TUPELO – The winners of Saturday’s 25th annual Green Street Mile weren’t born the first few times the race was run.
Rising Tupelo High School senior Max Holman, 17, was the overall winner in 4:32. Claire Corban, 20, a former THS runner and a rising junior at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., was the women’s winner in 5:35 and finished 15th overall.
The race began promptly at its traditional time, 7 a.m. Tupelo Running Club officials reported a total of 100 finishers – a slight uptick in participation from the last couple of years.
Holman, third in this race a year ago, beat his closest competitor, Michael Driver, 42, by 19 seconds; Corban, who was running the event for the first time, was 15 seconds ahead of the women’s runner-up, Brenda Walton, 51.
“That was a little slower than I had hoped,” said Holman, whose running resume includes back-to-back state high school championships in cross country and the 3,200 meters as well as the 2009 state title in the 1,500. “I just took off and tried to run my race. I’m really only trying to compete with this,” he said, gesturing to his watch.
Holman’s personal best at the distance is a 4:22. “If I was pushed, I could maybe manage a 4:20.”
Corban is recovering from shin splints she suffered from last season and said she is still getting back into racing shape. “I was hoping for something around 5:30 today,” she said. “This was fun.”
The oldest finisher was Ivy Evans, 77, who covered the course in 11:58. Behind him were the two youngest finishers, Frank Stark (4; 13:42) and Soaman Waters (3, 15:53).
The 2008 race champs, Robert Scribner of Tupelo and Wendy Ragle of Memphis, did not run on Saturday.
The course began at Cooper Tire and finished up in front of Day-Brite.
Saturday’s run marked the eighth and final time for Bill Garner to serve as race director. With all the trophies handed out and the runners dispersing shortly before 8 a.m., he headed to his truck to pack up the timing gear.
“Then, I’m headed home to relax,” he said.
John Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal