2017 Female Runner of the YearPresented by Paula O’Neill, January 14, 2018
I met this year’s Female Runner of the Year about two years ago at a time when she was looking to make changes in her life, and I was trying to recruit a new member to run for my racing team, the TallaFASTies. This fortuitous meeting couldn’t have come at a better time for us both. We all know there are no finer people to add to your life than runners, and as it turned out, this runner was fast, and she just kept getting faster as our friendship grew and as she became an integral part of our team.
2017 was a banner year for this runner as she honed her skills and PR’d at all distances from the mile to the Ultra, winning races or placing first in her Age Group in almost every race she entered. Some of her impressive stats include a blazing fast 5:39 mile at Breakfast on the Track; helping GWTC sweep almost all the trophies at this year’s Gate to Gate with a female winning time of 27:29; running a 19:37 5K PR at the Bushwacker race in Pensacola, winning third overall female, only to drive back to St. George Island later that evening to win overall female at the Sizzler. Her best 10K time is 41:24; her best 15K is 1:12:01; and her best 20K time is 1:38:32 at the Pine run for a second-place female finish. This runner of the year enjoys half marathons and has run 5 in 2017, all ranging in the 1:30s, with her PR being 1:30:08 at the Old Port Half in Maine, for a third place overall female win. But most impressive have been the races in the latter part of the year. I was able to witness her very first attempt at the marathon distance where she ran an impressive time of 3:26:02 at the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon, qualifying for Boston 2019 with over 8 minutes to spare. Finally, this talented Female Runner of the Year ended the year with a 50K win at the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic in Wakulla Springs with a time of 4:15:24.
As I mentioned earlier, this runner of the year joined my TallaFASTies racing team and lead us to wins in the Springtime and Palace Saloon races. Now, on a personal note, although I never had children of my own, I feel as though these delightful young women on my team are a part of my family, and this year’s Female Runner of the Year has affectionately dubbed me MammaFastie.
So, with a mother’s pride and a heart full of love, may I present to you GWTC’s 2017 Female Runner of the Year, Katie Sack.