Fort Stewart's Hawkins wins inaugural Hilton Head Island Marathon

mmccombs@islandpacket.comFebruary 9, 2014 

Ryan Hawkins hasn't been at this much longer than Hilton Head Island.

The 32-year-old Hawkins, originally from Glen Hope, Pa., but now in the U.S. Army and stationed at Georgia's Fort Stewart, was participating in his fourth marathon when he won Saturday's inaugural Hilton Head Island Marathon. It is his first win.

Hawkins, who had a time of 2:48:09.78, said he enjoyed the race.

"I thought the course was challenging, especially crossing the bridge four times, it got pretty difficult," Hawkins said. "Especially where they were placed. They were placed where people typically hit the wall, around Mile 21 or 22."

As Bear Foot Sports' Mark Weisner, the race organizer, presented Hawkins with his awards after the race in Jarvis Creek Park, he jokingly called him, "the new course record holder."

Weisner said he was pleased with the island's first marathon.

"I think we dodged a bullet with the weather," Weisner said. "But everything I heard was positive. People seemed to enjoy the course, there were plenty of volunteers, the volunteers out there were nice and most everybody had a good time."

Hawkins agreed.

"It was unfortunate that there was so much rain," he said. "But I'll come back next year and do it again."

Serene Griffin, a 34 year old from Northlake, Texas, was the top female finisher in 3:10:31.52. But she has no intention of coming back to Hilton Head Island any time soon.

"I'm trying to do a marathon in every state," Griffin said. "This is my South Carolina race."

Griffin, who said the hills on the bridge cost her a personal record, still finished with her second fastest time. She said she had a little trouble finding the water station at the race's end, but overall, called the race, "pretty well done."

The marathon wasn't the only race of the day. Bear Foot Sports hosted the yearly half-marathon and 5K races, as well.

Bluffton's Craig Dye was the overall winner of the half-marathon in a time of 1:15:30.60, while Jennie Hansen of Rochester, N.Y., was the top female with a time of 1:23:18.92.

Bluffton's David Adams won the 5K overall championship in a time of 16:34.77, while 11-year-old Sarah Cooke was tops among females with a time of 20:10.34.

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