Friday night road races in the summer are usually a chance for local speedsters to tune up and turn in some sizzling times. But unlike most 5Ks, the Sunsets at Pier 60 series is held on the beach. And yes, they do run in the sand.
But that didn't stop 17-year-old Wes Reynolds of St. Petersburg from turning in a time under 18 minutes. Reynolds, who kept a 5:33 pace during his 3-mile run in the hard-packed sand, finished in 17:13 for first place overall.
Mark Benjamin, a 19-year-old from Kenneth City, was hot on Reynolds' heels, finishing just 13 seconds behind.
Rounding out the top three was Frenchman Charles Althey, 33, in 17:42. He was followed by 17-year-old Buka Harris of St. Petersburg in 17:48 and local marathon phenomenon Christa Benton, one of the top women in Boston this year, who finished fifth in 17:53.
Other noteworthy male finishers included Brian Benjamin, 19, of Kenneth City in 17:58 and Keith Sawayda, 45, of Clearwater in 18:22.
In the women's ranks, Loretta Simeon, 42, of St. Petersburg came in second behind Benton in 21:19. Other notable finishes include Patti Spence, 47, of Belleair in 22:11; Alex Lechner, 20, of Clearwater, in 22:36; Penny Markuske, 17, of Largo, in 23:07; Shannon Shearer, 33, of Largo, in 23:27, and Pamela McCann, 42, of Treasure Island, in 24:13.
Local man takes his skills to Argentina
David Shiner, a 37-year-old from Pinellas County, competed in the Rosario marathon in Argentina on Sunday in 3 hours, 38 minutes.
"The weather was a great break from the Florida heat," Shiner wrote in an e-mail. "… It was high 30s to start, 50 degrees at the finish with calm winds."
The 37-year-old commercial underwriter for Bankers Insurance Group has been running marathons for almost 10 years. This was his 107th event. Shiner, whose personal record is 3:34:14, turned in his fifth-best performance at Sunday's race.
Most of his marathons have been in United States or Canada, but he has also run races in Jamaica, Ecuador and Bermuda.
If you find yourself on the road this summer and pick up a road race or triathlon, e-mail your results to Terry Tomalin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clearwater Beach Patrol hosted its second race in the Ocean Mile Swim Series on Saturday at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. The first swimmer out of the water was William Walters, 24 from Gainesville, who finished in 19:54.
The top female swimmer was 16-year-old Ashley Rossi of Clearwater, daughter of perennial beach lifeguard Tony Rossi. She finished in 20:18.
In the 14-and-under division, the fastest male was 13-year-old Kevin Smith of Clearwater in 23:46, and the fastest female was 12-year-old Emma Donahue of Tampa in 24:32.
Other winners included: Adam Corbin, 18, of Clearwater in 20:12 and Jill Sears, 18, of Clearwater in 22:47 (both in 15-19 division); Nicola Mackenzie, 20, of Palm Harbor in 22:53 (20-24); Vince Tenaglia, 25, of Clearwater Beach in 24:38 and Barbra Gussow, 25, of Oldsmar in 29:14 (both 25-29); Ian Jackson, 30, of Clearwater in 23:02 (30-34), and Bridget McCrea, 39, of Dunedin in 31:33 (35-39).
Terry Tomalin can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8808. Send your swimming, biking, running, triathlon and adventure racing information to community.tampabay.com and click on the "Submit info" link.