SEBRING - A throng of speedsters swarmed the track at Sebring's International Raceway Saturday morning, but they weren't racing cars.
Instead, they came for the fifth annual Run the Track event, presented by the Sebring Hall of Fame and Gold's Gym. The yearly event allows participants to run on the same race track which hosts the 12 Hours of Sebring each March.
"This is the biggest turnout we've ever had," Sebring Mayor-elect and co-race organizer John Shoop said. "There was well over 200 people here today."
The event serves as a fundraiser for the race track's Hall of Fame, which includes racing legends like Roger Penske and Mario Andretti among it's inductees. Organizers switched from holding golf tournaments to footraces in an effort to draw more people. The change appears to have paid off.
"We wanted to do something that could get people out to the track," John Barben, another race organizer, said. "We know not everybody can make it out to the track, so we wanted to give people a chance to see what's going on out here and get a look at it up close. This year has been a great draw."
Zackary Durastanti was the event's overall winner, traversing the 3.78 mile course in a sizzling 22 minutes, 48.8 seconds. Mickey Hooke was the Male Masters champion in 23:06.4 and Michael Stewart captured the Male Grandmasters class at 28:49.4.
In the women's bracket, Regan Davenport trotted into first place with a blistering time of 24:33.8. Nancy Drach was the Female Masters winner at 29:27.3, while Nina Roudebush won the Female Grandmasters class in 34:52.
Other impressive times on the women's side included Kinsley White's stellar 29:22.1 first place finish in the 8-10 age group. Hailey Bryant followed White in second at 34:52.4, and Madison Kinchin rounded out the top three with a time of 35:58.
In the 35-39 class, Stephanie White breezed to first place in 27:02.1 Theresa Juliano was second at 30:31.7 while Laura Van Fleet came in third at 31:08.8.
Brenda Rickert continued her domination of the 55-59 age group, cruising into first place with a time of 32:56.7. Debi Marine placed second in 34:38.8 and Karen Ford was third in 34:40.2.
Mary Plott and Connie Large were the only two participants in the 65-69 class. Plott finished in 44:54, while Large came in at 59:05.9.
The men's bracket was also filled with a bevy of notable times.
Zander Durastanti won the 8-10 age group with a time of 25:25.6. Zackary Van Fleet was second in 27:27.8 and Daniel Lynch was third at 31:26.6.
In the 11-13 class, Chandler Gowan galloped into first at 23:38.1. Keegan White was behind him in 26:44.3 and Matthew Andrews finished third in 29:21.7.
Sean Brown cruised into first place in the 40-44 age group. He finished with a time of 23:23.2 to blow past Eric Rankin and William Bitdenhorst, who finished with times of 31:13.8 and 31:53.7, respectively.
Dave Drach edged Steve Marquart in the 55-59 class. Drach finished in 25:11.7 to Marquart's 27:31.7. Rickey Nicholson was third in 28:43.5.
In the 75-79 age group, Harold Smith paced the field with a time of 34:16.9. Hugh Beuscher was second in 37:34.2 and Dick Sive was third at 39:29.3.