JACKSONVILLE - Former golf instructor Tim Cooper made a life decision a year ago to pursue his first athletic endeavor; running, and answered with a seventh place overall in the annual Community …
JACKSONVILLE - Former golf instructor Tim Cooper made a life decision a year ago to pursue his first athletic endeavor; running, and answered with a seventh place overall in the annual Community First Bank Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon held on Thurs., Nov. 24 in Jacksonville.
Cooper, 45, and a former golf instructor at Magnolia Point and Country Club’s Golf Academy of North Florida, picked up his suitcase and returned to his college sport of running about a year ago and the result was a seventh place overall finish at the half marathon in a quick one hour, 18 minutes, 27 seconds against a field that was topped by overall champion Benjamin Foltz, who won in 1:10:36.
“I was using the race as a training run at race pace for the upcoming Amerisa Bank Half Marathon on December 11,” said Cooper, who was striding with eventual womens runnerup Amanda Beach near the seven mile mark before surging in the final miles of the race. “I ran pretty conservative for the first 10 miles, then started to feel pretty good.”
Beach eventually finished 15th behind womens champion Purity Munene who won in 1:19.51.
A familiar face in the womens field, former Ridgeview High track and cross country standout Alexandra Midgett, now 28 and a coach for the Florida State University cross country team, finished as fifth female in 25th place in 1:25:09, to win her age group by over 15 minutes with Theresa Varney, 27, runnerup in a distant 1:40:11.
For the race, nearly 3000 runners participated in the half marathon and also the adjoining 5K race.
Next up is a weekend of racing on Sat., Dec. 3; all staged by 1st Place Sports in Jacksonville, which include the Light up the House 5K in San Marco to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Festival of Lights 5K in San Marco Square and, on Sun., Dec. 4, the Guana 50K and 12K Trail runs in the Guana Research Reserve in south Ponte Vedra. the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon is set for Sat., Dec. 11 from the Bolles School.