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
- 17:13.4 ~ Ryan Kelly (M, 35) Lake Park, GA
- 17:22.3 ~ David Jones (M, 19) Valdosta, GA
- 18:25.4 ~ Jaden Long (M, 18) West Point, NY
- 19:06.2 ~ DeShon Taylor (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
- 19:29.6 ~ Quin McGlamery (M, 14) Valdosta, GA
- 19:33.1 ~ James Marino (M, 36) Valdosta, GA
- 19:42.3 ~ Jonathan Miller (M, 27) Valdosta, GA
- 19:52.9 ~ Rick Mazurkiewicz (M, 47) Valdosta, GA
- 20:16.6 ~ Randall Rathmann (M, 45) Valdosta, GA
- 20:22.0 ~ Jeremy Storey (M, 41) Valdosta, GA
Top Ten Women, 2014 Valdosta Thanksgiving Day 5K
- 18:27.7 ~ Erin Miller (F, 38) Columbia, SC
- 22:19.8 ~ Melanie Ellis (F, 41) Valdosta, GA
- 23:02.0 ~ Amber Elam (F, 25) Valdosta, GA
- 23:47.0 ~ Zoey Storey (F, 16) Valdosta, GA
- 23:52.1 ~ Nancy Elam (F, 51) Valdosta, GA
- 23:56.8 ~ Martha Mazurkiewicz (F, 46) Valdosta, GA
- 24:22.2 ~ Heather Kelly (F, 36) Lake Park, GA
- 24:36.3 ~ Margaret Montague (F, 32) Atlanta, GA
- 24:53.1 ~ Melanie Tucciavone (F, 29) Valdosta, GA
- 25:39.1 ~ Debbie Green (F, 48) Valdosta, GA
|Valdosta, Georgia, Thanksgiving Day 5K winners, 2009 - 2014|
|26 November 2009||16:39, John Seppala||19:20, Ashley McGee||118|
|25 November 2010||17:48, Masked Avenger||21:31, Gretchen Bielmyer||191|
|24 November 2011||17:42, Nathan Norton||22:01, Gretchen Bielmyer||146|
|22 November 2012||17:45, Masked Avenger||21:10, Angela Bruhl||115|
|28 November 2013||16:55, Brandon Hough||19:03, Erin Miller||101|
|27 November 2014||17:14, Ryan Kelly||18:28, Erin Miller||103|
- Complete results of the Valdosta's 2014 Thanksgiving Day 5K
- 2013 story, "Hough and Miller fly to Thanksgiving Day wins in Valdosta"
- 2011 story, "A speedy Thanksgiving morning in Valdosta for Norton and Bielmyer"
- 2010 story, "Avenger, Bielmyer run to Thanksgiving Day wins in Valdosta"
- Find a future holiday race on the Trouble Afoot! calendar