Sunday, March 4, 2018

Nadler burns a 15:28 and Veltcheva a 17:34 for new records at the Race The Tortoise 5K

O'Leno State Park bridgeAfter eight annual events from 2009 to 2016, the Race The Tortoise 5K took a year off in 2017. The Tortoise returned to Florida's O'Leno State Park on Saturday morning, 3 March 2018, and maybe a year of rest was what the coach ordered. Outkicking Calum McFetridge and Chris Cabret, Enoch Nadler of Team Florida Track Club won the race in 15:28, setting a new course record. Ani Veltcheva, an eighth-grader at Gainesville, Florida's Abraham Lincoln Middle School, won the women's division for the third time in the past four years, setting a women's course record of 17:34 and finishing eighth overall.

The top three athletes crossed the finish line within inches of one another, with Nadler and McFetridge both clocked in 15:28 and Cabret posting a 15:29. All three runner were more than half a minute faster than the previous course record, the 16:10 run by Vladimir Tontchinski in the 2012 Race The Tortoise. In fact, Nadler, McFetridge, and Cabret are the only athletes to break 16:00 on the O'Leno State Park course. Far behind the fireworks up front, Ravi Kumar edged Sam Luttier for fourth, 16:28 to 16:30.

The women's competition wasn't as close as the men's; Ani Veltcheva finished 70 meters ahead of the second woman. Nevertheless, Veltcheva pushed herself hard enough to trim 24 seconds off the previous Race The Tortoise women's record of 17:58, set by Lyubov Denisova in the 2015 race. The women's runner-up, Kelly Griffin, was also under the old record, placing ninth overall in 17:49. Kate Egan took third in the women's standings and fifteenth overall in 19:17.

Rich Joel was the first master runner in the race and the tenth male finisher, placing twelfth overall in 18:52. Victoria Pagan-Wolpert was the first woman master and twelfth female finisher, 37th overall in 23:54.

The 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, 2018 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 15:28, Enoch Nadler (M, 32) Gainesville, FL
  2. 15:28, Calum McFetridge (M, 19)
  3. 15:29, Chris Cabret (M, 20)
  4. 16:28, Ravi Kumar (M, 23) Gainesville, FL
  5. 16:30, Sam Luttier (M, 23)
  6. 17:28, Richard Smith (M, 39) Gainesville, FL
  7. 17:31, David Cox (M, 32) Gainesville, FL
  8. 18:26, Cedric Torres (M, 22) Gainesville, FL
  9. 18:42, Philip Matchev (M, 11) Gainesville, FL
  10. 18:52, Rich Joel (M, 48) Gainesville, FL

Top Ten Women, 2018 Race The Tortoise 5K
  1. 17:34, Ani Veltcheva (F, 13) Gainesville, FL
  2. 17:49, Kelly Griffin (F, 39) Gainesville, FL
  3. 19:17, Kate Egan (F, 33) Gainesville, FL
  4. 19:23, Adair Lyden (F, 20)
  5. 19:33, Stephanie McGrail (F, 31) Gainesville, FL
  6. 20:22, Rae Powers (F, 26) Gainesville, FL
  7. 21:09, Angela Nadler (F, 31) Gainesville, FL
  8. 21:14, Lara Drondoski (F, 23) Gainesville, FL
  9. 21:42, Natalie Wright (F, 32) High Springs, FL
  10. 22:06, Verity Mathis (F, 39) Gainesville, FL

Race The Tortoise 5K winners, 2009 - 2018
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
3 March 201815:28, Enoch Nadler17:34, Ani Veltcheva215
There was no Race The Tortoise 5K in 2017.