group, the winners were Emerson Quily and Zane Holmes.

Traveling triathletes

More news from last month's Coeur d'Alene Idaho Ironman Triathlon: several TriLewis athletes completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile ride and 26.2-mile run. The team included Jeff Chapman, Seminole, 16 hours and 21 minutes; Carole Torreano of Clearwater, 15:47; Paul Kimmel of Palm Harbor, 14:48; David Blackwood of St. Petersburg, 15:16; Leslie Gerlach of Largo, 16:12 and coach Lewis Bennett in 14:49.

Forerunners news

Debra Donald, 50, St. Petersburg, won the 50-54 division at the Independence Day 5K, on July 4 in Lutz. Donald finished in 21:37.

At the Dunedin Midnight Run 5K, Katherine McMeekin, 17, an East Lake High senior, won her 16-17 division in 20:10. Hunter McCann, 11, of Treasure Island was first in his age group in 20:43.

Kristine Cox, 42, of St. Petersburg won the 40-44 age division, and Anna Reschar, 46 of St. Petersburg was third in the 45-49 age group at the Run thru Hell 3.4-mile cross-country race at Tampa's Al Lopez Park on Sunday.

Cox ran 24:16, and Reschar, 25:42. Cox's son, Ian, 12, was third place in his 14-and-under group in 34:43. Forerunners coach Joe Burgasser, back to racing after a January cycling accident, won his 65-69 category in 24:17.

Peachtree Road Race

Numerous Pinellas runners made the trip to Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race, the largest running event in the United States, on July 4.

Steve Wilcox, 37, a graduate of Boca Ciega High and a Forerunners member, finished 90th among the estimated 55,000 runners at the 10K. Wilcox's 35:34 was good for fifth place in his M35 division.

Nationally ranked masters runner Scott Winnier, 41, of St. Petersburg placed 139th in 36:25; Benton Jones, 17, of Clearwater finished 230th in 38:29; Bob Wagoner, 35, of Seminole was 287th in 39:17, and Albert Wieringa, 61, of St. Petersburg finished 440th in 41:23.

Do you have running, swimming, biking, triathlon or adventure racing news? Send it to Terry Tomalin at or call (727) 893-8808. You can also submit news online at

Lee Stephens squeaks by in 5K Midnight Run 07/08/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:29pm]
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