Roger Hopper easily won his fourth consecutive Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix title for the men, while Jamestown High junior Sorenna Jean edged out Tabb High teacher and coach Emily Honeycutt for the 2018 women’s Grand Prix title in the closest women’s finish ever. Those awards were among the 40 Grand Prix awards, 37 Hampton Roads Super Grand Prix awards, 10 age-graded awards, and 31 volunteer-of-the-year awards, given out at last Saturday’s CRR Awards Banquet at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse, with more than 100 people in attendance.
The major Grand Prix awards go to the top three overall men and women, and first Masters (ages 40-and-over) male and female, and they received $100-$75-$50 (top three) in gift certificates from Colonial Sports ($50 for 1st Masters), along with other gift certificates from Chanello’s Pizza, Go-Karts Plus and Aromas. They also received T-shirts and plaques courtesy of the Colonial Road Runners.
Former William and Mary student Hopper, 27, of Norfolk ran 15 of the 23 CRR races for a total of 142 points, won 13 of those races, and had a perfect 120 points for his top 12 races (scoring goes 10 deep for the best 12 races). He had best 5K times of 15:58 at Queens Lake and a PR 15:57 at Run the DoG; a 26:07 PR and course record for 8K at Toano; and a 33:29 PR and course record for 10K at Jamestown 4-H, also breaking a course record at the Greensprings 8K. He broke six race age group records.
Second overall for the men was Jason Miller, 41, of Williamsburg who ran 20 races for 121 total points and 102 for his best 12. He won the WISC Mad Dash 5K, Jamestown Island 10K (PR 38:01) and Crapolfest 5K (PR 17:49), to go with an 8K PR of 30:05 at Greensprings, setting three race age group records. He also had three second places and four third places.
Third overall was Greg Lynn, 44, of Hayes, who ran 22 CRR races, missing just one, had 91 total points and 77 points for his best 12. He had three third place finishes, and best 5K times of 18:24 at Billsburg and 18:23 at Sentara Sleighbell, to go with an 8K best of 30:50 at Greensprings and a 10K best of 39:17 at Run for the Hills.
First Masters for the men was Rob Whitaker of Yorktown, who turned 60 in November. Whitaker ran 15 races, had 66 overall points (good for fourth) and 42 Masters points (that scoring went five deep), finished third overall at two races (Kingswood and Jamestown Island), and set two race age group records. His best times were 18:14 for 5K, 31:07 and 31:10 for 8K, and 39:31 and 39:39 for 10K.
The most exciting Grand Prix competition was for the women’s title, with Sorenna Jean, 16, of Williamsburg coming from well behind in the final month, winning the Warhill 8K in an age group record 35:34, finishing second overall in a breakthrough and PR 33:46 at the Christmas Town Dash 8K, then finishing the year with another breakthrough and PR of 19:45, winning the Sentara Sleighbell 5K. Her previous 5K PR was a 20:15 at the JHS Swamp Run in March.
Sorenna Jean also won at Powhatan Creek, had seven second places and one third. She ran 16 CRR races, had 127 total points and 108 points for her best 12 races.
Just one point behind, at 107 points (114 total points for her 14 races), was Emily Honeycutt, 27, of Newport News, and the two were tied in head-to-head competition at six races each. Honeycutt won more CRR races (a total of five), but had just four seconds and one third.
Her best 5K times were 20:35 at Vineyards (close to her lifetime PR of 20:28) and 20:39 at Sleighbell, to go with an 8K best and age group record 34:09 at the Freedom Run, and a 10K best of 43:28 at Jamestown Island.
Third for the women was Sorenna’s older sister Thorin Jean, 17, a 2018 JHS grad and current freshman cadet at West Point. Before leaving in early July for school, Thorin ran seven CRR races, won five of them, along with one second and one fifth (at DoG Street in 19:38), good for 65 points.
Her 5K best was 19:32 at Queens Lake, along with an age group record and 8K best of 33:01 at Toano, and an age group record and all-time CRR 10K record of 41:17 for women 15-19 at Jamestown 4-H. Thorin also had a race age group record 19:46 at her home course JHS Swamp Run 5K.
First Masters for the women was Norma Phillips, 58, of Williamsburg, who ran 17 CRR races in 2018, had 50 overall points (good for fifth place) and 44 Masters points. She was second overall at the Greensprings 8K in an age group record 41:24, also running fast 8K’s at Freedom Run (41:42) and Christmas Town Dash (41:31), to go with a 10K best of 52:15 at Run for the Hills and a 5K best of 24:42 at Sleighbell.
The 2019 CRR Grand Prix season opens Saturday with the Toano Icy 8K (along with the non-Grand Prix Frosty 5K), both starting at 10 a.m. at Toano Middle School. Full info can be found on the CRR website at colonialroadrunners.org.
Platt is president of Colonial Road Runners.