24th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic Race Report by Sharon Bart
Thanksgiving morning, 2017, brought an abundance of sunshine, smiling faces, bright blue skies to match the heathered sapphire blue race shirts and a smattering of soaked shoes. With continued record highs experienced in the southwest, and in Tucson on Thanksgiving morning, there were more than usual intentional splashers in the water pit during the 24th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic. And yes, some racers took advantage of the wheelchair lane instead of navigating over the hay bales and water jumps but we won’t critique their intentions here. We will give a heartfelt thank you to those wheelchair athletes and their running buddies. We are so proud to have Team Hoyt Arizona join us for a second year. I have to say that watching those athletes on the course is so very inspirational!
The women kicked off the 5k race at 8:00 am sharp. Paula Morrison took first place overall, beating last year’s winning time and easily outrunning those who are not in the masters’ category, in a time of 19:01. Tia Accetta handily took first Masters’ place in a smoking time of 19:23. Age group winners were Amber Velez 10 and under, in 24:43, 11-13 Taylor McCue in 21:10, 14-16 Zoey Delgado in 19:52, 17-19 Katherine Bruno in 19:49, 20-24 Kelsey Montano in 23:16, 25-29 Jennifer Tetrault in 19:31, 30-34 Tara Bruce in 20:55, 35-39 Cara Payne in 19:51, 40-44 Anne Swanson in 21:25, 45-49 Billie Meuschke in 23:55, 50-54 Jane Thomas in 23:47, 55-59 Jill Katz in 24:02, 60-64 Mary Black in 26:32, 65-69 Nancy Fuller in 29:15, 70-74 Mary Croft in 34:45 and 75-79 Judie Shyman in 32:39. Those are some great times ladies! Tara Erdmann’s 2011 course record of 17:08.2 remains and the course record pot will be $350 for next year’s event.
The men’s 5K started next at 8:45. Nathan Thomas easily took first place with a speedy time of 15:34. Sergio Osorio won the Masters division in a time of 17:52, thirteen seconds faster than his winning time last year! This is Sergio’s second year of improving his time over the previous year. Pretty impressive in the Masters division! First place age group winners are Kendrick Parrill in the 10 and under group with a time of 21:13, 11-13 Reid Swanson in 17:53, 14-16 Ayden Schilb in 16:55, 17-19 Collin Dylla in 16:47, 20-24 Ryan Bugler in 16:00, 25-29 Gabe McGowan in 16:19, 30-34 Randy Arriola in 16:23, 35-39 Anthony Francisco in 16:21, 40-44 Ramon Billy in 18:14, 45-49 Joseph Delgado in 18:30, 50-54 Tedd Rasonmoff in 19:28, 55-59 Jon Black in 19:53, 60-64 Benito Gonzalez in 20:26, 65-69 Stuart Hancock in 23:02, 70-74 Richard Senti in 25:27, 75-79 Don Branaman in 34:39 and 80 and over Jack Warneke in 35:57. The course record remains at 14:54.1 set in 2009 by Craig Curley and next year’s course record pot will be $450.
The team division was once again quite the competition. With 18 teams in the women’s division and 15 teams in the men’s, results this year are as impressive as always. Teams are comprised of four to seven members, with the fastest four team member’s times totaled for the team time. The winning ladie’s team, Sexy Ladies of Wog 1, was a very fast 1:21:09 and Sexy Ladies of Wog 2 was second place with a time of 1:31:10. Lancer Student Runners was third in 1:30:10, fourth place was Tucson Runner’s Project in 1:41:03. Men’s first place team, Running Shop, ran a fast 1:06:21 and second place was Papasito Team in 1:08:03. Too Hot to Trot was third in 1:11:09 and fourth was Clout Gant in 1:11:53. 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 understand there was a software glitch towards the end of the photo booth run but hopefully 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.
