A pair of first-time entrants introduced themselves to the Rattlesnake Run with victories on Saturday morning. Ron Nagle of St. Petersburg cruised the 5-mile course 27 minutes, 8.75 seconds, _ 29 seconds faster than the the runner-up, Terry Fluke of Tampa.
Nagle's teammate in the Forerunners Club, Mary Manus, was the top female finisher in 33:21.87.
As Saturday's sun came up, an estimated 288 runners took off for the start of the race. Nagle led the pack back into San Antonio on a cool, comfortable morning for running.
"The course was a little hilly, compared to where I'm from," Nagle said after he cooled down. "I actually liked the hills because when you go up, you can go down and make up what you lost going up. And I liked running out in the country like that."
Nagle said the 5-mile distance isn't unusual for his four-year racing career, but Saturday's time was "about 20 seconds slower than usual," due to the hills. The 29-year-old runner took command over halfway through the race.
"I was running with Fluke, who's a pretty good runner," Nagle recalled. "I stayed with him until about (the 3-mile mark). Then I heard him breathing hard like he was fading a bit, so I took off and kept on going."
Manus claimed the second victory of her three-year competitive racing life. She said she did not have any particular strategy.
"I'm not in the mode yet of looking ahead for females," Manus said. "I just run and reel them in."