2016 CRITZ TYBEE RUN FEST: Running in the Wind: Price, Fields wins overall titles; SCAD dominates – Sports – Savannah Morning News

TYBEE ISLAND – Sprints in the wind aren’t usually done on purpose by an athlete, but the conditions on Saturday morning on Tybee Island were anything but usual. Despite winds blowing up to 23 mph, over 2,000 runners flocked to the eighth annual Critz Tybee Run Fest.

A unique challenge, the two-day event is made up of five different races that when combined add up to the distance of a full marathon, 26.2 miles.

When the times were counted after the final event, Tim Price, 26, of Bluffton, SC, and Minna Fields, 22, of Nashville, Tenn., Had compiled the lowest overall times in the male and female brackets. , respectively. Price’s composite marathon time was 2 hours, 36 minutes, 43 seconds; and Fields ran a combined 3: 06.05.

With relatively few participants competing in all five races, Price was virtually assured of the men’s best overall time before the Lighthouse Pizza 2.8-Mile Beach Run. After finishing fourth at North Beach Bar and Grill 5K on Friday night, Price’s third place at 10K Optim Healthcare and seventh at Chu’s half marathon gave him nearly 8 minutes ahead of the final two events.

With just 3.8 miles to go, there was little chance that Price would be caught. Robbie Horstman, 27, of St. Louis compiled an impressive 2: 42.00 to finish second overall, but the odds had to be on Price. That’s made 31 marathons for Price, including four wins since February of last year.

Despite this being his first time at Tybee Run Fest, Price said he had no problem with the semi-eccentric format of the event, having competed in two composite marathons. In fact, he seemed to revel in it.

“I’m running for the vibe,” he said after the final race, a Corona in one hand and a handful of medals in the other.

“This community of runners is amazing,” said Price. “That’s what interests me and that’s what keeps me going. Winning is just another bonus for me.”

Some bonuses. Despite high winds that really never ceased throughout the day, Price ran every race except one Saturday wearing nothing but his American flag print socks, shoes and shorts.

He noted that dealing with strong winds while running was nothing new to him, having grown up in the Low Country.

“That’s what it is, you know? Either you block it or you fall apart because of it,” he said. “Everyone has to face it. It’s not like the wind is playing favorites.”

Field Day

After winning the women’s 5K on Friday, Fields was definitely happy and a little surprised. She didn’t look like someone who had come to her first Tybee Run Fest to win an overall title.

Something obviously boosted Fields’ competitive spirit on Saturday, and she ran a 42:10 in the 10K, good enough for third place and only behind the SCAD riders who weren’t running in the entire event list.

A seventh place finish in the half marathon for Fields saw eventual overall finalist Hope Treece, 37, of Savannah, take the composite lead about 30 seconds before the final two events.

Fields’ (21: 26.81) win in the beach race tipped the total times in his favor, although Treece was second on the sand, clocking 22: 26.31.

To seal the deal, Fields ran 6: 29.23 in the 1-mile race, a fifth time, and Treece was seventh (7: 07.26) in the women’s division in that final race of the weekend. .

As the race organizers gathered the remaining runners and spectators at the Tybrisa Street roundabout to hand out medals, neither Fields nor Treece knew who had won. The two runners only knew how close they were to each other, swapping finishes and times since Friday night.

Fields’ victory is perhaps the most impressive as she had no marathon experience prior to this weekend, having only run three half marathons in her life.

Maybe the nap she took between Saturday’s half marathon and the beach run made the difference.

“A good nap. I almost slept during the rewards,” said Fields before resuming his lead on the sand.

In what turned out to be the decisive race, she said she gave up for the first half mile and tried to find a bigger group for the draft. Returning to Tybrisa Street, Fields said the race was “so nice” because the wind was finally with the riders.

Like Tim Price, Fields differed from most participants in his take on the fragmented marathon and really liked it.

“I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would,” she said before heading to a Savannah restaurant to celebrate with friends.

While Price was the only winner brave – or crazy, depending on who you ask – enough to run shirtless, he and Fields certainly had some competition in the individual events thanks to a swarm of lightning-fast bees.

Dominant SCAD

If Saturday afternoon’s performances were any indicator of how Savannah College of Art and Design coach Patrick Reagan’s long-distance runners are going to behave this season, he has to be smiling.

