Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic History

The TUDC was born in 1980, but it was not until 1982 that Gulf Winds Track Club made an effort to go for national prominence.  The club committee invited national class ultrarunners to the site at Wakulla Springs State Park.  According to Felton Wright, race director in the early years, Nike sponsorship played a vital role in this effort.  Among the prominent names were Frank Bozanich, Barney Klecker and Ray Krolewicz. These runners and other local and southeastern competitors ran the 3 mile dogleg course in what was reported to be miserable weather conditions.  In spite of that, the 50K was won by Klecker in a sparkling time of 2:51:53, while Bozanich took the 50M in 5:14:40.  Both marks are still tops for the event.  Kathe Brookover of Tallahassee won the women’s 50K in 3:56:13, and Lydi Pallares of Stuart was the only woman finisher for the 50M in 10:47:54.  Dick Goodman, age 63, ran 7:57 for the 50M.  There were 37 finishers.  Results

In 1983 Barney Klecker returned to win the 50K in 2:53:45, followed by his wife Janis and female winner in 3:13:51 for a new world record! Fred Kiddy at age 49 won the master’s in 3:16:12.  Not far behind was wife Sandra Kiddy with a master’s World record 3:32:34.  The 50Me moved up to 100K and was won by Rick Alderfer in 7:31:01 in his first 100K effort.  Melissa Uchitelle was the women’s winner in 10:34:29.  The loop distance seems to have changed to a 3.45 mile.  69 finishers in ‘83.  Results

1984 saw John Cantwell win the 50K in 3:25:29.  Master’s winner was John Hesselbart in 3:45:47.  Donna Miller won in 3:53:05, with women’s master Suzie Klein of Hawaii taking that spot in 4:18:01.  Steve Warshawer won the 100K in 7:19:53, with Jack Hasson taking the masters 8:27:45.  Vicki Johnson won the women’s in 9:43:03 at age 41.  58 competitors finished.  Results

1985 seems to have been the first time the TUDC had good weather.  It also added a 100M event.  The 50K was won by Ron Crawford in 3:21:04, closely followed in 3:21:13 by master’s winner Fred Kiddy.  Mae Cleveland (46) won the women’s in 4:15:43.  The 100K  winners were: Richard Westbrook - 7:29:05, Jack Fabian 9:26:40 - masters.  Joan Baker (49) won the women’s in 10:58:31.  The 100M event was taken by Ray Krolewicz in 14:57:26.  Sandra Kiddy followed in 15:12:54.  64 finishers. Results

In 1986, Mark Dorion won in 3:09:25.  David Sheffield,3:26:47, was the master’s champ.  Mae Cleveland (47) won again in the women’s division.  Steve Warshawer took the 100K in 7:47:00, Ron Bomberger, 8:45:27, won the master’s.  No women ventured the 100K.  There were 66 finishers.  Results

The 50K winner in 1987 was John Devine with 3:06:52.  Dave Sheffield,3:28:12, won the 40+ honors.  Mary Hanudel, 4:19:23, and Jean D’Alemberte, 5:39:22, were female overall and master’s champs.  Richard Schick took the 100K in 8:19:20, followed by master Sid Christie in 8:34:48. There were 53 finishers.  Results

1988 saw the returning Richard Schick win the 100K again in 7:58:03.  This year Phillip Parker (50) won the master’s in 8:08:25.  Joan Hyde (42) was women’s winner in 10:37:24. The 50K field of 61 was topped by Tom Burr’s 3:21:46.  Brendan Spratt (55) won the master’s in 3:36:48.  Shelley Tyler at age 16 won the women’s in 4:06:39! Mae Cleveland was the top female master in 4:51:29. The 100K field of 24 finishers filled the total finishers to 85.  Results

In 1989 Joe Burgasser, with a time of 3:24:30, took the Florida 50K state master’s  record and first place.  Paula Johnson, 3:44:21 won the women’s crown while Margarete Deckert (56) took the master’s and women 55-60 national record with 4:41:02.  Rick Clark won the 100K with 7:21:20.  Master’s winner Richard Westbrook won in 8:05:30.  Again, no women applied!  51 finishers in 1989.  Results

Unfortunately, the race was not held in 1990

In 1991 the TUDC came back to life with Thomas Buchanan (49) winning the 50K in 3:40:25.  Paula Johnson was the repeat women’s champ in 3:57:11. Gordy Hawkins (43) took the 100K in 9:01:14.  18 finishers this year.  Results

