JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Christopher McCaffrey and Julie Stackhouse are the best 15K runners in town.
McCaffrey was the top local male runner at Saturday’s Gate River Run, finishing in 50 minutes, 59 seconds. Stackhouse took top local female honors, crossing in 57 minutes.
Their reward, the First Coast Cup, an award given to the top local finishers in the River Run.
McCaffrey said that recognition out of the national field is an amazing feeling, bolstered by the fact that he got to wind out the race with another local in Stackhouse.
“It was one of the ones that you always look forward to it, you hope you’re healthy,” McCaffrey said. “Things can go right, things can go wrong and you just come out here and no matter what, you’re going to have fun. ..."
Stackhouse taking First Coast Cup honors was a remarkable effort considering her last month. A two-time winner of the Donna Half Marathon, Stackhouse was in third place roughly a mile before the finish of that race when she was attacked by a bull-terrier mix.
She was bitten on the arm by the dog, but finished the event in fourth place. Stackhouse received six stitches after the attack.
She said she had only one training run since the Donna and was touch-and-go to run in the Gate.
“Really hard effort to get to the start line today, but I have an amazing team that was helping me get here today, just very grateful for that,” Stackhouse said. “This is my favorite day of the year, every year so I had to at least line up and give it my best.”
Jacksonville's Alejandro Hernandez (51:20) and St. Augustine's Andrew Smith (51:24) finished behind McCaffrey for the First Coast Cup.
Crystal Davis (57:49) Lydia McRae (59:03), both from Jacksonville, finished behind Stackhouse for the local women.
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