Ocala Distance Project Beats All But 3 Adult Teams at Ragnar

On the first weekend of December, runners from the Ocala Distance Project traveled to Alafia State Park in Hillsborough county to compete in Ragnar Trail Florida. This eight-person relay attracts runners from all over the country, who camp and take turns running a total of nearly 16 miles each.

The Ocala Distance Project was the youngest team to compete this weekend. The team was composed of two 6th graders (Christopher Taylor and Jacob McGovern), one 7th grader (Jaylen Blackburn), three 8th graders ( Alex Lammens, Collin Moore, and Jacob Rogers) and a 9th grader (Gabriel Bloodworth). On top of being the youngest team to toe the line, they also had to compete one athlete short. In doing so, Collin Moore, Alex Lammens and Jacob McGovern all had to pick up an extra loop causing each of them to run over 20 miles. Despite the challenges, the team finished in 19 hours and 1 minute. Their time placed them 4th overall out of 170 teams. They also won the high school division even though 6 of their 7 runners are still in middle school.

The Ocala Distance Project is a youth running team based in Ocala. According to rankings on www.RunFloridaRun.com they have one of the best club teams in the state of Florida. Their coach, Darrin DeTorres, was named the elementary school girls coach of the year after his girl’s team won the FLYRA Elementary School State Championships. For more information about the program, people can go to www.ocaladistanceproject.com.