Kristopher Sandlin
Kristopher Sandlin
The chances of having a new champion emerge in the 38th running of the Madison Courier Firecracker 10K Run/Walk are looking pretty good with just a week renaming before the annual Madison Regatta Weekend road race.

Kris Sandlin, a former runner at Scottsburg High School and Franklin College, closed out his record-tying third consecutive win in the event last year but that was then and this is now.

Back then Sandlin was fresh out of Franklin College and getting ready to tackle his first job as a teacher and coach at nearby Switzerland County where he coaches cross country, track & field and wrestling. Like many of the Courier 10K champions before him, Sandlin’s focus has changed somewhat in the ensuing 12 months.

Asked recently if he would be running for a record-breaking fourth consecutive win this year, Sandlin said he still had not decided but that if he did run he might not be all that much of a threat.

“I’m not sure,” Sandlin said. “If I do run it I’m not in any kind of shape. My priorities have shifted since I started teaching/coaching.”

Sandlin first won the 10K back in 2013 as a 21-year-old college sophomore. Now 24, he could do what no other 10K runner has done by finishing as the overall winner for a fourth time and in his case all in succession.

A win this year would separate Sandlin from Madison course record holder and three-time champion Cecil Franke, who first won with a record time of 29:44 in 1990 and then posted back-to-back wins in 2005 and 2006 in 30:22.10 and 30:10.80, respectively.

Of course, the runner with the most overall and consecutive wins is Amanda (Bell) LeBlanc, who was the top female for five consecutive years between 2000-2004 and then again in 2010 when she claimed her record sixth victory.

The top female in the 2015 race was Kyla Thoman, 26, of Indianapolis who was also 15th overall in 40:35. Denise Berry holds the female course record at 33:07 set in 1982.

This year’s 10K honorary starters are longtime race organizers Lou Knoble and Dick Naylor, who have retired from those roles but will serve as starter for their second time. They first served in that capacity back in 2008.

Madison Courier Publisher Curt Jacobs, who heads the 10K committee, said the committee wanted to show its appreciation to Naylor and Knoble for their years of commitment to the event. He said the men left the organization in good hands to move forward and evolve with a new committee comprised of several longtime members and a few newcomers to carry on in the tradition established long ago.

“It takes over 50 volunteers to pull off the race ... We could not pull this event off without each of them. We look forward to having another great race, our 38th,” Jacobs said.

Preregistration for the event ended yesterday but participant can continue to register through raceday morning at a cost of $15 for walkers and $25 for runners. The fee includes a commemorative T-Shirt and an information packet.

No awards are presented in the walk but custom-made awards are given in eight 10K run divisions — male and female — as well as to the top male and top female.

The event will be held rain or shine starting at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 2 at Madison Consolidated High School and ending in Lytle Park in downtown Madison. For the safety of all runners and walkers, participants are asked to not bring pets other than service animals. Water will be available at locations throughout the course, medical personnel will be on standby and a shuttle bus will be provided to return participants to the hilltop.

For more information or for a registration form, visit www.madisoncourier.com/FTP/16Courier10KRaceForm.pdf

Madison Courier 10K Run Past Winners

Year — Overall Winner — Time — Age — Hometown — Top Female — Time — Age — Hometown


1979 — #David Collins — 30:04.28 — 26 — Louisville, Ky. — Michelle Mendick* — 40:50 — (13-18) — Floyd Central

1979 — #Rich White — 30:04.28 — N/A — Clarksville

1980 — David Collins — 31:29.63 — 27 — Louisville, Ky. — Roseann Barnhill* — 40:08 — 18 — Columbus

1981 — Gordon Snaden — 31:25.3 — 17 — Springfield, Ky. — Roseann Barnhill * — 39:18.6 — 19 — Columbus

1982 — Scott Brink — 31:19 — N/A — Madison — Denise Berry — 33:07 — N/A — Knoxville, TN

1983 — Leo Turchyn — 31:39.6 — N/A — Batesville — Carol Hayden — 41:34.8 — N/A — Fortville

1984 — Tim Downs — 30:26.6 — N/A — Bardstown, Ky. — Jane Tompkins-Lundgren — 37:25.5 — N/A — West Lafayette

1985 — John Harrison — 30:45.5 — N/A — Vincennes — Lori Veal — 34:17 — N/A — Indianapolis

