Heat, humidity big factors
at Bath House 15K, 5K

Slideshows: Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4


It was hot (mid 80s and climbing) and humid (maybe as high as the temperature), and just about every 15K jan's cake

finisher was posting slower times than usual at the Bath House 15K, 5K on Sunday (Aug. 12) at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The weather not only caused most runners to post slower times, but posed a dangerous situation. For example, 15K third-place finisher and masters winner Mark Olateju, who was disoriented coming to the finish line, was given fluids intravenously afterward. Mark, who competes at least two times a week, had one of his better efforts over the 9.3-mile distance. Women's masters winner Fiona Green said she talked to

jan and friendsMark later and said he was feeling perky again.

Yet, many had also shown up to help Jan Richards celebrate her 80th birthday. Though her birthday isn't until Aug. 17, her running buddies took this opportunity to serve cake and honor her longevity. A party couldn't be held on the 17th because Jan will be in Ohio for a family reunion to help celebrate her mother's birthday, which was July 8th when she turned 100!

Jan said her mother still bakes pies and cakes and is still active. So is Jan. After taking up running when she was 55, Jan has been a fixture at area road races. She took up running after marrying a runner. He took her to a race and she saw some of the women finishers, and declared, ``I can do that.''

So, she discarded her cigarettes, took to the roads and hasn't stopped since. Though she finished at a slower time than usual on the humid morning, she also was nursing a sore right leg. ``I twisted it the other day,'' she said. ``It's not run-related.''

Winners were Brandon Cooper, 19, and Mia Behm, 17 in the 5K, and Luis Rojas, 24, and Leana Sloan in the 15K.

mia behm

Mia Behm, 17, of Tyler won the the women's 5K in 19:26. She ran the Sunday race to hone for cross-country season at Bishop T.K. Gordon. ``I had run the Too Hot To Handle, but I wasn't pleased with my time. So, I decided to get in another race.'' Was she pleased with this time? ``No, I can't say that I am. I know I can do better.'' Mia said she is trying to dip under the 19-minute mark.

brandon cooper

Brandon Cooper, who'll turn 20 on Aug. 21, won the men's 5K in 16:44. The North Texas runner said he had a few injuries in track in his freshman season, "but I'm feeling better now than I have in a long, long time.'' He said he was using the 5K as a training run.

luis rojas

Luis Rojas, 24, who has dominated the Thruston Jogger 5K Summer Series, easily won the 15K with a 54:39. He's one of the few who didn't seem affected by the heat and humidity. He is preparing for the Dallas Running Club's Half Marathon on Nov. 4 and then his first marathon at Wellstone's White Rock on Dec. 9. He's shooting for a 1:14 half and ``a 2:45 something'' at White Rock.

leana sloan

Leana Sloan, 44, who has lived in Dallas for 10 years after moving from South Africa, won the women's 15K with a 1:06:01. Leana said she didn't do much racing last year because of hamstring injuries, but has been among the top women runners in the area the past three months. She said this was a ``slow'' time for her. ``I'm still not used to this (heat and humidity). Every summer I go to Australia and spend my summers there. This is about the second summer I've spent here.'' Leana said she started running when she was 26, and was trying to lose weight after having a baby. She found her niche as she ran marathons for the South Africa national team for three years. She said this was when there was apartheid in South Africa and the team wasn't allowed to compete ``against the rest of the world, so we just had our national team.''.