When the final race wrapped up at this year’s Run Fest, Reagan had a total of 14 top-three rankings for his 2016 track and field roster across the 10K, half marathon and mile run fields.

It is 14 first places out of the 18 possible in these three races.

Perhaps most impressive was a clear sweep in the final event, the YMCA 1 Mile, in which Bees passed under the arch of the Fleet Feet balloon on Tybrisa Street and finished 1-2-3 in the male and female divisions. Five of these six SCAD riders logged less than 6 hours.

Sophomore Kyler Jourdan, from Fredericksburg, Va., Sprinted for the win (5: 07.75), just 2 seconds ahead of two other Bees, rookie Canaan Kitterman (5: 09.76) and compatriot Linden Weitz (5: 09.92).

For Jourdan, the victory over his teammates was soft, whatever the margin.

“I really didn’t expect to win this event against some of these guys,” he said at the finish line. “I came here just to have fun and practice, but yeah, you could say it’s just a little rewarding to beat some of the guys on my team.”

Caroline Cook, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., Who studies advertising at SCAD, was the first runner to cross the finish line, and her 5: 36.93 placed her fourth overall.

“Fortunately I had my boys in front of me,” Cook joked as she and her teammates gathered to congratulate each other after the race.

Freshmen Diana Gorin, 19, and Annika Hock, 21, took second and third, respectively, to complete SCAD’s mile sweep. Gorin ran a 5:48.15 and Hock a 6: 02.37.

In the 10K, which kicked off Saturday’s race list, the SCAD riders were equally impressive. 21-year-old juniors Matt Smith (31: 06.14) and Ace Brown (31: 28.35) were first and second, respectively, while Price and Horstman were far third and fourth.

“As soon as I got out of the car this morning I had to get back in shape because of the cold and the wind,” Smith said. “But when the pressure is on, you just have to get moving. Once you’re rolling, you can’t look back.”

Brown won this race at Run Fest 2015.

In pursuit of Lotti

SCAD sophomore Lotti Zeiler, 19, won the women’s 10km with a time of 38: 51.94, the ninth fastest overall. The Munich, Germany native won this race in 2015 (37:54), so another victory was her goal.

“Today was difficult because it was very windy,” said Zeiler, who admitted she wanted to win despite the difficult conditions. “My goal should be nothing less.”

Teammate Courtney Pansza, 19, of Phoenix, Ariz., Battled a sprained ankle to finish second (41: 56.51). Her goal was to break 40 minutes, but decided to do what she could, given the slight injury.

“It was fun running around with boys and trying to chase Lotti,” Pansza said.

The SCAD runners then swept the men’s half marathon, with graduate student and assistant coach Ben Brown, 34, finishing first (1: 11: 53.42), second Will Glaser second (1:13: 38.36) and junior Sebastian O’Dell third (1: 14: 48.51).

Sara Morrison, 25, of Smyrna, won the women’s half marathon (1: 30: 47.29), returning to run in the Run Fest for only the second time. She first competed at Tybee eight years ago, when she was in her final year of high school.

Morrison noted the strong winds as well as the fact that she ran alone for much of the race.

“I had a really good group of guys for the first half mile, and then they started running 6:20 am, and I wasn’t running at that pace,” she said.

Remarks

The festivities kicked off Friday night with the North Beach Bar and Grill 5K ending in the dark beneath the Tybee Lighthouse as runners and families enjoyed Brunswick Stew under the batteries of Fort Screven to fight the temperatures that brought on dropped within 40 degrees.

Over 30 event sponsor Byrd’s Cookies employees and their families came to run the 5K, wearing “Running is for the Byrd’s! shirts and accompanied by Crumbles, the company’s cookie jar mascot, who turns one in March.

Saturday’s full race list started at 7 a.m. with the 10k. Runners in all races then ran the half marathon at 8:30 a.m., the 2.8 mile beach run at noon, and a one mile final at 1 p.m.

The race has been sponsored by Dale Critz Jr. and Critz BMW since 2009, but it wasn’t until 2012 that event organizers, including the late Robert Espinoza, decided to adopt the current five-race format.

Revenue from this year’s event has yet to be tallied, but before this year the numbers were already staggering. From 2012 to 2015, the Run Fest raised over $ 440,000 for local donations and grants, including a scholarship to SCAD and Armstrong State.

Event organizers said on Saturday that they plan to release their 2016 product numbers in the coming days.

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