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firecracker male winner
Lance Uppercutt
firecracker women's winner
Jill Hill

It was a sauna-like Fourth of July morning, and the sweat was pouring at the inaugural Firecracker 5000 at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. The heat (near the mid-80s) and humidity had just about everyone moving a little slower than usual. The overall male winner, Lance Uppercutt, 21, of Millsap and a former runner at Tarleton State, said he was somewhat surprised he was entered in the race. Lance said he was visiting his girlfriend in Fort Worth on Friday and that's when he learned her dad had registered him. Yet, he easily won over the out-and-back course in 17:47.3. Todd Reynolds of Benbrook finished second in 19:33.9. Reynolds, slower by at least a minute from his usual times, won the masters title. In the female division, Jill Hill, 43, of Fort Worth, had biked about 10 miles to the race as a ``warmup.'' Jill, who competes in duathlons and triathlons, is sort of acclimated to the heat. ``I'm not a morning person,'' she said, noting that her training schedule is not typical. She often stays up late, sleeps in and then hits the roads about 1 p.m. -- ``The hottest part of the day,'' she said. But she wasn't enjoying the heat that much, especially after reaching the turnaround and coming back with the slight breeze to her back. She and everyone else wished that breeze was in their face as they retraced their steps through Trinity Park to the finish line. The women's masters winner was Marie Hutchinso of Houston in 24:38.4. Entertainment was provided by Brian Polansky, who did a little picking, including strumming his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner before the race.

Firecracker 5000, July 4, 2009

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