JACKSONVILLE – Fleming Island High School freshman cross country runner Kameron Wallizada braved cold, raining conditions for nearly an hour and a half to emerge as the top finisher in his age …
JACKSONVILLE – Fleming Island High School freshman cross country runner Kameron Wallizada braved cold, raining conditions for nearly an hour and a half to emerge as the top finisher in his age group at the Community First Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon run held Thanksgiving Day in Jacksonville along St. Jose Boulevard.
Wallizada, one of the top five runners in the region qualifying Fleming Island High School boys cross country team, upped his race day miles from 3.1 miles to 13.1 miles for Thanksgiving to win in one hour, 23 minutes and two seconds. Wallizada, 15, edged out Dominick DeLeva, 19, by 19 seconds with third place going to Timothy Ziemathis, also 19, in 1:24.33. Wallizada finished 21st overall among the 1,200-plus runners.
Top runner of the day was Sergei Zyrianov, 33, who ran 1:09:18 to win by almost a minute over Christopher Haynes, 25. Top area male runners were Orange Park’s Chris Mutai, 41, seventh overall in 1:12:35 and Orange Park dentist Gary Myers, 45, who ran 1:21:36 to finished 16th overall and win the 45-49 age group.
Top female runner was Kelsey Beckmann, 26, who finished 12th overall in 1:20:04 ahead of Jacksonville marathon veteran Kim Pawelek-Brantley, who was 15th in 1:21:25. Pawelek-Brantley and Myers ran side by side for most of the race.
Also winning age group first place awards were 30-34 champion Sharon Hawley, of Orange Park, who won by just 18 seconds in 1:33:21 over Jade Mukri, 30, of Jacksonville, and Denise Dailey, also of Orange Park, who won the 60-64 in 1:50:46 more than five minutes ahead of runnerup Leslie Hague.
1st Place Sports of Jacksonville staged the race as part of the Jacksonville Grand Prix race series. Next Grand Prix race is the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon on December 16 starting at the Bolles School.
On December 2, at San Marco’s Ronald McDonald House, the Children’s Way 5K will be staged with a 3 p.m. start.