Refusing to allow scattered showers and occasional lightning to deter them, nearly 100 runners gathered Friday night at the Tucker Hill fire tower in the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest, east of Brooksville, to compete in the Croom Doom Tri-5K Challenge, sponsored by the Red Mule Runners club of Hernando County.
Participants included high school cross-country runners, such as William Sandifer, 17, of Nature Coast Technical High; and experienced runners like Ernie Chatman, 62, of Brooksville, who has run marathons in all 50 states.
One of the older participants, Larry Miller, 75, of Brooksville, has been an avid runner since he was 45 and says it has been good for his health. "I remember one time having my yearly physical and the doctor noticed I had very low blood pressure," he said. "He looked at me straight in the eyes asked if I were a runner."
The overall male winner was Geremy DeWitt, 20, of Crystal River, and the overall female winner was Crystal Burchhardt, 16, of Spring Hill.