This year I also want to give an especially deeply felt thank you to Steve King from Sunset Embroidery and Screen Print and Lucas from The Running Shop. For those who are unaware, I suddenly lost my father in mid-November. Without these two gentlemen stepping up, as well as the rest of the gang at The Running Shop, this event would not have happened. More deeply felt gratitude goes to Martin Pena, my co-race director and all that he does. Another Happy Birthday to you Martin! And a humongous shout out to each and every volunteer! You all truly rock!!!
We are proud to have Toys for Tots and Team Hoyt as our beneficiaries. We are grateful for all of the toys were donated race morning. The new Toys for Tots coordinators were quite pleased with your generosity.
Thank you to Chip Travers, our continually creative artist. We give him an idea and he creates our turkey. And to Greg Wenneborg and Roadrunner Race Timing for speedy results.
If you have not yet received your race award, they are at The Running Shop. We also have a turkey hat that was left behind as well as a key.
Thank you all for a thankful Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays and a Healthy 2018 to you and yours!More
Less than a week to go, so sign up here for the Thanksgiving Day Cross Country Classic! Two weeks to go, so sign up here for the December 2nd TMC BE Tucson Women's 5k (with free hot chocolate and chocolate fondue!) hosted at the new venue, Keno Veteran's Memorial Stadium. The TMC Sunrise at Old Tucson Trail Run has been moved to Sunday, February 18th -- registration will open soon!
The perfect weather we special ordered for Thanksgiving morning was promptly delivered! Clear skies, little wind, lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 40s and 50s made for amazing racing conditions. We are thankful that the cold front waited a few days before moving in to Tucson. We hope you enjoyed this year’s Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic.
The women kicked off the 5K race at 8:00 am. With 860 participants in the field, competition was close. Drbe Kumsa took first place overall with a time of 19:34. Amy Wilson, formerly of Tucson and a 10-time All-American in both track and field and cross country, took second overall and first master’s just behind Kumsa with a time of 19:39. Third place overall was another fast master runner, Tia Accetta, placing first in her age group. It is great to see two masters placing in the top three positions! First place age group winners are: 10 and under Sydney Davis, 11-13 Alivia Romaniuk, 14-16 Grace Driskill, 17-19 Sionna Johnson, 20-24 Hannah Whetzel, 25-29 Aleta Jokisch, 30-34 Mandy Pansing, 35-39 Kara Rubelt, 40-44 Tia Accetta, 45-49 Cindy Schnell, 50-54 Bridget Black, 55-59 Janet Holland, 60-64 Merry Dearmon, 65-69 Nancy Fuller, 70-74 Karen Ragland, 75-79 Phyllis Stensland.
The next event was the men’s 5K beginning around 9:45 am. Andrew Lemoncello, a 2008 Olympian, easily took the men’s first overall position with a time of 15:18. The master’s winner was Sergio Osorio with a time of 18:05. Sergio also won last year’s master title and he managed to take a couple of seconds off of this year’s time. Congratulations Sergio! First place age group winners are: 10 and under James Perlman, 11-13 Ayden Schilb, 14-16 Koby Blackwater, 17-19 Nathan Thomas, 20-24 Daniel Wong, 25-29 Travis Burkel, 30-34 Robert Scribner (way to represent The Running Shop!), 35-39 Anthony Francisco, 40-44 Ramon Billy, 45-49 Dave Dixon, 50-54 Luis Carrion, 55-59 Roward Tim, 60-64 Benito Gonzales, 65-69 Buck Lentzer, 70-74 James L. Brown, 75-79 Pete Cunningham, 80 and over Frank Patania. Congratulations Gentlemen! Spotted in the field was Tucson’s five time Olympian, Bernard Lagat, running with his son Niiki Lagat.
The team competition was once again a strong race. The ladies team taking first place was WOG Women 1, with a combined time of 1:22:35, including the times of Tia Accetta, Kara Rubelt, Claire Hans and Katie Keating. Eyes on the Pies followed with a time of 1:31:51, including Amy Wilson, Grace Driskill, Jennifer Driskill and Michelle Skieresz. Third place team was WOG Women 2 at 1:42:17, followed by Pusch Ridge Lion Girls at 1:57:58, Fireball Runners at 2:00:11, The Pussyfoots at 2:11:55 and Kemaitch at 2:12:45.
