It was another incredibly beautiful spring day in Tucson for this year’s Marana 5000 produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. Although the temps were a bit high for this time of year the cool breeze did help the runners out on this day. This year’s course was modified due to construction on Ina road and the new course seemed to be a hit with the runners.
We had a fantastic turnout, especially for the FitKidz mile, and everyone had a great time with the Obstacle Course Jumping Castle, the artistic talents of Petunia the clown and the awesome tunes being spun by DJ Rich.
Free coffee was provided by Steve King and the folks from Team Hoyt, whose amazing athletes and their support folks also started off the 5K providing much inspiration for the 3 miles to come.
The women’s 5K race was won by Paula Morrison in an outstanding 18:45. Tia Accetta came in 2nd place in 19:22 and Tara Bruce in 3rd in 19:58. Taking both Paula and Tia out of the Master’s category, the Master’s crown was won by Janet Holland in an excellent time of 21.06.
The men’s 5K race was won by Michael Whetzel in 17:18. You could almost throw a blanket over 2nd - 4th place. An excellent kick brought Sean Anderson a 2nd place finish in 17:55. Right behind in 3rd place was Eric Simonson in 17:58. The Master’s crown was also extremely close and taking home the crown was Joel Stamp in a very fast 18:33.
Many thanks to the town of Marana for allowing us again to hold this event in the beautiful Crossroads at Silverbell Park. Huge thanks as well to our sponsors, the Running Shop, Smith Performance Center, Team Woodall Long Realty, Eegees and Road ID. We truly appreciate your support of this long time event.
Thanks very much as well to the GOATographer, Kerry Whelan, for donating his time to capture the event in pictures for us. His talents are second to none.
We were also extremely honored to have a special visit from Josh Hourscht, who has suffered with ALS for about 2 years and has been a tremendous advocate working help raise awareness and find a cure for this currently incurable disease. We are very grateful to Josh and his family for coming out, spending some time with us, and helping to really bring home why this event is so important. As you know, the event was created some years ago in honor of SAR Member David Filer who was diagnosed with ALS in 2000 and whom we lost to this disease. Proceeds from this event benefit the Jim Himelic Foundation, an organization that helps to fund ALS Research at the University of Arizona.
And, certainly not least, a huge shout out to the long list of volunteers without whom the event would not have been the huge success it was. It is likely we’ve left some folks out here but these rockstars include Michelle Hawk, Chris and Denise Fall, Erik Sanders, Joe Plassmann, Steve and Sheryl Felde, Michael Miller, Diane Manzini, Marti Ackermann, Connie Lopez, Steve Sheldon, Andrew Peck,The Frank family, Joe Faulk, Austin and Kailee Grover, Walt Harris, David Odom, Judie Shyman, Kelli Mack, Linda Whelan, Jeff Fulks, Robin Gerard, Ray Henson, Steve Moore, Merry Dearmon and Jeri Baker.
One more note, after tallying all the results the team competition (and the cool prize donated by our sponsor eegees) was taken home for the second year in a row by The Workout Group followed in second by one of my favorite new running groups in town, Destination YOU!. Overall nine teams competed and we are grateful to them all.
We will see you next year for the biggest and best Marana 5000 yet!
Steve Outridge, Race Director