Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hensley and Veltcheva victorious at Race The Tortoise

O'Leno State Park bridgeFlorida's O'Leno State Park is certainly worth a visit. You'll miss it if you're rushing through the state on Interstate 75, you'll find it on the relatively quite US 41/441 just north of High Springs. Once you're there, you can stroll across the Sante Fe River on the suspension bridge for hikers, check out the Civilian Conservation Corps museum, or walk down to the river sink--where Suwannee cooters enjoy carousel rides on logs floating around the whirlpool formed by the Sante Fe draining into the underworld.

And if you're at the park on the first Saturday morning in March, you can also run the Race The Tortoise 5K.

Bobby Hensley was the fastest of 177 athletes exercising that option in O'Leno on 5 March 2016. The Gainesville, Florida distance runner won the eighth annual race in 16:32, finishing almost half a kilometer ahead of the next runner. Gainesville's Dan Stoner was the top master in the race for the second year in a row, this time placing second overall in 18:11.

Just a few steps behind Stoner, Ani Veltcheva was the first female finisher, coming in third overall in 18:16. A sixth-grader at Gainesville's Abraham Lincoln Middle School, Veltcheva had also won the Race The Tortoise women's title in 2014. Gainesville's Shelby Wentworth (8th, 22:20) was second in the women's standings and Keystone Heights athlete Sara Ratelle (14th, 23:07) was third. Lavonne Rembert of Gainesville was the top woman master and fourth female finisher, placing sixteenth overall in 23:46.

The annual Race The Tortoise 5K is a fundraiser for the Friends of O'Leno State Park, who use the proceeds to help provide for the creatures in the park's Nature Center and to help expand the center's exhibits. Timing for the 2016 race was provided by Milestone Race Authority of Jacksonville, Florida.

Top Ten Men, 2016 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 16:32 ~ Bobby Hensley (M, 31) Gainesville, FL
  2. 18:11 ~ Dan Stoner (M, 41) Gainesville, FL
  3. 21:20 ~ Michael Fowler (M, 42) Gainesville, FL
  4. 21:32 ~ Mike Collins (M, 28) Gainesville, FL
  5. 22:05 ~ Ozzy Vidal (M, 39) Gainesville, FL
  6. 22:07 ~ John Davis (M, 56) Gainesville, FL
  7. 22:28 ~ Ron Hall (M, 51) Gainesville, FL
  8. 22:33 ~ Stephen Hagen (M, 53) Gainesville, FL
  9. 22:39 ~ Jay Peacock (M, 53) Gainesville, FL
  10. 22:45 ~ Jason Ratelle (M, 40) Keystone Heights, FL

Top Ten Women, 2016 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 18:16 ~ Ani Veltcheva (F, 11) Gainesville, FL
  2. 22:20 ~ Shelby Wentworth (F, 24) Gainesville, FL
  3. 23:07 ~ Sara Ratelle (F, 35) Keystone Heights, FL
  4. 23:46 ~ Lavonne Rembert (F, 44) Gainesville, FL
  5. 24:02 ~ Loretta Engler (F, 62) High Springs, FL
  6. 24:11 ~ Elke Sheider (F, 54) Lake City, FL
  7. 26:17 ~ Robin Politowicz (F, 54) Gainesville, FL
  8. 26:23 ~ Christine Larkins (F, 34) Gainesville, FL
  9. 26:48 ~ Julia Chi (F, 41) Gainesville, FL
  10. 26:58 ~ Patti Stokes (F, 35) Waldo, FL

Race The Tortoise 5K winners, 2009 - 2016
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
5 March 201616:32, Bobby Hensley18:16, Ani Veltcheva177


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