The men’s winning team was The Running Shop with Robert Scribner, Anthony Francisco, Charlie Ware and Randy Arriola combining their times for the winning 1:06:31. Unfortunately there was a timing issue for a team member on the second place team so they were not recognized at the awards ceremony. Congratulations to The Grande Donkeys, taking second place, with Eric Meyer, Joshua Velasquez, Patrick Thurber, and Jacob Steward with a time of 1:10:27. Third place men’s team was Pusch Ridge Lion Boys at 1:20:10, fourth place was WOG Men 1 at 1:27:07, fifth place was TRP Howling Coyotes at 1:29:55, sixth place was WOG Men 2 at 1:33:27, seventh place was JAGS 1:41:29, eighth place was Silver Bullets at 1:46:19 and last but not least was Kemaitch at 2:27:11.
The 1.5 Mile Fun Run was the last event to take place. With an age range from one to eighty two, we always enjoy the smiles visible, especially as the water jumps are navigated. With over 1,050 participants in this event, it was a blast to watch. New this year was a lane opened for our wheelchair athletes and their running buddies, representing one of our beneficiaries, Team Hoyt Arizona. We heard about the challenge those hills gave to those pushing the wheel chairs but we also heard about how much fun was had. We hope we’ll see them again next year!
Oro Valley Photography was again our official photographer. Find your photo on their site by using your name or your bib number. We also hope you enjoyed the Photo Booth this year. I swear the pictures get better every year. It looks like the Photo Booth is much enjoyed! Visit http://www.orovalleyphotography.com/thanksgiving-cross-country-classic-tucson and be sure to order your favorite photos.
We can never give enough gratitude to those who make this event happen. Our sponsors help us keep entry fees low. Have you ever talked to a runner from another state and told them what you paid to run the Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic? I had a recent conversation with someone from central California and her response was “and how much do you pay for the shirt? What?! It’s included in the $20 entry fee? And there’s a photo booth? And fruit and bagels? And a DJ? What?!” So please give our sponsors some support as they’ve given to you. Thank you The Running Shop and Brooks! More thanks go to Sonic Drive In and Bashas’. Further gratitude is extended to Sierra Springs, Bruegger’s Bagels, DJ Rich, Craig Dabler Jewelry and Southern Arizona Roadrunners.
And we couldn’t succeed without our amazing volunteers! Next time you see Lucas Tyler, Diane Manzini, Itzel Marquez, Shirley Hester, Michelle Hawk, Sandy White, Marti and Stephan Ackermann, Sheryl and Steve Felde, Jessica Sheldon, Connie Lopez, Sarah Sheldon, Melissa Rose, Frank Herrera, Dennis Richards, Joe Faulk, Maureen Cunningham, Austin Grover, Kailee Grover, Lisa Schlink, Bill Hill, Larry Rundel, Andres Rivera, Heather Hopkins, Tim Bracker, Kristen Metzger, Tara Bruce, Rachel High, Doreen Davis and Ray Henson, be sure to say Thank You. Thank you each and every one of you! (If I missed your name, I truly apologize. Your contribution is greatly appreciated and the omission is not intentional.)
We appreciate all of the toys that were donated race morning and we are proud to contribute $2,250 to Toys For Tots. We are grateful for the volunteer Marines who gave their Thanksgiving morning to our event and that represented Toys for Tots. We are also honored to donate $800 to Team Hoyt AZ and appreciate all that they do to help the disabled participate in events.
A few more calls of appreciation to share: To Martin Pena, my co-race director, I couldn’t do this without you; To Lucas Tyler, who so patiently recruits volunteers and helps maintain my sanity at The Running Shop; To Chip Travers for always designing a fun new turkey and keeping our turkey current with the trends; To Greg Wenneborg and Roadrunner Race Timing for accurate results.