1986 — Stan Clark — 30:37 — N/A — PeeWee Valley, Ky. — Glenna Bower — 40:10 — N/A — New Washington

1987 — Ron Sharp — 30:58 — N/A — Hartford City — Glenna Bower — 39:26 — N/A — New Washington

1988 — Jim Estes — 30:08 — N/A — New Albany — Tracey Thaden Edwards — 36:35 — N/A — Orangeburg, SC

1989 — Swag Hartel — 30:40 — N/A — Louisville, Ky. — Glenna Bower — 38:45 — N/A — New Washington

1990 — Cecil Franke — 29:44:00 — 21 — Osgood — Esther Brooks — 40:24 — N/A — North Vernon

1991 — Duane Dye — 32:06 — N/A — New Castle — Tracey Thaden Edwards — 34:45 — N/A — Lancaster, SC

1992 — Scott Brink — 31:59 — N/A — Maple Grove, MN — Deborah Fletcher — 37:34 — N/A — Louisville, Ky.

1993 — Jonathan White — 31:19.93 — N/A — Austin — Deborah Fletcher — 39:20.03 — N/A — Louisville, Ky.

1994 — Terry Marcott — 32:58.04 — N/A — Brownstown — Debbi Ramseyer — 38:00.93 — N/A — Bluffton

1995 — Tony Nading — 30:53.26 — N/A — Terre Haute — Mary Anne Tonini — 35:59.58 — 27 — Louisville, Ky.

1996 — Tony Teats — 30:51.72 — 19 — Hartford City — Mary Anne Tonini-Lyons — 35:12.79 — 28 — Louisville, Ky.

1997 — Tony Teats — 31:19.88 — 20 — Hartford City — Molly Dattilo — 37:51.57 — 16 — Madison

1998 — Aaron Moody — 32:36.38 — 19 — Edgewood — Molly Dattilo — 38:34.37 — 17 — Madison

1999 — Rich McCurdy — 32:25 — 27 — Louisville, Ky. — Mariam Ballantine — 37:51 — 34 — Louisville, Ky.

2000 — Joey Byrne — 33:20 — 20 — Georgetown — Amanda Bell — 35:49 — 18 — Clarksville

2001 — Mike Skiles — 32:12 — 20 — Indianapolis — Amanda Bell — 37:22 — 19 — Clarksville

2002 — Jeff Andrew — 31:43 — N/A — N/A — Amanda Bell — 39:00 — 20 — Clarksville

2003 — Wes Seacat — 31:28 — 18 — New Albany — Amanda Bell — 38:29 — 21 — Clarksville

2004 — Wes Seacat — 32:45.01 — 19 — Jeffersonville — Amanda Bell — 37:20.14 — 22 — Clarksville

2005 — Cecil Franke — 30:22.10 — 36 — Dublin — Alyse Nelson — 39:50.77 — 20 — Indianapolis

2006 — Cecil Franke — 30:10.80 — 37 — Dublin — Alyse Nelson — 39:43.70 — 21 — Indianapolis

2007 — Neal Masterson — 33:25.50 — 19 — Jeffersonville — Leah Peelman — 37:14.00 — 23 — Cincinnati, Ohio

2008 — Jeffery Johnson — 34:17.10 — 18 — Austin — Caitlin Sauerhage — 40:08.10 — 20 — Rising Sun

2009 — Oliver Book — 33:01.23 — 18 — Providence — Heidi Saunders — 37:50.70 — 28 — Madison

2010 — Danny Fisher — 31:38.67 — 27 — Liberty — Heidi Saunders — 38:55.10 — 29 — Madison

2011 — Tate Schienbein — 31:59.78 — 17 — Liberty — Amanda Bell LeBlanc — 38:03.33 — 29 — Louisville, Ky.

2012 — Jeremy Johnson — 34:37 — 18 — Austin — Mackenzie Dye — 40:17 — 19 — New Castle

2013 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:44 — 21 — Scottsburg — Sarah Billingsley — 38:12 — 17 — Batesville

2014 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:18 — 22 — Scottsburg — Sara Martin — 37:39 — 27 — Seymour

2015 — Kristopher Sandlin — 31:12 — 23 — Scottsburg — Kyla Thoman — 40:35 — 26 — Indianapolis

* - No award presented for top female

# - Top two runners finished in dead heat as co-champions

All listed from Indiana unless otherwise noted