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On Steamy Morning, Grateful Petrick Inspires at Miles For Moffitt

By JOHN GREGG, TB Reporter

Former Olympic Trials Marathoner Sara Petrick wins the 5K and 10K races on behalf of her dad at the 11th annual event.

TAMPA — Sara Petrick has been competing in and winning running events since middle school. She has competed for an elite college program at the University of Florida, won Gasparilla twice and run in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. But Saturday’s Miles For Moffitt at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa may have been her most important race of all.

“I was pretty much running today on behalf of my father who has faced some struggles at Moffitt. He was out on the course today,” a visibly emotional Petrick said after completing the 10K, the first of two races she won at the 11th annual event.

The 29-year-old, who has been on an extended hiatus from serious training for several years now, won the 10K in a time of 39:58, before coming back 45 minutes later to win the 5K event in 20:10. In the process she added a third victory, the overall win in the 15K Challenge. Her combined time of 1:00:09 beat second place finisher, Brett Lawrie of Tampa, by more than 2 minutes.

“I kept in mind how fortunate I am to be out there,” Petrick said. “I was thinking of him pretty much the entire time. We’ve faced a lot over the past year or so.”

At the conclusion of the 5K, Petrick was still not finished. She then joined her dad and 30 other members of the Apollo Beach Team, whom she represented during her races, for the one-mile walk.

Petrick’s inspiring tribute to her father was the perfect marriage of what Miles for Moffitt has grown to become: a large, extraordinary community event that raises money for the Moffitt Center and cancer research and a race that attracts elite local talent.

Petrick was not the only former Gasprilla winner in attendance. Fit2Run teammates Jon Mott and Austin (A.J.) Richmond, who have been regular winners at the race for several years, were both on hand Saturday. Mott took the overall victory in the 10K event in a time of 31:52, while Richmond won the 5K in 15:27. On a morning where the heat index was already in the high 80s by 8 a.m., Mott and Richmond did not let the hot, humid conditions faze them and both won their respective events handily.

“I don’t know if it was just a bad day, but the humidity was bad. That was really a big factor. I felt like I was sucking air from the start,” said Mott.

“We knew it would be hot. It’s May in Florida, there’s no getting around it,” added Richmond. “This is a great race and they put on a really great event, so you just have to take the conditions as they come and take your time with a grain of salt.”

Tracy Smith of Valrico won the wheelchair division in 24:53, while Tampa residents Larry Smart and Que Lambert were the Masters winners in the 10k event. Also present was Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who as part of an ongoing partnership between the team and Miles For Moffitt, was again representing Team Longo which raised a total of $12,350 dollars. Longoria addressed the crowd and then participated in the one- mile walk with wife Jaime Edmondson.

In total, there were 4,754 runners and walkers in this year’s event and to date, $566,509 has been raised for cancer research and the Moffitt Center by 283 teams of participants. For complete race results see: http://endurancesportstiming.com/miles-for-moffitt-2016/

(Sara Petrick is shown in the accompanying photo after winning two Moffit races. Photo courtesy of John Gregg.)

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On Steamy Morning, Grateful Petrick Inspires at Miles For Moffitt
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On Steamy Morning, Grateful Petrick Inspires at Miles For Moffitt
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Former Olympic Trials Marathoner Sara Petrick wins the 5K and 10K races on behalf of her dad at the 11th annual event.
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Tampa Bay Reporter
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