Friday, November 28, 2014

Kelly wins as Miller sets record at Valdosta's Turkey Day 5K

Wild TurkeysIt's an athletic tradition that prior to the feasts of our national day of gluttony, Thanksgiving Day, everyone goes out and runs a race. After all, there is no better way to prepare for the consumption of several thousand calories than by burning a few hundred. Some of these events take place days before the fourth Thursday of November, but others take place that morning--such as the Valdosta, Georgia, Thanksgiving Day 5K.

Valdosta's sixth annual Thanksgiving Day Road Race got going early on a cool Thursday morning, 27 November 2014. After finishing second to Brandon Hough in the 2013 run, Ryan Kelly of Lake Park, Georgia, was back for another try. Paring 40 seconds off his previous year's performance, Kelly ran 17:14 to win the 2014 race. Seconds later David Jones was across the finish line in 17:23, taking second. Just five days earlier, Jones had finished his sophomore year cross-country season, racing for Valdosta State in the NCAA Division II South Regional in Huntsville, Alabama. Jaden Long of West Point, New York, was third in 18:26.

Just a few meters behind Long and repeating as the fourth-place finisher was the first woman finisher, Erin Miller. Miller, from Columbia, South Carolina, not only won the women's title for the second year straight, but she also clobbered the women's course record that she had set in 2013, running 18:28. It may very well be the fastest 5K ever run by a woman in the streets of Valdosta, eclipsing even the 18:32 that Melissa Daugherty posted at the St. John School 5K in 2005. Neither race is run on a certified course, though, so bickering over course length can now begin.

Valdosta's Rick Mazurkiewicz was the fastest master in the race, placing ninth overall in 19:53. Melanie Ellis of Valdosta was the first woman master and women's runner-up, finishing 19th overall in 22:20. 103 athletes finished the 3.1-mile race.

Top Ten Men, 2014 Valdosta Thanksgiving Day 5K
  1. 17:13.4 ~ Ryan Kelly (M, 35) Lake Park, GA
  2. 17:22.3 ~ David Jones (M, 19) Valdosta, GA
  3. 18:25.4 ~ Jaden Long (M, 18) West Point, NY
  4. 19:06.2 ~ DeShon Taylor (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
  5. 19:29.6 ~ Quin McGlamery (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
  6. 19:33.1 ~ James Marino (M, 36) Valdosta, GA
  7. 19:42.3 ~ Jonathan Miller (M, 27) Valdosta, GA
  8. 19:52.9 ~ Rick Mazurkiewicz (M, 47) Valdosta, GA
  9. 20:16.6 ~ Randall Rathmann (M, 45) Valdosta, GA
  10. 20:22.0 ~ Jeremy Storey (M, 41) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, 2014 Valdosta Thanksgiving Day 5K
  1. 18:27.7 ~ Erin Miller (F, 38) Columbia, SC
  2. 22:19.8 ~ Melanie Ellis (F, 41) Valdosta, GA
  3. 23:02.0 ~ Amber Elam (F, 25) Valdosta, GA
  4. 23:47.0 ~ Zoey Storey (F, 16) Valdosta, GA
  5. 23:52.1 ~ Nancy Elam (F, 51) Valdosta, GA
  6. 23:56.8 ~ Martha Mazurkiewicz (F, 46) Valdosta, GA
  7. 24:22.2 ~ Heather Kelly (F, 36) Lake Park, GA
  8. 24:36.3 ~ Margaret Montague (F, 32) Atlanta, GA
  9. 24:53.1 ~ Melanie Tucciavone (F, 29) Valdosta, GA
  10. 25:39.1 ~ Debbie Green (F, 48) Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, Georgia, Thanksgiving Day 5K winners, 2009 - 2014
26 November 200916:39, John Seppala19:20, Ashley McGee118
25 November 201017:48, Masked Avenger21:31, Gretchen Bielmyer191
24 November 201117:42, Nathan Norton22:01, Gretchen Bielmyer146
22 November 201217:45, Masked Avenger21:10, Angela Bruhl115
28 November 201316:55, Brandon Hough19:03, Erin Miller101
27 November 201417:14, Ryan Kelly18:28, Erin Miller103


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