Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Michigan runners lower Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K course mark

Two runners from the Hansons-Brooks running program rolled into Tampa on Sunday and rewrote the record book in the Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K road race.

Robert Curtis, a 28-year-old who ran for Villanova in college, set a course record of 23 minutes, 30 seconds, covering the 4.97-mile course at a pace of 4:43 per mile.

His colleague on the Michigan-based track team, 23-year-old Dustin Emerick, finished second in 24:28, which was more than two minutes faster than the record of 26:42 set by Oscar Orozco in 2012.

"We have been training in Orlando," Curtis said. "So we saw this race as an opportunity to put in a good, hard effort."

Stephanie McGrail, a 26-year-old from Gainesville, won the women's 8K in 32:07. She was followed by Bradenton's Rae Ann Darling Reed, 39, in 34:00.

Up for the challenge: Tampa's Matthew Farrell wasn't satisfied with running Saturday's 15K. He ran all four Gasparilla Distance Classic races over the weekend to be crowned the Michelob Ultra Challenge champion with a combined time of 3 hours, 14 minutes, 18 seconds. The 32-year-old ran the 5K in 18:20; the 8K in 32:54; the 15K in 57:01 and the half marathon in 1:26:03.Kristine Claffie of Lithia was the women's champion (3:30:42). The 37-year-old ran the 5K in 20:55; the 8K in 35:11; the 15K in 1:02:55 and the half marathon in 1:31:41.

The Beck's Light Challenge winner ran three races. Michael Rivera, 25, of Nicaragua, had a combined time of 2:44:34. He ran the 5K in 18:51; the 15K in 1:00:00 and the half marathon in 1:25:43. The women's Beck Light champion was Jacki Wachtel, 33, of New Port Richey. She ran the 5K in 19:05; the 15K in 56:49 and the half marathon in 1:27:30 for a combined 2:43:24.

Tampa's Jeff Lessie, 52, won the Bud Select Mini Challenge (8K and 15K) with a combined time of 1:27:54 (30:14 and 57:40). Beth Grimes, 46, from North Attleboro, Mass., won the women's division with a combined time of 1:45:01 (36:01 and 1:09:00).

Setting the pace: Women's half marathon record holder Jessica Crate was back on the course again this year, but she was not looking to win any awards.

"This year it is all about giving back," said Crate, a 27-year-old from Melbourne. "I am out here to pace other runners."

Crate, who ran the Gasparilla's fastest marathon two years ago (1:20:06), hopes to make it to the 2016 Olympics, but for now she is happy just to help other runners set personal records.

A coach, nutritionist and sports marketer, Crate led runners through all four events over the race weekend.

"Pacing is a privilege and responsibility," she said. "Helping somebody else do well is one way we can all advance the sport."

She recently formed a not-for-profit organization, Giving Athletics Inc., that will help like-minded runners promote follow her lead. Learn more at marathonpacing.com.

"I'll be back racing again next year," she said. "So get ready for a showdown in 2014."

Comments
USF extends Mark Harlan’s contract

USF extends Mark Harlan’s contract

As expected, USF athletic director Mark Harlan has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the school through the 2020-21 school year.Harlan recently entered the final year of the original five-year deal he signed in March 2014 that paid hi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

The final days leading up to the NFL draft can be a busy time, but rarely do you call someone you trust from a team and say: "What can you tell me about the parrot?"Yes, the Bucs will have a parrot — specifically a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A surf champ from Florida’s West Coast? Believe it

A surf champ from Florida’s West Coast? Believe it

The surfers got on their boards, ready to ride the waves at New Smyrna Beach.These were not the conditions that left boards shattered or bodies battered. After all, this is the land of thigh-high surf. The peaks were well-defined but only produced ab...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Bucs are 22-42 under GM Jason Licht. Does he deserve another draft?

The Bucs are 22-42 under GM Jason Licht. Does he deserve another draft?

The Bucs have finished last in their division in three of the past four seasons.They have lost more games than all but four teams.They have not played in a single playoff game.Players have come and gone. So have coaches.But one man has overseen it al...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

For months, NFL fans have wondered what the Bucs might do with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, producing a wide range of answers, each with passionate support from some of their fans.But as draft nears, and as the interest level in a talented gro...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

On today's Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down the NFL draft with the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer.Farmer coordinates a mock draft with beat writers around the league, and it's usually one of the most accurate prognostications...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pitching, defense bring Carrollwood Day to the top in Class 3A

Pitching, defense bring Carrollwood Day to the top in Class 3A

TAMPA — The momentum for Carrollwood Day School's baseball team has grown as the kids have grown the past three or four years — stronger, faster and smarter.The Patriots, in fact, have grown into a relative beast, racking up the best reco...
Updated: 4 hours ago
How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

How the Lightning did its best work on the Devils short-handed

TAMPA — The Lightning rolled past the Devils in five games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series largely because the penalty kill became a beast, killing off 16 of 19, including the final 15 when down a man.Two of those three goals al...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Updated: 5 hours ago