Runners take part in ‘Odyssey’

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 16, 2009

This past Saturday morning, one may have noticed a larger number of runners in the street than normal.

Close to 200 hit the streets to be a part of something that has very rarely happened in Troy as well as running for a good cause.

The first annual Troy Odyssey allowed runners to take part in a 10K race or a half marathon, that would take them all around both the city of Troy as well as Troy University.

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Both courses began in front of Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium and ended inside the stadium at the 50-yard line.

“This was the first, of hopefully many,” said James Micciche, a race director for the Odyssey.

“This took a lot of work to make happen. We started in March [of this year] and have been working almost daily since to get everything done.”

Some of the things Micciche mentioned included picking a deserving charity, planning out a rout and designing logos for signs and shirts.

“There was a lot of tedious work involved with this but in the end I think it was all worth it,” Micciche added.

Cristina Person won the 10K overall, as she raced the 6.2 miles in 52 minutes and 10 seconds.

Andrew Lind was the fastest male in the 10K race, running it in 53:53 minutes.

Dr. Michael Green was the first half marathon runner to cross the finish line around 14 minutes later, with a time of 1:06.06.

Lara Moore was the first woman to finish the half marathon, finishing with a time of 1:36.48.

All the proceeds raised from the races will all go tot he Pike Region Child Advocacy Center (PRCAC) as well as to local food banks.

In all, the run was able to raise $6,000, with 75 percent being donated to PRCAC and the remaining 25 percent being donated to the food banks.

“I think we did better than expected,” Micciche said.

“This is something that is only going to get better as time goes on.”

Even for experienced runners, the Odyssey was no easy task.

“It was a bit of a challenge,” Green said after completing the 13.1-mile course.

Green, who is originally from England and attended the University back in 2002, is now a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion in the area of Exercise Science at the University.

The Troy resident said he even went a little of course during the race – but not on purpose.

“I actually ran a block more than I should have,” Green said. “I live in this city and I kin of got lost – I’ll never let myself live that one down.”

“I just hope no one followed me,” he laughed.

Mackey Tyendall traveled from Panama City to be a part of the half marathon as well, however completed it differently than most.

Tyendall was shifting gears in his wheel chair rather than shifting his legs back and forth.

“This was a challenging course,” he said. “A lot of technical turns and hills, it slowed me down a little bit.”

Tyendall finished with a time of 106:43, which was second best overall for the half marathon, and after completing the race, he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of something like this that was so close to him.

“I try and do as many marathons as I can,” he said.

He has already done half a dozen this year, including the Los Angeles Marathon and the New York Marathon.

“I think today went pretty well,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”