Gumtree 10k – Tupelo, MS

Sunday, Most of our college buds are out of town after the semester ended last week. Figured, Joseph and I would be on our own Sunday afternoon, especially with it raining. But, surprise, surprise, our tall artistic running friend Kamau Bostic showed up just as we were starting. We ran about 7 miles today, at just under 7 minutes per mile thru downtown, the Greensboro District, Cotton District, and back thru the campus to finish.

Monday, Yep, raining again. Go figure! Joseph and I showed up at McKee Park just as Kamau was pulling in. Two days in a row with wonder boy. Cool After 9 minute warmup jog, we did a structure fartlek workout on the damp roads of Longmeadow neighborhood. Today, it was 2 sets of 4 minute hard/3 min easy, 3 min hard/2 easy, 2 min hard/1 min easy, and 1 min hard. Pretty good workout all in all. Of course I could not really keep up with those punks, but felt like I did ok! Then jogged back to park , stretched a bit, and took off. Did some pushup, pullups, and ab stuff when I got home. Should have done more, but pretty lazy after the running workout!

Found out that some of Joseph’s high school friends who are have run with us in the past and who are running track at SHS did well at the North Half State Meet on Saturday. Our good friend Ethan Musser, who is a senior this year, qualified for the state meet this coming Saturday in the 1600m run placing 4th with a times of 4:43. This was a phenomenal performance by Ethan, who had not run track since the 8th grade. Unfortunately, he did not compete in the 3200m event. Unfortunate, because I think he would have done even better at that distance. This past fall, Ethan made the All-state XC squad as well, and was the third SHS finisher behind Joseph and Damian, so he has proven stamina and good enough speed. Either way, in this 1600m race, Ethan was only 3 seconds behind his speedy teammate Damian Grady, who placed 2nd. Damian won the 800m race with a 2:02. Alex Ross, a junior, put in a stellar performance in the 3200m race placing 1st with a 10:17, which was by and far his best time ever. Of course, the Mattox girls did well as always. Eighth grader Kate Mattox stole the show in the 3200m race running 10:56. Her older sister Walker was 2nd with a 12:01. Similarly, Kate was 1st in the 1600 race with a 5:26, and her sister was 3rd with a 5:41. In her final year of high school, Mary Elizabeth Stringer placed second in the 800m race with a time of 2:31 qualifying for the state meet.

Tuesday, Brent, Kamau, Joseph and I today. Hit the South Farm gravel today. Had not been out here much. Easy run today. Kamau and Brent got in about 6; me and the kid did closer to 8. Probably  about 7 minute mile pace. On the way back, we passed by a feller named Nick Petit who we had recently met. He was running with some other joker, and they seemed to be cruising along well. In fact, we saw several folks running the gravel today. It was pretty nice out at 5 pm, maybe a little warm.

Wednesday, Same crew again today. Did a 6 mile downtown, etc. route. Pretty freakin’ warm today! Started out a regular type pace, then we picked it up. I wanted to go a little faster today. Not fast, but faster than my normal 6 mile everyday run. After about 1.5 miles, I started speeding up. At about three or so, I found myself ahead of the others, who apparently not as interested in going faster today. So, I finished up at 37:57. Kamau and Joseph dragged in about two minutes later, and Brent was probably 3 minutes behind them. Kamau and Joseph were pretty hot! Guess we have to get used to it being warmer.

Thursday, Kaman, Joseph, and I did an easy run thru and around the MSU campus this afternoon. Pretty warm again. Probably around 5 miles. Nothing crazy.

Saturday, Got up early and headed to Tupelo for the Gumtree 10k. Man, did not sleep well last night! Wait, that is every night! Oh well. Pretty nice this morn, about 65°F, but super humid and cloudy. Actually rained during most of the race, not hard, just drizzly stuff. Holy Moly! Some fast jokers here today. Even the old guys! Yeah, first place in the Masters division (40 and over) was 32 flat! The overall open male winner was 30:21! Not bad for a humid morn with slippery roads. Add to that the route was likely a bit long, at least according to folks with GPS watches, which tend to measure courses short. Most I talked with had 6.3 miles. Not significantly long, but that could mean 30 seconds for the fastest person and up to a minute or more for slower ones.

