LAKE ASBURY - Fleming Island masters road racer Shelly Allen, after her recent race in the famous Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, contemplated the challenge of holding off Orange Park’s Belissa …
LAKE ASBURY - Fleming Island masters road racer Shelly Allen, after her recent race in the famous Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, contemplated the challenge of holding off Orange Park’s Belissa Del Valle in the medal run at the annual Hog Jog 5K cross country race held Saturday at Van Zant Park in Lake Asbury. The Hog Jog is a Florida Striders event with nearly 250 runners ignoring the cold, rainy morning to chase some fast times.
“She just had twins recently and she’s back running,” said Allen, who, at age 59, ran a quick five minute, 56 second road mile in New York to place seventh in her age group on the storied New York boulevard. “I’m running well and that mile was a good sign of my fitness after a couple of nagging injuries.”
Del Valle, a strong local finisher in area road races at age 34, delivered her twins and then delivered a near-upset finishers’ kick on Allen at the finish line with Allen holding off the charging Del Valle to take third behind Allen; 22:06 to 22:11. Allen was seventh overall with Del Valle eighth.
Mikaela McGee, a sprite 23, won the overall female title in a strong 20:03 with a fourth overall finish.
In the mens race, Ponte Vedra High runner Ray Gottschalk, 15, finished as first finisher in 18:32 with members of the Fleming Island High School team running in ahead of Gottschalk unofficially. Gottschalk finished 70th in the Class 3A cross country championship race on November 5. Fleming Island’s boys team finished third with Ponte Vedra suffering a flu blast on the team finishing 10th after a region title win over Fleming Island.
Veteran runners Charles Delay, 52, took second in 19:09 with Josue Velazquez, 32, third in 19:41.
Next up is the annual Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic Half Marathon on Thurs., Nov. 24 (7 a.m.).
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