We wish Happy Holidays and an active and healthy 2017!More
In-person registration and packet pick-up are starting for Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic at The Running Shop! Visit The Running Shop at 3055 N Campbell on Saturday 10-5 or Monday through Wednesday 10-6! Get your bib, claim your shirt and skip the race morning lines!More
21st Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic
Thanksgiving 2014 began with over 2,500 runners and walkers enjoying the sunny morning at Reid Park. We observed many grins and heard giggling and laughter. Was it the hay bales? The sunshine? The amazing comradery that morning? Whatever the reason, we are thankful for the great turnout at the race and the many happy folks we got to share our morning with.
The race began with the women at 8:00 am. Bridgette Doucet won in a time of 19:06. Tia Accetta and Allie Keogh were second and third in 19:33. The masters’ winner was Jennifer Harrison in 21:39. The top women’s team was Sexy Ladies of WOG with a combined time of 1:22:12 with Katie Keating, Dari Duval, Claire Hans, and Michelle Hawk. Second place team was Mama WOG with a time of 1:25:44 with top four finishers Tia Accetta, Cara Payne, Stephanie Wenneborg and Alison Meadow. Those are some fast Mamas!
The men’s race started next at 8:45. Josh Fowler won in 16:09. Second was Poli Baltazar in 16:16 and third place in 16:27 was Anthony Francisco. Anthony has previously placed in the top two slots in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Welcome back Anthony! The men’s masters’ winner was Ramon Billy in 17:58. The men’s first place team this year is the All Stars-PIMA with Mark Bennett, Ahmed Mohamed, Amanuel Logo and Peter Gonzalez with a speedy time of 1:09:10. Close on their heels was team Tricats Boys, 1:10:00, with the top four finishers being Josh Fowler, Sean Anderson, Colin Reisenhauer and Jimmy Riccitello.
We are honored each year to see so many multi-generational families partake in the festivities. How amazing is it to see four generations at a sporting event?! We had participants from age 1 to age 88 register. How cool is that?! And it’s fun to see folks there that have been part of our running community for years. Jimmy Riccitello, a professional triathlete for over 20 years, brings his entire family out to participate each year. We’ve watched as his and Traci’s kids are growing up to be fine young people and athletes. Jeanne Anne Krizman is another former professional triathlete who also participates each year and brings the family. It’s a tribute to our running community to see former professional athletes raising their families in the sport and participating in events as a family! This year my granddaughter Avianna, who is three, not only ran her first fun run but also helped with the awards ceremony!
Oro Valley Photography is our official photographer and we were excited to have our first photo booth. We hope you took advantage of the opportunity and got your free photo. Check out your photos at orovalleyphotography.com.
I would like to say Thank You to so many who helped us continue this fun family gathering. My co-race director, Martin Pena, always sets up an accurate, well marked course. Lucas Tyler, my amazing co-worker at The Running Shop, does an excellent job in making sure all volunteer positions are covered. Southern Arizona Roadrunners, for helping promote the event and providing a group of volunteers to recruit. Brooks for providing shoes to our winners and Sonic Drive In for our trophies and medals. Chip Travers contributed his amazing artwork for our shirts yet again! Steve King and My Team Triumph also deserve a huge Thank You for the great coffee provided race morning. Thanks also to the U.S. Marines for representing Toys for Tots and to Bashas’, Bruegger’s Bagels and Culligan for helping keep our participants well fed and hydrated. DJ Rich for his always entertaining music and games and Craig Dabler Jewelers for helping with incentive for speed.
A huge Thank You to the many volunteers who spent their Thanksgiving morning contributing to our event: Eddie and Raquel Arriola, Marti and Stephan Ackermann, Guy McArthur, Connie Lopez, Michelle Hawk, Leo Richard, Buddy Martin, Erik Sanders, Maricruz Wilson, Ann Hollis, Monica Bermudez, Don Taylor, Marc Janis, Elli Christmann, Steve and Sheryl Felde, Gary Giese, Merry Dearman, Stephen Moore and Joe Faulk. I know there were many more of you out there but these are the names that were recorded. I want to say Thank You to each and every one of you. If I missed your name, I Thank You too. I did not intentionally miss you but I don’t know the names of our other volunteers. I do want to point out an exceptional volunteer again this year: Michelle Hawk! Not only did she spend her entire Wednesday here at the store managing registration, but she worked at registration before the women’s race, ran, and then took over handing out bagels per the Pima County Health Department regulations. Next time you see Michelle, thank her for keeping the race running smoothly.