1992 saw a few faithful TUDC returnees toe the line.  Gordy Hawkins repeated his ‘91 win at the 100K with 9:09:00 Peggy Lanier won in 11:27:08, and Bill Hillison (48) won the 50K with a 3:43:38. The 13 finishers represented the lowest ever in number.  Results

In 1993 Bill Hillison(49) repeated his 50K win in 3:44:12.  Delia Brewster, 5:22:17 won for the women and Kitty Caldwell was the master’s winner in 5:48:42.  Richard Schick(44) won the newly instituted 50 mile in 6:22:08.  Peggy Lanier (40), 8:59:19, was the women’s winner.  The course was changed to a 2.07 mile loop - 3 loops for each 10K.  An experiment with age graded results was not popular.  24 finishers in ‘93.  Results

1994 again saw Gordy Hawkins win the 50M with his best time yet of 6:55:40.  John Viitanen of Canada tore through the 50K in 2:54:11, the best time since Barney Klecker’s 2:51:53 (1982) and 2:53:45 (1983).  Ray Bell was top master in 3:29:53.  Paula Johnson won again in her best time yet of 3:50:00.  Judy Waters was the female master in 5:52:30. 42 finishers this year.  Results

The 1995 event crowned David Yon (40) the 50K winner in 3:36:48.  Carrie Weyant ran her first 50K in 3:57:21 for the women’s top honors.  Lois Brown was the first female master in 6:07:22.  Gordon Hawkins (46) repeated a 50M win in 7:19:35.   The poor weather probably caused most of the 12 DNFs. 26 finished.  Results

1996 brought Bill Hillison (52) the 50K victory in 3:42:29 after many fine efforts in previous years.  Paula Johnson returned for the women’s top spot in 4:04:17.  Ray Krolewicz (41) finally triumphed in the 80K with a fine 6:54:01 after a number of 2nd place long distance efforts.  Warren Mulherin and Marie Edwards combined for a novelty relay 50K effort of 6:23:35.  Possibly our best weather ever prevailed through the day.  The 80K (49.7M) substitute for the 50M proved a failed experiment, with some competitors running the extra .3 miles just for personal satisfaction. 26 finishers including the relay.  Results

In 1997 Bill Hillison (53) takes top honors for the 4th time with a 50K time of 3:54:00, Kari Larsen took the female honors and 2nd place with 4:10:55.  Carol Rhodes was first female master in 6:11:53. Gordy Hawkins (48) collected his 3rd 50M victory with 7:33:37.  Both events seem to be going to the senior set. Kathleen Wheeler’s 9:03:46 took the female 50 mile honors.  There were 22 finishers total.  Results

1998 saw the best turnout in quite a few years with 49 finishers in both races.  Scott Ludwig (44) led the charge for the 50K finish in 3:44:58. Five finishers came in under 4 hours.  Jane Johnson had the nation’s best female 50K time of 1998 with her winning 3:46:25.  Malissa Auker turned in a fine 4:29:50 for female master’s crown.  In the 50M, David Allison won in 6:28:19, David Yon followed for 2nd place and the top master in 6:50:55.  Peggy Lanier (45) came back for female winner in 9:22:57.  Results

The 1999 TUDC saw exceptional performances in the 50M with Nancy Drach (40) easily running the best ever woman’s 50 in 6:38:02, possibly the best this year in the U.S.  Michael Peck ran a very fine 5:57:32.  Dave Drach was top male master in 6:44:07.  The 50K went to routine winner Bill Hillison (55), edging his protégé Matt Minno (40) 3:49:06 to 4:00:45.  Matt was passed in the next to last  lap.  Kathy Daumer was top 50K woman in 4:51:00.  28 finishers in the century’s last TUDC.  Results

The 2000 TUDC brought a return of the Drachs. Nancy again took the 50M with 7:07:11; Dave won the 50K with 3:52:44.  First male in the 50M was Gary Griffin in 8:06:14.  Kristen Hooper in 4:29:56 took the women’s 50K.  Master’s winners were Eileen Eliot 8:14:34 and Gary Paetzke 8:21:54 for the 50M. Pat Judd’s 4:19:38 and Electa Walker’s 6:12:38 took the 50K Master’s. Bud Fennema and John Affleck-Graves ran the marathon in 3:23:39 and 3:23:40, respectively.  24 finishers.  Results

