Run to the Sun revives local running scene

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 4/14/21

ORANGE PARK - Nearly 600 runners trekked up and down River Road in Orange Park as the return of some normalcy got a second look with the Florida Striders Run to the Sun 8K road race bouncing off the …

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Run to the Sun revives local running scene

Posted

ORANGE PARK - Nearly 600 runners trekked up and down River Road in Orange Park as the return of some normalcy got a second look with the Florida Striders Run to the Sun 8K road race bouncing off the success of the March Gate River Run 15K held in downtown Jacksonville.

“Only me and my friend Millie (Thrasher of Fleming Island) have been doing races during all the COVID shutdowns as race people start staging races again,” said Cinzia Rothrock, , 48, of Fleming Island, who finished fifth in her age group with Thrasher, 49, seventh. “It’s nice to see people competing again. Everyone has been running in their small groups for the year.”

Also in the 45-49 female age group, Vanessa Lain, 47, a part of Rothrock’s Pavement Killers running group out of Fleming Island, finished tied for first place with Jennifer Borgio, 49, who won in 38:33.

Up front, University of North Florida cross country ace Sem Sultanov, 23, won in 25:17 with Chris McCaffrey, 34, second in 26:35 and John Decker, 20, third at 26:43.

For the women, Michelle McCreary, 37, won at 30:13 with recent Orange Park mom Belissa DelValle, 33, second at 32:54. Former Episcopal coach Michelle Krueger, 45, was third in 33:28. McCreary was 11th overall.

Age group winners were Annabelle Harden, 10, at 53:37; Amber Lee, 11, at 48:28; Keagan Miller, 14, at 35:42; Sydney Mutschler, 23, at 39:44; Morgan Roth, 27, at 38:43; April Meadoww, 32, at 36:04; Maria Fe Allen, 39, at 41:52; Christina Groger, 43, at 38:15; Borgio, 49, at 38:33; Gator Country radio DJ Eden Kendall, 54, at 38:31 ahead of friend Ginger Brelsford, 52, at 39:01; Traci Bane, 56, at 40:20; Kathleen Kaye, 63, at 38:34; Leslie Hague, 68, at 43:21; Susan Branley, 74, at 47:43, and Diane Payne, 76, at 53:34.

For the males, age group winners were Dutch Howanitz, 8, at 44:58; Bryant Gramling, 11, at 1:06:19; Dominic Geraci, 15, at 30:52; Zack Bias, 24, at 31:25; Rhett Butler, 25, at 29:40; Randall Bazemore, 33, at 27:14; Mehdi Machkour, 39, at 31:45; Steve West, 44, at 29:31; Neil Chandler, 47, at 28:05; Jeffrey Schaffer, 50, at 33:24; John Heisner, 55, at 34:49; David Farraday, 64, at 34:05; Bill Phillips, 66, at 32:54; Timothy Buckley, 70, at 36:55; Hubert Keen, 77, at 48:15, and David Low, 80, at 48:05.

Upcoming races include the Strides for Pride Virtual 5K on April 24 in Riverside Park, Clay County Young Life’s Hula Hustle 5K on May 8 at the Orange Park Town Hall and the May 9 Donna Mother’s Day 5K.

In Clay County, the Fleming Island Eagles Fly 5K and Maddi’s Mile is set for May 23 and the Memorial Day 5K is set for Mon., May 31.

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