Sunday, March 8, 2015

Denisova and Matchev are steady but not slow at Race The Tortoise

Race The Tortoise 5KDaily, tourists speed south through Florida on Interstate 75 between Lake City and Gainesville. Most are rushing toward Disney World, Legoland, or some other artificial destination. Meanwhile, they're passing by the real Florida. Many were still passing by on a sunny Saturday morning, 7 March 2015, when 165 athletes gathered in O'Leno State Park near High Springs, Florida, for a 3.1-mile run through some of the real Florida. They were there for the seventh annual Race The Tortoise 5K.


Gainesville, Florida, master runner Lyubov Denisova was the fastest athlete in O'Leno State Park that morning, winning the race and setting a new women's course record of 17:58. In 2013 Denisova had won the women's title of the 3.1-mile race through O'Leno State Park near High Springs, Florida, but this year she finished at the front of the entire field of 165 athletes. Just two weeks before the 2015 race, Denisova ran a personal best 17:07 at the Edison Festival of Light 5K in Fort Myers, Florida.


Anton Matchev, a student at Gainesville's Talbot Elementary School, was the runner-up and first overall male finisher in the 2015 Race The Tortoise 5K, running 18:16. Like Denisova, Matchev is a Race The Tortoise veteran; he finished sixth overall in 19:42 in the 2014 race. Behind Matchev, Gainesville athlete Dan Stoner ran 18:25 to finish as the third runner overall, the second male, and the first male master.


No gopher tortoises were harmed in the running of the race, which is presented annually by the Friends of O'Leno State Park. The organization uses proceeds of the event to benefit O'Leno State Park and nearby River Rise Preserve State Park.


Top Ten Women, 2015 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 17:57.7 ~ Lyubov Denisova (F, 43)
  2. 20:04.2 ~ Brittney Jett (F, 30)
  3. 22:49.4 ~ Rebecca McCormick (F, 27)
  4. 22:53.9 ~ Elisabeth Diamond (F, 55)
  5. 23:35.0 ~ Shelby Wentworth (F, 23)
  6. 24:16.9 ~ Cheyenne Patterson (F, 19)
  7. 24:23.7 ~ Elke Sheider (F, 53)
  8. 24:25.6 ~ Verity Mathis (F, 36)
  9. 24:28.0 ~ Robin Politowics (F, 53)
  10. 24:49.0 ~ Sharon Judge (F, 41)

Top Ten Men, 2015 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 18:15.6 ~ Anton Matchev (M, 11)
  2. 18:24.4 ~ Dan Stoner (M, 40)
  3. 21:33.2 ~ Mark Droll (M, 30)
  4. 21:35.4 ~ Mark Ou (M, 44)
  5. 22:01.1 ~ Steven Detweiler (M, 67)
  6. 22:19.5 ~ Kyle Petteway (M, 46)
  7. 22:37.4 ~ Mark Cochran (M, 58)
  8. 22:39.8 ~ Timothy Fuller (M, 37)
  9. 22:40.7 ~ Philip Matchev (M, 8)
  10. 22:44.8 ~ Jay Peacock (M, 52)

Race The Tortoise 5K winners, 2009 - 2015
DateMenWomenFinishers
7 March 200918:22.9, David Robison20:12.6, Michelle McCollum109
13 March 201016:27.5, Alex Phipps18:13.0, Elizabeth Duarte114
5 March 201119:21.6, Eric Drummond19:33.0, Tatiana Titova218
3 March 201216:09.8, Vladimir Tontchinski18:05.5, Averkova Anzhelika268
2 March 201316:39.7, Dan Clark20:37.4, Lyubov Denisova225
1 March 201416:52.8, Dan Clark19:13.4, Ani Veltcheva247
7 March 201518:15.6, Anton Matchev17:57.7, Lyubov Denisova165


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