JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The First Coast Cup crowned its winners on Saturday morning, with one familiar face.
Julie Stackhouse repeated as the winner of the Cup, while Ryan Speir was the male champ on a chilly and windy Saturday morning at the Gate River Run.
The award is given out annually to the top local finishers in the event. In the 43rd River Run, that went to Speir and Stackhouse.
There was some post-race confusion on Stackhouse‘s spot. She was actually the third-fastest local woman behind Lydia McRae (56:38) and Kristen Dixon (58:03). Race organizer Doug Allred said that rule that‘s been in place for the past 10 to 12 years states that it‘s the runner who crosses the line first and not necessarily the fastest time that earns the award. Stackhouse started with the elite runners and had the six-minute equalizer bonus. McRae and Dixon did not start in the elite pack.
Speir had a time of 48 minutes, 4 seconds, a mark that put him 22nd overall. Stackhouse turned in time of 58:52, which was 153rd overall.
“It was obviously good conditions for the run today, minus the wind,” Speir said. “I figured I would go out for the pace that I was shooting for for my top goal for today.
"And really at Mile 5, things just started clicking. Obviously, the big Green Monster at the end is a little bit of a hurdle to get over, but if you set yourself up for the first seven miles of the race, the rest of it just kind of falls into place. Very pleased today.”
The chill was noticeable on Saturday and not nearly as much of an influence on runners as the cutting wind was.
"The temperature was great, I love conditions like this. But the wind was a factor and I knew it right away. And in that women's field it was really small this year,” Stackhouse said. “I was kind of off the back right away and just trying to find someone out there. So we had a couple of other Florida girls. Kind of formed a little pack early and then it spread out quickly after the Main Street Bridge."
Marielle Hall won the women’s race in 48:52 and topped the male finishers with the six-minute equalizer. Ridouane Harroufi was the top male, running a 44:42.
“I just wanted to line up and I run for Brooks and my motto was run happy today,” Stackhouse said. “So, I really did. Just wanted to soak it all in, enjoy the crowds, enjoy the competition, enjoy the course. The conditions today though were quite different than last year.”