2017 Highlights: Records Crumble and “Lost Runner” Finds the Finish Line
Runners on St. Armands Circle
Thousands of runners flocked to Sarasota this past March to take part in the 12th annual running of the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay event. Known for its massive dolphin finisher medal, participants were in for a treat – most especially the overall winners – as perfect race conditions led to multiple records being broken and one wayward runner finding her way safely to the finish line.
March 19th was a big day for our overall male and female winners. Jon Mott, an old friend of the race (holding the finish record for the past two years) not only broke both the men’s and overall record but he did so by surpassing his own prior record at this event by a little under two minutes. The Babson Park native and Fit2Run teammate completed the half marathon in an astonishing 1:14:03. While a dedicated and earnest runner- having recently placed 47th in the Olympic Trials last year- Mott states it was all in good fun. As he states to the Herald Tribune:
“I’m just out here to have fun… I have friends who run here and I run for the Fit2Run team — a pretty big sponsor — so we have a bunch of guys out here as well.”
Our female winner was not far behind, defending her title and crushing her own previous record by a minute, thirty-eight. Jackie Wachtel broke the women’s record by finishing the half marathon in 1:22:15. While she may not have been training for the Olympics, she did run with a training partner this year. She credits her partner for having given her the stamina and strength to finish stronger and faster. When asked what brought her back to Sarasota in 2017, Watchel from New Port Richey states that she enjoys the organization of the event.
“Once you get here it’s easy to get your stuff lined up and go. The course is very well-marked.”
Wander No More
The 2017 event could not have happened without the hundreds of energetic volunteers who joined our runners at the venue and on course. Our volunteers were up early and stayed through the early afternoon in their various roles in order to best provide an exceptional experience for our runners.
Lastly – and speaking of exceptional experiences- one runner who was visibly content to cross the finish line was Melissa Kitcher of North Port, FL. Kitcher made headlines in December when she got lost for several hours during a trail run course. Thanks to the well-marked course, camaraderie from fellow runners and her exceptional perseverance, she finished safe and sound under 4 hours.
Male Overall Results
|Jon Mott||Babson Park, FL||01:14:03|
|Bryan Huberty||Miami Beach, FL||01:15:19|
|Jeremy Bryan||Jacksonville, FL||01:17:17|
Female Overall Results
|Jacki Wachtel||New Port Richey, FL||01:22:15|
|Kathy Repperger||Cape Coral, FL||01:29:35|
|Jennifer Williams||Philadelphia, PA||01:33:12|
Relay Overall Results
|Black Magic||Sarasota, FL||01:32:47|
Online registration for the March 18, 2018 event opens today.