By Mike Deak
SYRACUSE – A first of its kind happened for the 43rd running of the Flotilla Road Race. The course was offered in its traditional settings, a 3.3-mile run from and to Lakeside Park in Syracuse, or if preferred, anywhere 3.3 miles makes its way. There was also the 8-mile track from Lakeside, around the 3.3-mile rectangle, down to Oakwood and back, or if preferred, anywhere eight miles makes its way.
It was a unique set of options for the annual Fourth of July staple in Syracuse, which opened at 6 a.m. Saturday and ran through Sunday afternoon. The socially-distanced virtual race, put on by Brian Shepherd and his many partners, didn’t have the traditional opening gun, but rather allowed runners who wished to participate to start whenever and/or wherever they wished to complete the Flotilla.
“Totally different feeling, and I understand the necessity of being socially distant, but it wasn’t the same thing,” Shepherd said. “We didn’t want to lose the annual off the title when it came down to it. When you have 42 in a row, you want to keep it going for 43. And we will have 44 next year.
“It wasn’t the same this year when you don’t have the big numbers there and the crowd.”
The final results had Shepherd pull in 125 total completed sign-up forms, but just 77 completed times were received after Sunday’s deadline. The Flotilla Road Race has hosted well over two to four times the 2020 turnout, setting a record as recent;y as 2014 with north of 500 participants.
Luke Griner had the top overall 3.3-mile time at 17:36, and the female titles were shared by Yuko Baumann and Mia Wellington, both turning in matching 25:47 stops.
The eight-mile overall male was Jordan Shoemaker at 52:48 and Jenny Isenbarger paced the distance females with a time of 65:49.
Nick Kirkpatrick was the 3.3-mile runner-up at 17:56 and Abraham Longoria trailed Shoemaker in the eight-mile with a 53:22. Nicole Geiger (26:19) and Staci Weisser (67:53) were the respective female runner-ups for the two divisions.
For complete race results assigned to Shepherd, visit SC Timing’s page.