In the Daytona 500 they call it a slingshot move. In the Matanzas 5000, it’s simply called a finishing kick. Ian La Mere stalked Garrett Kenyon for the final mile of the Matanzas 5K Saturday morning, then passed him right at the finishing tape to win the event in a time of 14:07, one second ahead of Kenyon.
In the Daytona 500 they call it a slingshot move. In the Matanzas 5000, it’s simply called a finishing kick.
Ian La Mere stalked Garrett Kenyon for the final mile of the Matanzas 5K on Saturday morning, then passed him right at the finishing tape to win the event in a time of 14:07, one second ahead of Kenyon.
“He took the lead away from me at two miles,” said La Mere, competing as part of the Hansons-Brooks team out of Rochester Hills, Michigan. “He was running away from me, so I guess I kind of switched gears. I thought ‘Well, he’s in front so I better chase him down.’ I’m glad I had a kick to match his.
“There was a strategy to wait until we came around the final turn there, but it was more like ‘Whoop, I better go now.’ It was a fun race. I loved the course. It was really cool running along the bay and then coming back through the neighborhoods.”
Kenyon, racing for House Theory out of Beaver Dams, N.Y., thought he had the race won.
“It was a great race,” said the Colorado Springs, Colorado, native. “St. Augustine is a beautiful place. The first mile there was a pack of like six or seven of us. We were really tight. We kind of worked together. The second mile it kind of slowed us up a little bit, and so the final mile three of us just kind of broke away. I pushed the pace, took the lead a little early. I thought I had it. It’s all good, though. It will get me ready for the next race.”
La Mere wasn’t the only Hansons-Brooks runner in the event. The top three women finishers came down from Michigan with him, including a Florida native who won.
Anne-Marie Blaney grew up in Ocala and attended UCF. She finished in 15:53.
“We came down here for some good weather and good training,” she said. “Our coach has always been a fan of this race. It’s an awesome flat course, which I’m not used to in Michigan. I’m from Florida, so it’s nice to be back in the Motherland. It ended up being a real fast race. It was a really fast course and it was really fun to run.”
Second place women’s finisher Chelsea Blaase was four seconds behind her teammate, and 24 seconds ahead of third-place teammate Olivia Pratt.
“We all work together in practice every day and encourage each other,” said Blaase. “It’s nice to have a team atmosphere like that. We worked out in Orlando and came down here Thursday night.”
Head coach Kevin Hanson had more than one reason for bringing his team down south.
“I love St. Augustine,” he said. “My father lived here for a period and my brother got married here.
“We come down here to compete for the footing more than anything else. The temperature we can dress for, but if it’s sloppy footing we can’t get the work in. Also, if it’s cold you have too many layers on and it’s harder to run fast. Being down here in shorts, being able to sweat, makes it a lot more fun.”
Race director Reuben Franklin said they were able to top last year’s record number of competitors (985).
“We were just at 1,000,” he said. “It was a great day for a race and that finish was exactly what we were hoping for.”
St. Joseph won the trophy for the St. Johns County high school with the most runners at the starting line.