Race day, March 17, was also St. Patrick’s Day and green was the color of the day! Not quite the way people celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the 7th century when the original color was blue.
It was slightly cooler weather with early cloud cover which was a great relief for the over 400 runners ready to battle some of the legendary hills of Marco Island. For the half marathon portion, the runners started behind the Shoppes of Marco along relatively flat tree lined streets for the first three miles as they made their way to the Stan Gober Bridge in Goodland.
After descending the Stan Gober Bridge runners headed into Key Marco and were greeted with a stretch of gently rolling hills in a gated community of beautiful homes with grand vistas of the mangroves. Key Marco’s elevation of up to 43 feet above sea level also tested most of the runners. Runners came to check out these hills and they did not disappoint!
Runners were anxious to have a quick glimpse of what remains of Captain Horr’s house, post-Irma. Key Marco used to be named Horr Island with the famed Captain John T. Horr (1843-1926) building his two-story family retreat on this location. He also started a pineapple plantation, a small citrus grove and packing plant.
At mile 11, runners left Key Marco and headed out the gate at San Marco Road for the two-mile race to the finish line!
The race was sponsored by ML Meade of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty and Fred Kramer of Kramer Huy, P.A. Proceeds from The Marco Island Half Marathon will benefit local charities such as the Marco Police Foundation, Marco Fire Rescue Foundation, Marco Island Parks and Recreation, the Marco Island Charter Middle School, Greater Marco YMCA and Marco Patriots.
The race attracted over 400 runners. In the 5K, there were 128 female finishers with 75 male finishers. In the Half Marathon, there were 114 female finishers and 100 male finishers. Congratulations to all.
Save the Date:March 15, 2020, Marco Island Half Marathon. Early registration is now open.
Congratulations to all the Marco Island finishers in both the 5K and Half Marathon.
5K Top 3 Female Overall Finishers:
- First Place:Katie McCarver (Miami, FL) – 21.11
- Second Place:Amy Carter (Frisco, TX) – 23:26
- Third Place:Heather Smith (Portsmouth, NH) – 23:35
5K Top 3 Male Overall Finishers:
- First Place: John Alahouzos (Port Charlotte, FL) – 19.11
- Second Place: Chris McCarver (Tampa, FL) – 19.27
- Third Place: Gavin Pascale (Naples, FL) – 20.59
Half Marathon Top 3 Female Finishers:
- First Place: Meghan Blackstone (Bristow, VA) – 1:28:54
- Second Place: Indiana Ripoll (Naples, FL) – 1:39.12
- Third Place: Emily Lobaugh (Naples, FL) – 1:40.26
Half Marathon Top 3 Male Finishers:
- First Place: Oliver Vrambout (Bayport, MN) – 1:16:12
- Second Place: Matthew Higgs (Pittsburgh, PA) – 1:20:51
- Third Place: Edward Blankenship (Naples, FL) – 1:26:25
Photos by Maria Lamb