Runners face steep hills, cold, during Victorian Classic

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

It was cold Saturday morning in Eureka Springs, in the twenties, but more than 250 runners and walkers showed up for the revival of the historic Victorian Classic race, held this year as a 5K run on the Grand Prix circuit.

The race was previously a 10K, so all the times in all the divisions this year are new records.

Joshua Sakon of Fayetteville, age 35, was the overall winner in the male division, finishing in 17:09.97. Sakon is a professor of chemistry at the UofA and said he was training for the Boston Marathon.

The overall female winner was Angie Heringer of Jonesboro, age 40, who finished in 20:19.64.

There was also a 1-mile fun run (which wasn't timed and no results kept) and a 5K walk, with Steve Cooper of Rogers first across the line in 32:05.47.

Overall female in the walk was Staci Folker of Eureka Springs, who finished the hilly course in 40:56.54.

Runners started at the Crescent Hotel, went down Ellis grade and around the historic loop, through downtown, then up a grueling, uphill stretch on Benton Street that separated the fun-loving from the serious. Several runners called the Benton Street grade "rugged" when they got their breath back.

Here's some familiar names from around the area that participated in Saturday's event.

Masters Male- Tom Aspel of Russellville finished first in his division, and 6th overall in 18:21.94. Not bad for age 46. He's run most races held in Carroll County for years.

Youngest placer- Adam Noble of Berryville, who finally beat his mom, Kristy, according to race officials. It was a first for Adam, and was done in 25:17.14, not bad for a nine-year-old. Kristy was third in the 35-39 division in 25:29.28, just 12 seconds behind Adam.

70 & still going- Yep, it was Jack Gentry of Rogers, age 74, winning the 70-74 division in 24:05.26. Right behind was Don Gammie of Eureka Springs, age 71, in 26:34.32. Rounding out that top three was Oakland Demoss of Fort Smith, age 73, in 28:01.86.

Seniors show off- 60-year-old Maurice Robinson of Benton finished the 5K in 22:00.19, first in the Seniors division. In the women's division, 62-year-old Argie McCarley of Conway finished first in 29:12.50. Right behind her was Delores DeMoss of Fort Smith, age 73, in 54:23.61.

Sisters don't compete- Finally. Sisters Lauren and Ashley Smith, who run cross country and track for Eureka Springs, didn't have to go head-to-head because they were in different age divisions.

Lauren finished second in the 15-19 division in 26:14.78, while Ashley was second in the 1-14 division in 26:14.44. Hummm. Those times were just 34/100 apart. Maybe they were competing.

Longest trip- It had to be Cecilia Bell of San Francisco, who won the 40-44 division in 25:20.28. Or, it could be Felipe Laverde of Coconut Cove, Florida, who finished third in the 25-29 male division in 26:01.51. Anyone know where Coconut Cove is located?

THE WALK

Awards were given for the top ten finishers in the 5K walk for men and women, and a lot of them were from Carroll County. So here it is.

Men- 1- Steve Cooper, Rogers- age 50- 32:05.47; 2- David Rowlett, Berryville- 44- 32:19.62; 3- Clayton Phillips, Bentonville- 55- 45:15.98; 4- Bob Luper, Fayetteville- 55- 46:06.81; 5- David Harvey, Eureka Springs- 19- 48:23.70; 6- Bob Harvey, Eureka Springs- 75- 49:30.38; 7- Gerald Toler, Eureka Springs- 66- 50:45.77; 8- Melvin Williams, Berryville- 75- 52:30.07; 9- Mike Armstrong, Fayetteville- 54- 53:57.95; 10- Brian Collins, Omaha, Neb.- 33- 54:15.48.

Women- 1- Staci Folker, Eureka Springs- age 42- 40:56.54; 2- Brenda Addington, Eureka Springs- 51- 41:06.11; 3- Lori Golding, Sherwood, Ark.- 33- 42:34.50; 4- Paula Tharp, Dallas- 45- 42:42.70; 5-Jennifer Carey, Fayetteville- 41- 43:40.81; 6- Nancy Parker, Johnson, Ark.- 54- 43:51.25; 7- Brenda Palmer, Neosho- 44- 44:00.15; 8- Melinda Taylor, Ash Flat- 26- 44:29.00; 9- Heather Zeit, Eureka Springs- 30- 44:32.43; 10- Peggy Way, Eureka Springs- 51- 44:34.51.

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