The 2001 TUDC featured several new winners.  After nine attempts, Dana Stetson brought home the bacon in the 50M with a 7:35:27 victory on a warm  day (60° at start).  Linda Mason followed with the women’s victory in 7:41:24.  Master’s were Terry Wettig - 8:41:00 and Kathleen Wheeler - 9:56:32.  Tim Lee cruised to a 3:35:11 50K win and Kelly Murzynsky was female champ in 3:57:03, running with her partner Scott Ludwig, Master’s champ in 3:57:31.  Sandra Powell’s 4:24:44 won the women’s Masters.  Don McNelly is our new 80-84 champ with 9:53:47.  34 finishers, 5 DNF’s.  Results

The 2002 version of the 50M saw Pete Hendrickson take the win in 6:54:21.  Gary Griffin was top Master in 7:35:10.  Bill Hillison and Matt Minno repeated their 1999 overall, 3:51:46 and Master’s 3:55:50 finishes.  Sandy Powell took the overall female in 4:30:57 and Julie Clark won the Master’s with 4:46:20.  38 finishers, 3 DNF’s.  Results

In 2003 Bill Hillison won the 50K (again!)  in 3:51:58, with Matt Minno repeating the Master’s win in 4:09:51. Susan Boardman in 7:11:58 was the female 50K winner.  Fred Johnson (7:11:53) and Scott Ludwig (7:26:58) took the overall and Master’s 50M, respectively.  Kathleen Wheeler’s 9:56:26 and Carolyn van der Heydt’s 11:11:34 won the 50M overall and masters.  30 finishers, 3 DNF’s.  Results

The 2004 version was dominated by the exceptional performance of Chad Ricklefs, who raced through the 50M in 5:24:45, a time bested only by Frank Bozanich’s 5:14:40 in 1982.  Ann Burke won the women’s in 8:41:40.  Bill Hillison, at age 60, took the 50K in the excellent time of 3:50:10, the new course record for 60-64 AG.  Kelly Murzynsky turned in a sterling 4:03:10 to take the women’s 50K. 31 finishers, 3DNF’s.  Results

It didn’t seem possible, but the 2005 ultra produced THREE AG course records.  Linda Mason was the OVERALL winner in the 50M at age 52!  She ran an exceptional 7:23:14 to lead Mitsuhito Tsuchida’s 7:41:53 to the finish.  Master’s 50M finisher Gary Griffin now owns the 55-59 male best with 7:48:17.  Gary also holds the 50-54 best time for the course.  Helen Cox finished in 7:54:04 to capture the female Master’s.  The 50K highlight was Don McNelly’s capturing the age 80-84 crown in 11:09.  Fred Johnson and Joan Messick took top honors with 3:55:07 and 4:38:07, respectively.  Master’s winners were Scott Ludwig and Connie Clarke with 4:09:49 and 4:55:18.  Kirsten Baggett qualified for Boston with a 3:50:09 marathon time.  35 finishers, 1 DNF.  Results

After many years of dedicated service by Fred and Margarete Deckert, in 2006 the race found itself under the direction of Peg and Gary Griffin.  2006 also brought a race start temperature of 20°, which we blamed on a visitor from across the sea, Colin Deasy of the UK.  Colin ran away with the 50K in 3:18:55 (the 2nd fastest time since 1987), breaking the 40-44 AG record.  Susan Lance of the Darkside Running Team from Peachtree City, GA captured the women’s title in 4:43:14.  The male master’s winner was Tallahassean Bill Hillison, an 8-time winner of the overall crown at 50K, in a time of 4:20:32. It was good to have Bill back at the starting line after being sidelined by an injury in the 2005 event.  2005 Gulf Winds Track Club runner-of-the year, Kirsten Baggett, was top master in 5:13:00.  In the 50M, Blaine Broadbridge of Bradenton, FL ran steady and strong all day and took the overall crown in 7:17:49.  Jacksonville’s Amy Costa, with her strong and easy stride, cruised to the women’s title and second overall in 7:30:37.  The male master’s win went to another Darkside member – Scott Ludwig – third overall in a time of 7:53:18, while the women’s master’s win went to St. Petersburg’s Ann Burke in 9:03:43.  There were 21 finishers in the 50K and 12 in the 50M.  Results

