ZJX Controller Sarah Wanzo Places First in Local Half-Marathon
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Although running may seem like a chore to stay healthy, Jacksonville Center (ZJX) air traffic controller Sarah Wanzo thinks of it as a way of life. Recently Wanzo placed first in the Hooters Half-Marathon race in Fort Myers, Fla., beating her personal best time by nearly nine minutes. Outside racing, she encourages everyone around her to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle.
Wanzo has been an air traffic controller at ZJX since 2007 and has been
running ever since she moved to the area from Miami. There, she was
extremely active in sports and was a fitness instructor and personal
trainer throughout college and up until a year and a half ago. The next step was getting her facility active. Wanzo and several ZJX controllers teamed up to move their gym from a trailer outside of ZJX to the basement of their facility. With the help and funds from controllers, ZJX received a new gym with new equipment in Feb. 2009.
“I try to live by a healthy lifestyle and encourage that in my facility.”
Wanzo ran the half-marathon in an unbelievable time of 1:31:10, over three minutes ahead of her competitor who placed second in the race. And although this isn’t her first half-marathon to participate in, it is her first to win.
She said she ran in memory of her grandmother, Reba Horne, who passed away six years ago.
“I was so happy to see my family and the looks on their faces when they saw me win,” said Wanzo. “I was excited to know that I have accomplished a great goal I made for myself. At that moment I wished my grandmother were there to see me win. I realized I was in first place around mile four when a group of girls passing out water yelled ‘first female.’ I looked around and I was the only girl in sight.”
Wanzo will continue to participate in races in her area. Right now, she plans to run the Vida Fitness 5K on July 4 and the Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon in October.
The Hooters Half-Marathon race benefits the Moffitt Cancer Center and has raised over $82,000 towards cancer research. For more information, please visit their website at hootershalfmarathon.com.