Sasse, a senior runner for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, was in town visiting family for Thanksgiving and thought the race would provide a good workout.
The 22-year-old finished in 32 minutes, 52.58 seconds to win the Gobble Jog’s 10K.
“I got a nice, tempo workout,” said Sasse, a Bentonville, Ark., native whose parents now live in Cobb County. “It’s a great course — great event. Where I’m from, there’s a lot of big road races, but I don’t think anything comes close to this as far as the environment. I loved it. It was great.”
Sasee, whose mother, Jemcy, was there to cheer him on, said running a race on Thanksgiving has become a tradition for him, but he usually participates in 5Ks.
“Every year, I like to do a turkey trot to create a little workout after the cross country season is over,” Sasee said. “I saw the 10K and saw it as a chance to see what I could do (Thursday).”
The 6.2-mile course began at the Marietta Square and continued north on Cherokee Street, navigating through the neighborhoods near WellStar Kennestone Hospital before returning to the Square for a second lap.
Justin Leach of Birmingham, Ala., was second on 34:02.43. Kennesaw’s Austin O’Connell (34:40.02) was third, followed by Alpharetta’s Miles Dayoub (35:01.77) and Daniel Jester (35:33.61) of West Point, N.Y.
Smyrna’s John Webb was 12th overall, but he won the masters division — age 40 and over — with a time of 37:40.66.
The top female finisher in the 10K was Elena Linn, a Marietta resident and former Lassiter High School runner. She led the Lady Trojans to region titles during her junior and senior seasons and won the Cobb County cross country title during her senior year.
Linn, 26, was also a member of the Georgia Tech cross country team, participating in the steeplechase, 3,000-meter run and 5,000-meter run.
Now a graduate student at UAB, Linn chose to run the race to show “how much fun running can actually be,” and he said it felt good to be on the course.
“It was a really nice morning,” she said. “The morning was perfect. There was a guy right around me and we were pushing each other the entire time.”
Linn said her time of 37:05.19 was a personal record by about 30 seconds.
“It’s a nice course,” said Linn, who guessed she had run the Gobble Jog for the third or fourth time. “There were some hills, but I just kept pushing.”
Rounding out the women’s top five were Atlanta’s Cassie Mitchell (38:16.13), Marietta’s Kim Kremer (39:27.83), Atlanta’s Ashley Baxter (39:46.00) and Kennesaw’s Caitlin Dodd (40:02.75).
Powder Springs’ Kimberly Davis (41:49.68) won the women’s masters division.
More than 6,000 participants registered for the Gobble Jog, which benefited MUST Ministries and also included a 5K, 1K and “tot trot.” According to race organizers, people from 38 states registered for the event.
Steven Murray of Hiram won the men’s 5K, with Samuel Cox of Roanoke, Va., the masters winner.
Tiffiany Roberts of Cartersville came across the line first in the women’s 5K and Canton’s Christina Evans took the masters title.
Complete race results and times for the 5K race were not available by press time.