Saw lots of folks we knew, of course, including several Starkvillians. In fact, two of the ladies, Tiffany Dudley and Meggan Franks, placed in the top 8, which scored those fast moving chics some cash! In a race like this with folks coming in from all over the place to run, placing in the top few is major awesome! Tiffany was 3rd overall with her 36:27 and Meggan was 6th with her 38:55.  Pretty sweet.

Top 8 females at Gumtree 2013. TIffany Dudley (3rd) and Meggan Franks (6th)

Top 8 females at Gumtree 2013. TIffany Dudley (3rd) and Meggan Franks (6th)

A crazy lady we know, Liz Watkins, who won the 70+ female division today, introduced me to a speedy young feller named Josh Whitehead from Huntsville, Alabama. Josh is a rocket scientist! Really. Anyway, he was fifth overall with his time of 30:40, slap in the middle of a bunch of elite African running jokers! Another Alabama dude, Michael Green,  was sixth with a 31:14! Dudes!

Liz Watkins and Josh Whitehead

Liz Watkins and Josh Whitehead

Forty-two year old Bo Boatner from the Tupelo area also also had a good day placing 2nd in the Masters Division with a time of 33:15! Drew Kellum, another Tupelo runner we know, won the 20-24 year old group with his 35:12. Drew was sporting some longish hair, said he wanted to be like me.

Drew Kellum and Bo Boatner

Drew Kellum and Bo Boatner

Joseph was not sure what to expect today, as he had not run a 10k since this one last year when he ran a 35:48 winning the 14-19 age group and setting the Mississippi 15 year old 10k record. Anyway, he felt pretty good today I guess and ran a 34:40 coming in 15th overall, again winning his age group, and this year easily breaking the Mississippi 16 year old 10k record, which was 36:32. He said he felt like he could have knocked off a lot more and did not seem to tired. I definitely think when he figures out how to run this distance, he could easily run under 34.

Joseph receiving award

Joseph receiving award

Whew, one thing for sure, Joseph killed me today! I was shooting for 39, but actually thought I might get just under that. Felt tired, but pretty good. Ended up with a 39:18, which put me 2nd in the 45-49 division and 32nd out of 513 males. A speedy 45 year old dude who runs with the Tupelo Running Club named Israel Melendez won this division with his outstanding time of 35:35! The only way I could beat that cool cat would be to lose 15-20 lbs! Our bud Terrance Owens from Tupelo, who is my age (48), was 3rd with a 42:01.

Israel Melendez, me, and Terrance Owens

Israel Melendez, me, and Terrance Owens

Brad Atkins from Columbus had a good race today with his 36:02, which placed him 2nd in the 35-39 group not far behind the really tall Charlie Dawson! Nice job Brad! Also so our MSU Art buddies Chan Anderson and Bert Hart! These dudes always seem to be happy!

Brad Atkins and Charlie Dawson

Brad Atkins and Charlie Dawson

Charlie Morris, Bert Hard, and Chad Anderson

Charlie Morris, Bert Hart, and Chad Anderson

Anyway, fun day, lots of speedy people, some light rain, and after, we checked out the most amazing art at the festival!!!Full results from today’s race are at:



Filed under Running

2 responses to “Gumtree 10k – Tupelo, MS

  1. Great post! Good time results! I had some running friends from Corinth at the Gumtree also. I went to high school with Brad Atkins, how cool is that? I finished the Coke 10K in Corinth in 1:02:54, beating my last year’s time of 1:13! I was pleased, even running with a sore foot I’ve had to rest since then. I am not liking this “no running” rule for 10 days but my foot does, my 10 days are almost up! 🙂 I’m heading to Mango Madness Trail run in Corinth May 18th, do you ever run in Corinth, MS? Happy running to you!

    • Hey! Thanks for your comment. That is cool that you went to high school with Brad, he is certainly running well these days. I have not run in a race in Corinth in quite some time, hope to make the Coke Classic next year. Happy running to you too!

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