Former collegiate runners win Turkey Trot
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
As much time as distance runners Justin Gerrard and Stan Linton have spent training together over the last three months, neither of them was expecting to see the other in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
But they hooked up two miles into the race, pushing each other.
“It was good,” Linton said. “I didn’t expect to have company for that long. But the last four miles I was on my own.”
Linton, who ran in the 15K division, had a little longer to go than Gerrard, who went on to win the 10K event. Linton eventually finished with the best time (49 minutes and 40 seconds) to win the longer race.
The two former collegiate runners managed to pull away early from one of the most crowed fields of almost 7,000 runners who started the annual event in Southwood. Gerrard finished in a time of 32:01. Christopher Hayne finished second in a time of 33:29, just ahead of Matthew McCurdy (33:50).
Linton was more than a minute faster than second-place finisher Chris O’Kelley, (54:46). O’Kelley edged out TCC cross country coach Gary Droze whose time of 55:51 was good for third place.
Renee Cox was the first woman across the finish line in the 10K, taking the race in 41:40. Sheryl Rosen won the 15K in a time of 59:42.
Thursday’s start was the first for Gerrard and Linton in the 25th running of the Turkey Trot. It was the first major step in reviving a running career since he raced for Ottawa University in Kansas during the mid-2000.
“I really enjoy the process,” Gerrard said. “I enjoy the challenge of running and the competition. It seems perfect for me so I always kept after it.”
Meanwhile, Linton, a former walk-on cross country runner at FSU, said he is pushing toward a possible spot on the 2020 Olympic team.
However, he said that is contingent on his success in flight school with the Navy. He recently enlisted in the officer program and is stationed at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.
“I’m still trying to find out if it’s for me,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to do it if it isn’t for me.”