The 2016 First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon was a bit different from its predecessors. The race had a new high-profile sponsor in St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the course through Sarasota was different.
Nearly 2,200 people reported to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Sunday for the race and Jonathan Mott, a 29-year-old from Babson Park, finished first with a time of 1:15:54 -- 5:48 mile pace. Less than a minute later, Bradenton's Christopher Trebilcock, 27, crossed the finish line in 1:16:50.
The top overall female was Jacki Wachtel, a 36-year-old from New Port Richey. She ran the half marathon in 1:23:51 and finished seventh overall. Each gender was also broken into 15 age groups, ranging from 2-11 to 75-98. The oldest participant was Edward Soderberg, a 79-year-old from Easton, Conn., and the youngest were Josalyn Wright and Matthew Lesbirel, two 10-year-olds from Florida.
Although Trebilcock finished second overall, he didn't win his age group. Instead, the only winner from Manatee County was 14-year-old Tanner Toler, who won the 12-14 age group.
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Super Heroes flock to Benderson
Saturday's 5K at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota will have a bit of a different atmosphere. There will be the typical certified 5K and kids fun run at 8:30 a.m., but there will also be Hulks and Captain Americas and Spider-Men and Wonder Women.
Trophies won't just be for the fastest 5K runners in each age category. There will also be awards for best constume, fastest in-costume runner and, for Avengers fans, largest team.
Gladiators' winning streak continues
The Southwest Florida Gladiators are still rolling. The Gladiators, an adult amateur football team that plays in the Florida Football Alliance, cruised to a 36-12 win against the Miami Spartans on Saturday in Miami for their third consecutive victory. Southwest Florida is now 5-2 following a 2-2 start.
The Gladiators play the second leg of a three-game road trip in Orlando on Saturday against the Orlando Rattlers. After a bye the following week, Southwest Florida plays one more road game before returning to Lakewood Ranch Park for the regular-season finale against the Tampa Bay Patriots at Bulldog Field.
Southwest Florida is the defending FFA champion and is currently second in the North Division, two games behind the Patriots and in position for a wild-card berth.