It was hotter than a summer beach day in Hyannis back on February 26th. The course records fell in both the men’s marathon and half marathon, and surprisingly on a day when a championship race was drawing the club contingent to Western Mass.
Chris Zablocki, who is back in the northeast for rotations at NUMC, shattered the old marathon record with his winning time of 2:21:30. The old record of 2:26:51 by Mike Slinskey was 22 years old!
“I was hoping to get the record if the legs had it and actually wore a watch even though I usually don’t, I was glad they did! I am hoping to have a jolly time at Boston next month!” Safe to say Chris will have plenty of people to run with at Boston (comparatively at least) so he’ll probably be able to shed that troublesome watch weight.
Not to be outdone, Amos Sang took down Larry Barthlow’s old mark of 1:09:22 (set back in ’91). But why did Amos make the trek to Hyannis instead of making the club competition pilgrimage out to Amherst? After all, he’s the defending 10 mile (and 5 mile) champion for the USATF-NE.
“I have known Paul the the race organizer for a while and he mention to me about this race last year. So I went of that plus I wanted something not super competitive as the 10miler this early in the season. But turns out I was wrong about that once I saw Brian and John.
The aforementioned ‘Brian and John’ were Brian Harvey (3rd in 67:13) and John Raneri (2nd in 67:00). Sang broke the tape in 1:06:54, which gave the 26 yr old course record a neat two second hair cut.
“I actually had the course record at the back of head once we dialed in at 5:10’s, but the wind was killing us at times. Mile ten I kinda knew I could do it if I could turn on the jets. After mile 10 I knew I could use my indoor training to push the pace and once I broke away at mile 11 I knew I just needed to hold off.”
To put in perspective just how fast these times were compared to last year’s, in 2015 the marathon was won in 2:43:50 and the half in 1:09:22, and 2:30 and 1:10 back in 2014. Could this be a renaissance of the race (in terms of front runners)? Or was it just the perfect storm of runners converging on it for various reasons? We’ll just have to wait until next year to find out.