Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kevin Sweeny and Jenny Early leave Dasher with Hospice Half titles

Before 2018, Kevin Sweeny had raced the Hospice Half Marathon twice, finishing runner-up in 2013 and 2014. On Saturday morning, 17 February 2018, Sweeny made a third trip to Dasher, Georgia to race in the seventh annual Hospice Half. This time the Saint Augustine, Florida master runner won the 13.1-mile race, running 1:25:21. Jenny Early of Tallahassee, Florida was the first woman in the race, placing sixth overall in 1:42:28.

At both of his earlier appearances at the Hospice Half Marathon, Sweeny had finished second to Ryan Kelly of Lake Park, Georgia. Kelly was in the race again in 2018, but in this rematch it was Kelly who came up second-best, taking the runner-up spot in 1:27:55. Colin Prinsloo of Hahira, Georgia was third in 1:30:15, and Valdosta, Georgia triathlete Dan Butzin took fourth in 1:35:18. Jacksonville, Florida master runner Bill Dorrian was fifth in 1:36:17.

Less than two weeks before her win in Dasher, Jenny Early had run 3:47:28 in the Tallahassee Marathon. Early had been seventh in the women's division that day, but no woman finished ahead of her at the Hospice Half. Anne Diaz of Valdosta was second in the women's standings of the Hospice Half, placing fifteenth overall in 2:02:12. Valdosta's Morgan Long (17th, 2:03:10) was the third woman finisher, just seconds ahead of Karisa Zickos (18th, 2:03:17) and Monika Miller (19th, 2:03:26), both Valdosta women. Penny Bell of Hahira, Georgia was the top woman master and eighth female finisher, 25th overall in 2:15:03.

For the first time in the seven-year history of the race, the course for the Hospice Half Marathon was USATF certified (course number GA18003WC), measured by Valdosta State University cross-country coach Todd Smoot. 45 athletes finished the 2018 Hospice Half. A Course/Line, LLC, of Valdosta timed the race and provided finish line services.

Top Ten Men, 2018 Hospice Half Marathon
  1. 1:25:20.6, Kevin Sweeny (M, 48) Saint Augustine, FL
  2. 1:27:54.1, Ryan Kelly (M, 39) Lake Park, GA
  3. 1:30:14.1, Colin Prinsloo (M, 31) Hahira, GA
  4. 1:35:17.6, Dan Butzin (M, 32) Valdosta, GA
  5. 1:36:16.1, Bill Dorrian (M, 42) Jacksonville, FL
  6. 1:44:17.2, Kerry Warren (M, 42) Hahira, GA
  7. 1:45:36.4, Grant Herring (M, 28) Valdosta, GA
  8. 1:46:43.7, Jerry Giacchino (M, 59) Saint Anne, IL
  9. 1:56:54.6, Andrew Medford (M, 38) Valdosta, GA
  10. 1:56:55.1, Rich Kingery (M, 36) Valdosta, GA

Top Ten Women, 2018 Hospice Half Marathon
  1. 1:42:27.8, Jenny Early (F, 34) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 2:02:11.8, Anne Diaz (F, 26) Valdosta, GA
  3. 2:03:09.2, Morgan Long (F, 23) Valdosta, GA
  4. 2:03:16.5, Karisa Zickos (F, 39) Valdosta, GA
  5. 2:03:25.2, Monika Miller (F, 34) Valdosta, GA
  6. 2:05:23.2, Emily Singletary (F, 22) Valdosta, GA
  7. 2:14:03.8, Audrey Williams (F, 27) Oakfield, GA
  8. 2:15:02.5, Penny Bell (F, 44) Hahira, GA
  9. 2:15:29.8, Ashley Norton (F, 29) Valdosta, GA
  10. 2:15:39.4, Sherri Welch (F, 52) Hahira, GA

Hospice Half Marathon champions, 2011 - 2018
19 February 20111:25:36, Masked Avenger1:43:03, Brandi Faircloth72
17 February 20121:23:09, Stan Darsh1:37:58, Amy Sharon76
16 February 20131:20:45, Ryan Kelly1:32:23, Beth Sweeny107
15 February 20141:21:44, Ryan Kelly1:30:28, Beth Sweeny84
27 February 20161:17:14, Roger Schmidt1:32:31, Anna Busby56
25 February 20171:35:07, Ariel Godwin1:50:45, Brandy Van Jura56
17 February 20181:25:21, Kevin Sweeny1:42:28, Jenny Early45
The race was not held in 2015.


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