25th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic Race Report

Austin February 1, 2019

The silver clouds lining the sky throughout the morning marked the silver anniversary of the 2018 Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic. But the clouds didn’t damper the smiles on the 2,600 or so participants’ faces and many a runner and walker earned their Thanksgiving meal.

The women kicked off the 5k race at 8:00 am. Addi Zerrenner took first place overall, in a speedy time of 18:00. Tia Accetta handily took first Masters’ place in a smoking time of 20:03. Age group winners were Katherine McNulty, 23:31, in the 10 and under; Alonna Hannibal, 21:49, 11-13; Zoey Delgado, 20:27, 14-16; Paloma Teran, 21:22, 17-19; Kayla Ferron, 18:21, 20-24; Emily Maass, 20:30, 25-29; Tara Bruce, 19:54, 30-34; Cara Payne, 19:54, 35-39; Joni Kaminski, 21:55, 40-44; Paula Morrison, 20:15, 45-49; Traci Riccitello, 24:27, 50-54; Janet Holland, 22:26, 55-59; Maureen Cunningham, 29:16, 60-64; Nancy Fuller, 31:18, 65-69; Roberta Kenney, 31:56, 70-74; and Sue Smith, 48:18, 75-79. Congratulations to all! Tara Erdmann’s 2011 course record of 17:08.2 remains and the course record pot will be $400 for next year’s event.


The men’s 5K kicked off at 8:45. Nathan Thomas easily took first place with a speedy time of 15:07, 27 seconds faster than his winning time last year! Sergio Osorio won the Masters division in a time of 18:06, his fourth year taking the Master’s title! First place age group winners are Antonio Sabelli, 21:40 in the 10 and under division; Evan Hofstetter, 19:00, 11-13; Ayden Schilb, 17:21, 14-16; Ivan Rakich, 17:45, 17-19; Hugo Nieves, 16:27, 20-24; Mark Bennett, 16:13, 25-29; Randy Arriola, 16:20, 30-34; Jeffrey Gehring, 18:25, 35-39; Mike Kerkman, 18:35, 40-44; Dave Dixon, 18:43, 45-49; Ted Rasonmoff, 19:01, 50-54; Randy Accetta, 22:23, 55-59; Benito Gonzalez, 20:20, 60-64; Bucky Lentzer, 23:18, 65-69; Martinho Ribeiro, 24:11, 70-74; Gary Giese, 32:20, 75-79; and Don Branaman, 36:27, 80 and over. The course record remains at 14:54.1 set in 2009 by Craig Curley and next year’s course record pot will be $500.


In the team division, Wow! Women of Wog 1 took first place with a total time of 1:20:12, with the top four finishers being Cara Payne, Tara Bruce, Tia Accetta and Jillian McLenithan. Second place was The Turkey legs, with a total time of 1:35:49. The top four finishers representing team Turkey Legs are Isabella Caldwell, Taylor Becker Kopke, Wren Smith and Ruby Smith. With only eleven seconds separating third team, I’d like to give a shout out to Wow! Women of Wog 2, who finished with a time of 1:36:00.

The men’s first place team was Salpointe Alumni, in 1:09:35. The top team members are Nathan Thomas, Alberto Hernandez, Russell Perez and Joseph Delgado. The men’s team taking second is the Bobcats, with the top four finishers being Ayden Schilb, Ivan Rakich, Noah Emmerling and Caleb Rayman. I offer a sincere apology to these top two teams. Somehow the team members lost their team status when I transferred the data to our race timer and these two teams were not recognized at the awards ceremony. I am very sorry gentlemen.  First place teams won a $50 Rocco’s gift certificate and second place won $25 Rocco’s gift certificates.

Thank you to Oro Valley Photography for the great photos this year both on the field and in the photo booth. We hope you’ve had an opportunity to look at the photos and share them with your friends. We hope that you were able to take advantage of the great and inventive props to memorialize the day. Visit orovalleyphotography.com to see the photos.

As always, I’d like to give a heartfelt dose of gratitude to all of our sponsors. There is no way that we could keep our costs low while providing a quality event if we didn’t have our very generous sponsors.  To my support staff at The Running Shop and Brooks, thank you! To Bashas for their continued support and help in providing so much fruit and pies to the crowd, thank you! Sonic Drive In for their tremendous contributions to awards. More thank yous to Sparkletts water, Bruegger’s Bagels, DJ Rich and Southern Arizona Roadrunners.

A heartfelt thank you is extended to Martin Pena, my co-race director, for all that he does.  Another goes to Lucas Tyler for his superb organizational skills for the event. More gratitude is given to our extensive group of volunteers, including (for those whose names I missed, I am sorry) Carolyn Audilet, Autumn Ball, Gary Parcher, Paul Madrid, Michelle Hawk, Connie Lopez, Noemi and Craig Mills, Steve and Sheryl Felde, Marti Ackermann, Shirley Hester, Jeff Fulks, Doreen Davis, Heather Hopkins, Amye Chaparro, Diane Manzini, Steve Outridge, Joe Plassman, Chris Fall, Dave Dixon, Jessica, Steve and Sarah Sheldon, Maureen Cunningham, Joe Faulk, Austin Grover, Dennis Richards, Delaney Schnell and Matt.  You all truly rock!!!

We are proud to have Toys for Tots and Team Hoyt as our beneficiaries. Thank you for your donation of additional toys on race morning.

Thank you to Chip Travers, our continually creative artist. We give him an idea and he creates our turkey. More thank yous go to Greg Wenneborg and Roadrunner Race Timing.

If you have not yet received your race award, they are at The Running Shop. The lost and found is also here at The Running Shop, including a cutting board and knife.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2019. We look forward to seeing you next Thanksgiving!

The Southern Arizona Roadrunners is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and fitness in Tucson and Southern Arizona through running and walking.

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