By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
There is a first time for everything.
The Grand Canyon University Running Club ran their first race of the season at the 42nd Annual 3TV Phoenix 10k and Half Marathon Sunday through downtown Phoenix. For many of the GCU runners, this was their first-ever race at this scale, but they did not let that phase them.
Many of the GCU runners had not raced at this type of level before, but were ready for the new and exciting challenge. Lopes freshman Jorge Castro ran his first 10k road race, and placed third in his age group (Male 16-19), and placed 20th out of all 955 runners with an impressive time of 39:04.
“I was so nervous before the race, since it was my first time ever racing in the 10k race, but I knew everyone there supporting me had my back, so I was confident,” said Castro. “The fact that I got of 20th out of 955 runners makes me feel amazing. This is a nice accomplishment, but next time, I want to shoot for the top 15 because I want to improve every race.”
“Since the start of this year’s running club, I have seen a lot of growth out of everyone who has joined since day one,” said Lopes Head Coach Kim Sims. “Most of the team are new to road racing and were excited for their first race. The 3TV Phoenix 5K/10K was a great race to kick off the season.”
The race itself is one of the largest races held in the southwestern United States, and this year, 2,330 people came together to reach personal bests, or to accomplish a long-time goal.
GCU Running Club 5k Top Places
Lopes freshman Ryan McQuillan placed 6th in his age group (Male 16-19) and placed 13th overall out of 617 runners with the time of 17:25.
Lopes freshman Kirsten Fotieo placed 2nd in her age group (Female 16-19) and placed 67th overall out of 617 runners with the time of 22:06.
Lopes freshman Kristen Barnett placed 9th in her age group (Female 16-19) and placed 116th out of 617 runners with the time of 24:38.
Lopes junior Andrew Marchbanks placed 5th in his age group (Male 20-24) and placed 96th overall out of 617 runners with the time of 23:25.
Lopes junior Reyba Calcano placed 3rd in her age group (Female 20-24) and placed 224th out of 617 runners with the time of 29:55.
Lopes senior Veronica Ortega placed 4th in her age group (Female 20-24) and placed 237 out of 617 runners with the time of 30:33.
Sims herself also participated in the race with her runners. Sims ran the 5k and placed 10th out of 45 in her age group (Female 45-49) placing 135th out of 617 runners with the impressive time of 25:34.
“I enjoy sharing my love for running while I coach and race alongside my team,” said Sims. “The team pushes me to run harder, especially since most of my team is about 30+ years younger than me. Not bad for bouncing back from a torn tendon.”
The Lopes will race again in Scottsdale for the Annual Hot Chocolate 15k and 5k in December.