Marco hills ready to challenge runners

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Gulf Coast Runners Marco 5 Mile Hill Run.

For the 30th year the hills of Marco will again challenge runners, locally and from around the country, on Dec. 17.

The race begins on South Barfield Avenue, near the Wesley United Methodist Church at 8 a.m. A record 225 runners completed the race in 2010. Runners came from as far as Costa Rica, California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Maryland.

Expected back are last year’s overall male winner, Kurt Roeser of Naples and overall female, Kacy Smith of Estero.

In the course of the race runners will traverse the unique Marco hills, found nowhere else in Southwest Florida. Gentle elevations from 5 to 50 feet, including Indian Hill (aka Heartbreak Hill) make this an interesting run for seasoned runners, and a stiff challenge for beginner and intermediate level runners.

Pre-registration charge is $15 for adults signing up by Dec. 11 and $25 day of the race. For students the race charge is $10. The event benefits the Lely High School running program.

Marco’s Paul Tateo has made an outstanding website for more details at where participants can sign up for the race. Runners can also go to, or call Naples on the Run, 434-9786, race coordinator Mark McGarity, 450-5485, or Roger Raymond, 642-7981.

© 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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