The 2007 race brought not only an increase in the early morning temperatures but another rise in the number of finishers.  In the 50 miler, Jack McDermott pulled away from a determined Amy Costa to take the men’s overall win in a strong 6:41:23.  Amy repeated her 2006 win (as well as her 2nd overall finish) to beat Susan Lance for the women’s title in 7:21:47.  Susan’s PR 7:53:13 gave her the master’s title and 4th overall; Gary Griffin took the men’s master’s win and lowered his 55-59 AG record by 15 minutes with a time of 7:33:05.  In the 50K, Thierry Asselin, a talented Canadian triathlete, took the 50K crown with a blazing 3:30:25 (a 6:47 pace!).  Giving chase early were David Yon (the winner here back in 1995), Fred Johnson (who won the 50K in his last Wakulla appearance in 2005) and Brian Corbin.  When Brian dropped off, David and Fred went head-to-head through 25 miles or so, chasing after the master’s title before David threw in a 14 minute final lap to finish second in a time of 3:52:20 – the only other finisher to best 4 hours.  The women’s 50K race was even better!  First time ultrarunner Olivia Swedberg and last year’s masters champ, Kirsten Baggett, traded the lead all morning before Olivia prevailed in a time of 4:44:39.  Kirsten, bettering her 2006 time by over 25 minutes, followed closely in a time of 4:47:20 and took the master’s crown for the second straight year.  There were 28 finishers in the 50K and 13 in the 50M.  Results

The number of finishers at both distances continued to rise in 2008 – the 28th running of the TUDC - with 33 in the fun run and 17 in the big one.  Dann Fisher journeyed southeastward from his home in Manhattan, KS and went home with a 50M PR and the overall win in a time of 6:48:14, bettering the master’s winner – Joe Fejes of Hoschton, GA.  Joe’s fine 7:17:34 effort was good for 2nd overall.  In the women’s race at the 50M distance, St. Petersburg’s Ann Burke repeated her TUDC 50M win in 2004 with a time of 8:50:3.  The women’s master’s crown went to June Leland of Tampa, who ran 9:26:41.  2007’s 50M winner, Tallahassean Jack McDermott, continued his winning ways with a smoking 3:36:01 in the 50K.  Tampa’s Bart Rigg of Tampa was 2nd overall and took the male master’s title with a time of 4:03:49.  Kirsten Baggett of Tallahassee won the women’s race with a time of 4:52:44, beating out Atlanta’s Jill Floyd who captured the master’s crown with a time of 5:18:47. Kirsten won the women’s race for the first time after winning the women’s master’s division the previous two years.  The 2008 TUDC was especially notable though for some outstanding age group performances – highlighted by an incredible 4:22:04 in the 50K by 70-year old Joe Burgasser.  Joe’s running history is storied and his 50K effort – a pending USATF national 70-74 AG record - simply added to his resume. Five others set TUDC AG records: 50-milers Dann Fisher in the men’s 45-49, Melissa Paurowski in the women’s 25-29, and June Leland in the women’s 55-59; 50K marks were set by the aforementioned Burgasser, along with Jared Kinyon in the men’s 20-24 and Marsha White in the women’s 60-64.  Results

On a day that may very well go down in TUDC history from a meteorological standpoint, runners endured anything but Florida-like weather with an all-day rain and temperatures that never left the 40s. Perseverance, on the part of the runners and the faithful volunteers was truly the order of the day. Only 7 of the 25 runners who started the 50M actually made it to the finish line, but that didn't at all diminish another stellar effort by the defending champ, Dann Fisher of Manhattan, KS. An apparent model of consistency as well as talent, Dann's 6:48:43 was only seconds off his 2008 winning time. At the 50K mark he trailed the eventual 2nd place finisher, Ryan Thompson of Charleston, SC by 25 minutes but tracked him down in the long haul. Thompson hung on gamely and was the only other sub-7 hour finisher with a fine 6:56:36. The men's masters' title went to Scott Ludwig of the Darkside Running Club in Peachtree City, GA. The women's winner was Susan Lance, another Darkside member, who thrives on the adversity that the day presented. She finished 3rd overall with a time of 7:58:10, prevailing over the defending masters champ, Ann Burke who ran 9:37:21. The 50K race was somewhat of a mirror of the 50M race in the way that it played out at the front. Cameron Wheeler, the 16 year old son of TUDC-regular Kathleen Wheeler of St Petersburg, led the race most all of the day. Cameron knocked off 14 minute laps time after time and held a 5 minute lead over his nearest challenger, Miamian Jon Williams, at the end of lap 13 (mile 27). But Jon persevered and with a 6:24/mile pace final lap caught Cameron in the closing strides to win by 15 seconds in a fine 3:53:22. It was a terrific effort by each of them. Gulf Wind Track Club's Jane Johnson, winner of the women's 50K at the TUDC in 1998 at age 39, returned to Wakulla Springs and made her way through the deluge to again win the women's title with a time of 4:05:40. Jane was also third overall among a field of 53 finishers. The men's masters' winner was St. Petersburg's amazing Joe Burgasser, who at age 71 lowered his USATF pending 70-74 AG record set at the 2008 TUDC by over 5 minutes with a time of 4:16:56. First-time ultra runner Lisa Cox of Tallahassee took the women's 50K masters title with a time of 5:02:59. Both Johnson (50-54) and Burgasser (70-74) set new TUDC AG record, as did Frank Bozanich of Reno, NV in the men's 50K 65-69 AG. It was an honor to have Frank, the holder of the TUDC 50-mile record of 5:14:40 set way back in 1982 in our midst once again. In spite of the horrid weather, 60 runners made their way to the finish – the highest number since 1988. Results

