Thousands turned out for the Space Coast Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Relay, presented by Publix. Video by Tim Shortt. Posted 11/26/17.
COCOA – If Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season, the Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon seals the deal. And Sunday morning, David Kilgore, Gaby Herra-Arroyo, Brian Atkinson and Holly Davis sealed the 46th annual event.
Kilgore crushed the field to take his third straight Space Coast Marathon, crossing the line at Riverfront Park in two hours, 30 minutes, 36 seconds, well ahead of the Brazilian flag-waving Adriano Bastos of Sao Paulo (2:41.27) and Arnaud Enjabert of New York (2:46.42)
At the end of the 26.2-mile race, the Palm Bay resident and Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy graduate who also won Thursday’s initial Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K, was not even breathless.
“We had nice weather and (the race was) not too bad. It was one of my best marathons ever, I think. It’s always nice to come home to a Running Zone event because you know it will be well-organized and fun,” said the former cross country and 1600-meters state champion, now a cinematographer on a television series, “Castle Rock.”
Kilgore may have taken his victory calmly, but Herra-Arroyo was elated, kissing and draping herself in the first-place finisher’s ribbon after she crossed the line.
“I came from Costa Rica and yes, I loved the race,” said Herra-Arroyo, who led throughout and finished at 2:59.59. “I had no problem.”
Violetta Yazlovskaya of Mims finished second (3:01.39) and Keara McGraw of Tampa third at 3:15.34.
Pam Carr of Oviedo, who finished at 3:15.34, was the female and Eduardo Souza of Coconut Creek (2:53.08) were female and male masters winners in the marathon.
The half marathon results were especially appropriate for the holiday weekend, family affair as they were.
Brian Atkinson, one of the greats of Brevard County track and cross country — he won state championships three times in cross country and track at Melbourne High School – smoked the field at 1:09.10, ahead of Derek Beckett of West Melbourne (1:14.22) and John Davis of Viera (1:16.47).
“It was really good and we had great weather,” said Atkinson, a Duke University graduate who is about to finish medical school in Tampa. “I always love coming back to do the marathon because it is one of the best-managed races, which makes it more fun.”
Davis is the husband of Holly Davis, who won the women’s half at 1:19.07, followed by Kayla Atkinson, Brian’s wife, who finished at 1:20.40. Nicole Rozario of Tampa was third at 1:23.17.
“Holly was doing well as she came around the last turn,” John Davis, Space Coast Runners’ reigning, multiple-time Runner of the Year, said as his wife neared the finish, less inclined to talk about his own finish than hers.
“I guess it wasn’t too bad, considering I ran a half marathon three weeks after a marathon,” Holly Davis said. “It made me feel a little aggressive, but I led the whole way. I ran with Shane Streufert (of Viera) and Steve Hedgespeth (of West Melbourne) and had a strong finish.”
Masters winners in the half marathon were Alexander Barnsteiner of Germany (1:17.27) and Theresa Heisel of Windermere (1:32.52).
The event’s prominence as holiday as well as sporting event continues to grow, as city officials estimated that about 2,000 people watched more than 6,000 people run in Cocoa Village, where representatives of the Cocoa Police Department distributed coffee and hot cider for donations and at least one business, Ossorio Bakery & Café, opened early to handle the demand.
“This is just a great annual event,” Mayor Henry Parrish said. “We love the marathon.”
For complete results, go to www.spacecoastmarathon.com.