FLEMING ISLAND - With the country righting itself back up of sorts from a pandemic, area runners and fitness friends have seen a surge in events around the north Florida area and the past three weeks …
FLEMING ISLAND - With the country righting itself back up of sorts from a pandemic, area runners and fitness friends have seen a surge in events around the north Florida area and the past three weeks have seen the Penney Farms 5K, the Run to the Sun 5K in Orange Park and the Chuck Cornett 10K/5K on the NASJax Navy base in Jacksonville.
Most recently, the Saturday (April 23) Penney Farms 5K returned to the local schedules after a two year hiatus and had a record field of nearly 200 runners with winning runner Andy Merrill, 28, blasting from the start and not slowing winning in a very quick 15 minutes, 14 seconds. Runnerup Brian Rensig, 53, was more than two minutes behind Merrill with a 17:41 split with third place to Jacksonville’s Dean Krueger, a local stalwart, 56, third at 18:50.
For the women, 21 year old Cassidy Chambers chased Merrill with a quick 19:56 split to win over Keagan Miller, 15, second at 21:26 and Carolyn Corget, 64, third in 22:12.
At the Florida Striders’ Run to the Sun annual race on River Road in Orange Park (April 16), a Jacksonville Grand Prix event, John Decker, 21, battle with a fellow 21 year old, Eric Kingston and came in with just a 16 second advantage to win the 5K event in 17:04 to Kingston’s 17:20. Third place Dominic Geraci, 16, was a stride or two away in 17:32.
For the women, the top two were also in close battle with Mikaela McGee, 22, of Jacksonville Beach, surging at the end to out kick Christy Astorga, 42, of Jacksonville, with a 20:11 to 20:28 gap. Third place went to Laura Smith, 35, in 21:24.
The race had 532 finishers.
At the Chuck Cornett 10K event, Brock Walaska, 42, was top finisher in 37:36 with second placer Josh Barrett, 31, just three seconds behind at 37:39 in a close battle on the NASJAX facility. Third place went to Richard Windmann, 30, in 39:57.
For the women, Jennifer Loyd, 32, held off Sarah Hernandez, 40, by 10 seconds with a 45:45 to 45:55 gap. Third place went to Angela Foster, 51, in 46:12 with Teila Blue, 51, right next to her in the same time.
John Decker, winner at the Run to the Sun, was the Cornett 5K champ in 15:46 with Emma Ferris, 30, top female in 19:49.
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