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Hot, steamy Run for Pies 5K "brutal"

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 6/13/24

JACKSONVILLE - On a brutally hot and humid late afternoon in downtown Jacksonville, 45 elite runners and nearly 900 area runners took to the streets near Weldon Park to take on the Jacksonville Grand …

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Hot, steamy Run for Pies 5K "brutal"


Posted

JACKSONVILLE - On a brutally hot and humid late afternoon in downtown Jacksonville, 45 elite runners and nearly 900 area runners took to the streets near Weldon Park to take on the Jacksonville Grand Prix's season opener; the Run for the Pies 5K road race.

"It's super hot out here and the course is a little deceptive in that it has a long downhill slope then a turnaround at the bottom and a long uphill climb I think for the three laps of the closed circuit course," said Tim Cooper, a masters runner and former golf teacher in Clay County's Magnolia Point Golf Course. "I've gotten back to running which was my passion in college (cross country) and had some good marathons with the Jacksonville Marathon getting me to the Boston Marathon."

Cooper, 46, was amidst a slew of young tigers in the men's elite race that was won by Stan Linton, 30, in a quick 15 minutes, 29 seconds just ahead of runner-up Joshua Estrada, 32, in 15:36 and Mandarin grad Sem Sultanov, 26, third in 15:41.

Cooper was in a tight front pack on the first of four laps but got dropped to finish 14th in 16:53.

Luke Klingenburg, 23, a Fleming Island High former swimmer and an area standout triathlete, finished ninth in 16:27.

In the women's race, with former Clay High state track and cross country champion and former Fleming Island High cross country coach Karen Moritz in the field representing a handful of fast 40-plus runners, it was Brittany Eberson, 36, of Jacksonville, in 18:15 holding off two challengers; University of North Florida's Hannah Martin, 22, and Jacksonville University's Hayleigh Haid, 24, who finished stumbling over each other in second and third in 18:25 and 18:30.

Moritz, still showing prime time form, finished a strong eighth in 19:28 with Stephanie Liles-Weyant, a Tallahassee 52-year-old Ironman Triathlon finisher, getting her first taste of downtown Jacksonville heat, finishing 13th in 20:10 in the 17-runner field.

"It was brutal," said Liles-Weyant. "The so-called hills are draining because they keep going up though are not very steep. Fun though."

In the open races, Creekside High's Samuel Cassiani, 14, held off a sprint to a finish from 37-year-old Christopher Howard to win in 18:00 to Howard's 18:01. Evan Weinroth, 16, was third in 18:04 in the tightly battled final uphill 150 meters of the race.

For the women, Claire Domingo, 47, won in 20:03 for 34th overall with 14-year-old Stella Krueger, a standout at Episcopal High School, second in 20:38 for 54th overall. Laci Watford, 19, a University Christian standout now at North Florida, was third in 20:47.

Bobby Wood, 58, of Orange Park, was an age group champion in the 55-60s with a 20:48 time.