After nearly 20 years of running within the confines on Wakulla Springs State Park on a 2 mile loop, the 30th anniversary edition of the TUDC ventured out onto Wakulla Springs Road and a 10K loop, making things a bit easier on the lap counters and providing runners with a broader view of the park. And by all accounts, the course was even faster than the old course which has generated so many outstanding performances over the years. There was also a radical change in the weather, following the tough conditions of 2009. The 2010 event was held under sunny skies and amidst mild temperatures which together with the new course generated two potential US age group records and 9 new TUDC AG records. In the 50M, Dann Fisher returned to capture his third consecutive win with an outstanding time of 6:26:27, some 20+ minutes faster than in his 2008-2009 victories. In 2nd overall and the masters' winner was Joe Fejes of Hochston, GA who tallied an excellent 6:44:02. The women's winner (and coming in third overall) was Amy Costa of Jacksonville, capturing her third 50M title as well. Amy ran a strong 7:33:52, and joined Dann and Gordy Hawkins as the only 3-time winners in the 50M. Amy was pursued all day by the 2009 women's champion, Susan Lance of Whitesburg, GA who took the masters' title with a clocking of 7:53:42. The 50K featured the return of two very talented St Petersburg runners, 17 year-old Cameron Wheeler and 72 year-old Joe Burgasser, as well as outstanding efforts by Thomas Dever or Terre Haute, IN and Tallahassee's own Allison Eagen. In a turnabout of the 2009 race, Cameron became the "chaser" instead of the "chasee". Trailing Dever by 10 minutes 15 miles into the race, Cameron ran a 39:02 final 10K to capture the win with a potential US AG record time of 3:18:16. The 53 year-old Dever hung on gamely to take the masters' crown with an excellent 3:37:45. The women's title went to Eagen, who finished third OA and ran 3:39:52 – the third fastest women's time ever in the TUDC! Tallahassee's Nancy Stedman took the masters' win with a time of 4:24:54. And as for Burgasser …. All he did was finish 4th overall with a time of 4:19:59 – the third time in 3 years that he has run sub-4:20 in the 50K. There were 63 finishers, 3 more than in 2009 and the highest since 1988. Results

On another picture-perfect day for running, a record number of entrants had a great day at Wakulla Springs State Park. As has become the norm, there were two potential US age group records set, along with six new TUDC AG records. For 50M race featured a day-long duel between Jacksonville's Sung Ho Choi and Tallahassee's Jack McDermott (a past winner of the 50K and 50M). A mere week after winning a 100M race, Choi came out on top again with a brilliant time of 6:18:45, the fastest since 2004 and the third fastest winning time ever recorded in the 50M. McDermott's 6:27:24, only 5 minutes off the course masters' record, was good enough for 2nd overall and the 2011 masters' title. The amazing Amy Costa became the first 4-time winner in the 50M with her victory, adding to her titles in 2006, 2007 and 2010. Chrissy Coutts of Tallahassee, running her first 50M, captured the masters win with a time of 8:39:09. The 50K win was one of the record-setters, for it was 55 year old Pete Kaplan of Charlotte, NC who came from behind to win in a potential US AG best of 3:39:47. Tallahassee's Andy Roberts was third overall and took the masters' title with a time of 4:08:05. Terrific performances were evident in the women's division as well with Kristine Cox of St Petersburg capturing the crown and finishing fourth overall with a stellar time of 4:14:19. The masters' title went to Gainesville, FL resident Kathryn Schubert, running her first ultra, with a time of 4:27:30. Not to be outdone by the young folks, Joe Burgasser again amazed us all by running his fastest 50K ever, potentially lowering his own US 70-74 AG record with a time of 4:16:03 – his third sub-4:20 effort at the TUDC since turning 70. The TUDC continued to grow with 83 finishers - 20 more than in 2010 and falling just shy of the record of 85 set in 1988. Results