Wishing everyone the merriest holiday season.More
Results can be found here!More
Reid Park was the setting for the 19th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic. The weather was warmer than usual and participation was phenomenal! Over 800 participated in the 1.5 mile fun run and 1,653 signed up for the 5K!
The men kicked off the competition this year. Andy Trouard, the 2012 State Division II Cross Country Champion, took first place with a time of 15:41. Following on his heels was Alejandro Valencia, with the same time. Jimmy Riccitello, world class triathlete for 20 years and now a multi-sport coach, took the Master’s title in 18:06. For the first time, we had 20 men finishing under 17 minutes for the 5K. Impressive!
The women ran next. Priscilla Schultz led the race the entire way and easily won the women’s competition with a time of 17:57. Janet Holland won the Master’s division in 20:56, placing 18th overall.
The course records remain unbroken. The women’s record of 17:08 is held by Tara Erdmann, set last year, and the men’s record of 14:54 is held by Craig Curley, set in 2009. Each year, $50 is donated by Craig Dabler Jewelers for each race to go towards the athlete breaking the course record, so that $100 will roll over to next year’s race!
The fun run began around 9:40. Over 800 fun runners took off and got to run and walk on the now muddy course. Judging by the smiles and laughter at the finish line, it seems like all had a great time. Or were they just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner?
The team division was once again really competitive! Thirteen men’s teams and nine women’s teams competed. Taking first place for the men was Team Running Shop in 1:06:07. For the first time in the team competition, we had a tie for second place. Both St Augustine Running Wolves and St Augustine Running Hippos had a team time of 1:16:15. These teams represent the current St Augustine cross country team and the St Augustine cross country team alumni. The women’s competition was dominated by Woggers (Work Out Group Participants.) The Sexy Ladies of Wog 1 took first place and the Sexy Ladies of Wog 2 took second place. The first place finishers win a $50 gift certificate to Rocco’s and second place win a $25 gift certificate. Awards may be picked up at The Running Shop.
The Toys for Tots donations at the race site was amazing. Thank you! Together with the donated toys and the $2000 donated from the event, representatives from Toys for Tots could not stop thanking us.
As always, we must give a huge shout out of Thanks to our amazing volunteers. Steve and Sheryl Felde, Steve Outridge, Janet Holland, Liz Farkas, Sandra Heater, Margie Norem, Diane Manzini, Monica Bermudez, Michelle Hawk, Doreen Castillo Davis, Amelie Messingham, Marti Ackermann, Sandy White, Bob Howard, Pat O’Connor, Rachel Gelbin, Nancy Milburn, Judy Gillies, Roger Shanley, Heidi Bidwell, Sue Clark, Kate Anderson, Glen Daw, Don Branaman, Connie Lopez, Ann O’Connor, Rachel Hilgeford, Melody Bailey, Vicki Gricias, Nathan Alcott, Eddie Arriola, Raquel Litin, John Sabatine, John Chamberlain, Royce Marion and the group of AmeriCorps volunteers. Many of these great folks volunteered on multiple days. Thank you again for your time and effort! I apologize now if I missed recognizing you in this article. Your efforts are truly appreciated and our lack of recognition is not intentional.
To my fellow race coordinators, Martin Pena and Lucas Tyler, I personally give many, many thanks. We all devote so much of our time and energy to this event and I cannot say enough about these two gentlemen. I would also like to recognize Greg Wenneborg and the new timing system. While not without a few glitches, the system was swift in delivering results. For the first time, we were able to recognize our 60 and over age groups in the awards ceremony. Thank you Greg!
