Saturday, September 4, 2010

Abellera and Anderson prevail at Fallen Heroes 5K

Taking firm command of the race in the first kilometer, University of West Florida freshman Robert Abellera won the second annual Fallen Heroes 5K in 18:27, finishing over 200 meters ahead of runner-up Ronald Penn (19:20). Dr. Michael LaBossiere was the top master runner, placing eighth overall in 21:27. The first female finisher was Karima Anderson who ran 23:50 for 27th overall. K. Johnson (33rd, 24:47) was the second woman and the top woman master. The race was held in Maclay Gardens State Park on Saturday morning, 4 September 2010.


It was a new month and a new location for the race. Last year the North Florida chapter of Operation One Voice had held the event on the first Saturday of August in Tom Brown Park; in 2010 they moved it to the first Saturday of September in Maclay. Despite the move, around 140 runners found their way to the race and across the finish line. The change of dates didn't make for cool weather, but it wasn't quite as hot--the morning air almost promised that someday summer would come to an end.


Abellera, an alumnus of the Florida State University School cross-country team, led the race almost from the outset, with early challenges by Stephen Robbins and Wil Luca (3rd, 19:37). Luca and Robbins were unable to maintain the pace set by Abellera and fell back. Ronald Penn, running more within himself, passed them mid-race and went on to take second.


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