In an unplanned battle of the sexes, Judy Maguire of Clearwater not only won her fourth consecutive race among her gender, but took the overall title at the Hog Hustle 5K in Dunedin.
Although Maguire took the early lead from Dunedin Stadium running alongside teenager Christa Benton of St. Petersburg, Tom Rempe of Tampa surged ahead approaching the one-mile mark. Rempe, a member of the cross country team at the University of Tampa, covered the first mile in 5 minutes, 36 seconds, with Maguire close behind.
Just before reaching Edgewater Drive, Maguire passed Rempe and increased the margin heading to Mile 2, which she reached in 11:21. Glancing over her shoulder at the last turn, Maguire cruised in with the win, her fourth in a row in the women's field, in a time of 18:02.
"I'm not used to being in that position during a race _ leading overall, so it was kind of strange," said Maguire, 41, winner of the 1999 Times Turkey Trot. "I just tried to run an even pace, and I did. I would like to have broken 18 minutes but no one pushed me."
Rempe found himself in a struggle for second as Darrell Edrich gradually closed the gap for the runner-up spot and took it down the homestretch.
However, that inspired Rempe, who mounted a dash of his own to retake the lead and prevail as first male by a second in 18:26.
Benton, 16, coming off a state Class A win in the 3,200-meter event for Keswick Christian, finished sixth overall in 18:49. She was followed by third-place woman Pam Byrne (19:22) of Land O'Lakes.
A field of 230 runners participated.
At the Safety Harbor Sprints 5K, 229 runners toed the starting line where another 40-plus competitor, Jeff Delie, 43, of Palm Harbor, overtook Perry Small of Fort Myers to win by 4 seconds in 16:38.
In the women's division, Laure Blume of Pinellas Park covered the first mile in 5:41 on the way to a first-place finish in 18:18. She was eighth overall.