For the fifth year in a row, the Zooma Women’s Race Series kicked off at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium yesterday. The race was founded by Brae Blackley (pictured right, giving high-fives), from Arlington, with an inaugural race here in Annapolis five years ago. Brae left a career in corporate law to follow her dream for a national women’s event series that empowers women to live active, healthy, and happy. Brae founded ZOOMA in July 2007 working at a makeshift desk in a coffee shop. Now, ZOOMA is a growing national series of women’s running events, with a booming following among active women and an exciting line up of events in cities across the U.S.
There were more than 3,300 participants registered for yesterday’s event with 2,673 who started. There are two races to appeal to different levels of ability–a 10K and a more grueling half-marathon. While focused on women, the race is open to men as well and according to Blackley, men accounted for approximately 5% of the registrations.
Kathleen Green (pictured left) and her husband have participated in all five races. Kathleen has done three half-marathons and completed her second 10K with the series. The Greens live in DC and like to get out of the city. Green’s nephew attends the US Naval Academy and she really enjoys Annapolis, “the race is really well organized and, well, Annapolis is such a great city.”
The 10K was won by Sara Ellis with a time of 40:38 seconds. The first Annapolitan to cross the finish line was Lisa Ackerson with a time of 43:30. The half-marathon was won by Anthony Batty from York England with 1:25.56 and the first female finisher was Julianne Littmann-Viscardo with a time of 1:28.54.
We caught up with Anthony (pictured right, as he approached the finish line), an economist, and asked what drew him to Annapolis and to a women centric race and as it turns out, it was just good timing. He is a marathoner and is in the states for two weeks for a conference and was looking for something to do. “We are staying in Washington and I was looking for something to do while here and we wanted to see Annapolis, so I decided to give it a run.” After spending the day in Annapolis, Batty and his wife will be back in DC, then to Miami and up to New York City before headed back to England.
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