A race like the Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic could not happen without sponsors. Thank you to The Running Shop, Southern Arizona Roadrunners, Brooks, Culligan Water, Sonic Drive In, Bruegger’s Bagels, Craig Dabler Jewelers and DJ Rich!
Happy New Year!
The Running Shop
3055 N. Campbell Ave, Suite 153
What a fantastic record breaking day it was! A record of 1,596 registered participants, 1,524 finishers, a record beautiful day (unless you want last years mudfest repeated) and course records broken!
Craig Curley blew away the previous course record of 15:24 in an amazing 14.54. Not only did he blow away the record, but he made it look easy. Gliding to the finish, 27 seconds ahead of second place Bryce Livingston, Curley looked like he could easily continue for at least another lap. Curley earned $100 for breaking the course record, courtesy of Craig Dabler Jewelers! Breaking another record, Shaun Haley knocked off 28 seconds for the Master’s course record, previously held by Rick Fenno from 1998. Haley completed this year’s event in a fast 16:22.
The women’s race proved to be quite exciting also. Hanna Henson pushed Paula Morrison, beating her by 19 seconds, with a time of 18:24. Henson came close to beating the course record, currently held by Morrison, but unfortunately missed it by 3 seconds. Lisa Warneke finsihed as our first Master’s with a time of 21:30.
The Warneke family was well represented in the award’s ceremony, with Lisa finishing as first female Master, Nancy as first in her age group of 70-74, and Jack as first in the men’s 75-79 age group!
The fun run was won by Colby Wilson, 14 years old, in 11:53, with 9 year old Trent Yuhasz close on his heels in 11:56 followed by 51 year old Dennis Bonilla in 11:58.
The team competition became, well, quite the competition. First place for women was Chicks of Wog with a team time of 1:34:39 and second place was Pops TC Girls with a time of 1:38:42. Awards are given to the top two teams but Avoiding the Ax-TTG was a close 3rd place finisher in 1:40:51. The men’s top team was PF Flyers, including Craig Curley, our overall winner, with a team time of 1:04:08. Close behind in second place was Team Running Shop in a time of 1:08:31. Just on the heels of second came Team Clanschad in 1:09:39.
As a friendly reminder regarding team rules: It is required that each and every team and team member be registered by 6 pm on Wednesday, prior to the event. We are not trying to discriminate or eliminate teams but absolutely need all teams and all team members in the data base by Wednesday night. Having your name listed on a team but not registering before Wednesday, 6 pm, will disqualify you from being on that team. Likewise, we can’t add team members to teams on race day. It’s unfortunate that we have to have these rules but it is the only way to make it fair for all teams-keep the same rules for everyone. I hope this helps clarify any issues or questions you might have for next year.
As always, I want to personally thank many people for such a great event! First are you, the participants! You make it all worthwhile and exciting. Secondly, I must thank Martin Pena, my co-race director and Lucas Tyler, our volunteer coordinator. My co-workers at The Running Shop, thank you for working your tail off. Thank you to the Marines for all that they do for Toys for Tots. The sponsors have been great year after year: Worldly Soles, Sonic Drive In, Brooks, Bruegger’s Bagels, Albertson’s, Sparkletts, Ok Feed, DJ Rich and Craig Dabler Jewelers. Thank you to Southern Arizona Roadrunners and to Greg Wenneborg for his timing services. Thank you to our tons of volunteers: Sheryl and Steve Felde, Bob Auman, Marilyn and Roy Bart, Dennis Richards, Marc Janis, Rachel Johnson, Steve and Christine Outridge, Christie Bane, Penny Zacharias, Rey Johnson, Jocie Riley, Mary Lasser, Joey Lasser, Lavina Lasser, Dave Hill, Maureen Cunningham, Sandy White, Stephanie Moore, Virginia Farwell, Ray Henson, Sandra Heater, Mary Mesal, Connie Lopez and others I know I’ve missed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Results are posted on line and all unclaimed prizes are at The Running Shop. There are a few lost and found items here also. Tee shirts for those who did not get one at the event are now available at the shop. Who knew that with 1500 shirts we would run out?!
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and wish everyone a happy holiday season.More