With everything going on, I kind of let this slip through the cracks at the end of last year. But, finally, let me tell you about the results of the 1995 Tupelo Running Club Race Series.
After an extraordinary five-year run, David McKinney did not win the 1995 men’s series. Andy Hughes the former Mooreville and Tupelo high school athlete and current Ole Miss law student broke through and became the first runner other than McKinney to win in the 1990s.
McKinney and Hughes typify why such a series is needed in the area they may not be the fastest, but for a whole year of racing, they are the most consistent. In fairness to McKinney and taking nothing away from Hughes for his 1995 effort, David did have health problems, including a stress fracture.
But McKinney did run often enough and fast enough to finish second to Hughes. Ironically, the last runner before Hughes and McKinney to win this series came in third in 1995 Fulton’s Larry Jackson.
In the women’s series, Pam Tucker’s early season racing helped carry her to the championship. Tiffany Keller was second and Rhonda Tucker was third.
The Tupelo Running Club Race Series is open to members only, but anyone, any age can join the running club at any time of the year to compete in the series.
The first half of the year is the busiest for races in the area, and that includes races designated on the TRC Race Series. Two races have been completed already, but for the rest of this half of the year, that still leaves the Pontotoc Ridge 5K; Oxford Double-Decker 10K; Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10K; Nettleton 5K; Pratts 5K; Booneville 5K; and the Green Street Mile in Tupelo.
Speaking of upcoming races, here’s a reminder about two of the bigger races in Tupelo and Mississippi.
Entry forms are already available for the 5K Heart Run, sponsored by the North Mississippi Medical Center’s Wellness Center. I know that you can pick up entry forms at the Wellness Center or The Second Wind.
Also, look for entry forms to be mailed out and become available for the Gum Tree 10K in a couple of weeks. Of course the Gum Tree is the state’s largest road race and the Heart Run is the state’s largest 5K.
It is never too early to train for these fun events, and getting ready for the Heart Run would help you get ready for the Gum Tree.
Another of my favorite topics is high school running. And since this is March, high school track season gets into gear this month.
In fact, Tupelo and Pontotoc had a meet at Pearl Saturday. Two of the bigger track meets in the area are the Tri-State Challenge (March 30) and the Daily Journal Relays (April 6), both at Tupelo High School.
I think that any high school sport should be supported by its school and its community, and these two meets should feature some of the best high school track athletes in Northeast Mississippi. Please mark these dates on your calendar, go out and support your school and the sport.
As most runners know, the 100th running of the Boston Marathon is coming up on April 15. I would like to know how many Northeast Mississippi runners will line up among the 37,000 that are expected for this historic event.
David Wheeler writes a monthly running column for the Daily Journal.