Monday, October 25, 2021

Naples Labor Day 5K Hosts World Record Holder

Submitted Photo | Maria Lamb (left) with Jeannie Rice, the world record holder in the half and full marathon in age 70-plus age group.

Congratulations to all the courageous 435-plus runners who ran the Labor Day 5K from Naples beautiful Lowdermilk Park. A large group of young high school students ran their personal best. But with the high humidity at the 7:30 AM start time, most runners just wanted to finish.

Congratulations to the Marco Island runners who finished strong: Mike and Hazel McNees, Charlie and Maria Lamb, the O’Donnell Family, the Fernandez Family, and the Alber Family.

On an overcast morning on Labor Day, September 2, 71-year-old runner Jeannie Rice joined hundreds of aspiring elite runners at the start line of the Gulf Coast Runners John Clay Labor Day 5K race in Naples. By 24 seconds with a time of 21:38, Jeannie Rice ran a faster time than the U.S. National Record in the 5K distance in a course that is officially certified by the USATF governing body. She has also broken the one-mile and the 10-mile national records.

At 71 years old, Jeannie Rice of Mentor, Ohio, a part-time Naples resident, continues to amaze the world of running. Rice is also a frequent participant of Marco’s Half Marathon Hill Run. Most recently, Rice added to her list of world records an age-group world record in the half marathon (13.1 miles). On August 10, 2019, Rice ran the Akron Half Marathon in a record time of 1:37:07 in the 70-plus category.

Rice already holds the age group world record for the marathon (26.2 miles) which she set at the Chicago Marathon in October 2018. Next on her list is to break her own world record in the upcoming Berlin, Tokyo or London marathons.

Rice first started running at age 35 to shed some weight she gained while visiting relatives in South Korea. Since then, she has been blazing the trail for women in competitive distance running.

Training for a world record is not a goal that comes easy even to the most disciplined athletes. For Rice, it means maintaining a mileage of 50 to 60 miles per week without getting injured.

Get ready and start training for the following upcoming events:

  • October 3: Gulf Coast Runners Corporate 5K Run
  • October 6: Elite Events Rocktoberfest 10 & 5K
  • October 26: Gulf Coast Runners Monster 5K
  • November 9: Gulf Coast Runners 10K


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