Comebacks By Sandahl, Ritchie Highlight Weekend’s Races

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Lots of race action to catch up on from last weekend, so we’ll get right to it here. First of all, condolences to anyone who had to run in that craptastic weather on Saturday. Heard someone say that it was something like the 10th Saturday in a row that it has snowed. Sounds pretty unbelievable, but it’s been that type of winter (now spring).

First up is the Eastern States 20 Miler, which is one of those classic spring races in New England. It’s a little close to Boston to be the perfect tune up that New Bedford is, but it still fits in quite nicely with other spring marathons (like VCM). Plus, for those going through a ‘crash course’ in marathon training for Boston, it just might be needed.

Adrian McDonald seized control of this one pretty much right from the gun and cruised his way to a 1:53:23 and an easy victory. Although he ran a couple of minutes slower than last year’s sub-1:50 performance second place performance, he also wasn’t trying to chase down Andrew Huebner this time either. Word is that Adrian will be running the Vermont City Marathon in May and it looks like he’s in pretty good shape for that. Jim Johnson finished second in 1:56:32. Not a bad race from JJ, who went out slow for once and stuck to his pacing plan (he ran negative splits!).

The women’s race was much closer, as the top two were only separated by a scant 3 seconds. Madeline Duhon came through first in 2:08:20, followed closely by Denise Sandahl of Millennium Running in 2:08:23. As far as we know, this is the first race of 2015 for Sandahl, who is the reigning USATF-NE road racing grand prix champion. Her Millennium team, as deep as they are, no doubt missed her at the first two grand prix races so this must have been welcome news. Sandahl had been hobbled by a foot injury.

In third place was mountain girl Leslie O’Dell in 2:11:13. Normally we don’t go much past that for the recaps but we can’t miss out on a good opportunity to talk about our Level Legion Boston Marathon team. Lindsay Willard, one of the members of this year’s squad, came in 5th for the ladies in 2:13:19. We have an update from Lindsay that covers this race that should be going up on the site in the next day or so.

Jon Chesto was the top masters male in 2:07:07 and Jen Rohde was the top masters female in 2:26:02.

Going off simultaneously (and on much of the same course) was the Run to the Border Half Marathon. Thorsten Emig got the win in 1:22:23 and was able to hold off Nicole Casey who nearly took the overall win herself as she was only twenty seconds back in 1:22:43. Two of the top five were women here as Nicole’s BAA teammate Aly Millett took fifth in 1:25:29.

NOTE: It’s been reported that there were timing issues at the finish line for both the 20 miler and the half. We used the times we saw on Coolrunning, not sure if those are the final corrected ones or not.

Over in Cambridge, David Wilson continued his streak of strong racing and picked up another win on Sunday at the Marathon Sports Cambridge City Run. Wilson had won the An Ras Mor 5k the prior Sunday. This time Wilson was pretty much all alone out front in what was much better conditions than the day before. We mention Saturday because in that miserable weather, Jordan Donnelly was out doing a track session that involved a 2k, 5×800 and then capped off with another 2k. Definitely training through, Jordan still ended up getting second place on Sunday. Not too shabby. Wilson got the win in 25:14 with Donnelly coming through in 26:11. Even on tired legs Donnelly, who specializes in the mile, was able to ignite the last 100 meters and out kick Daniel Asohale. They both finished with the same 26:11, but Jordan got the higher place. Yeah, he could’ve easily sat back and said, “you know, I did a workout yesterday, maybe I’ll just let the 17 year old take it.” There’s an excuse built right in! But no…he finished strong.

Hague (far right) is seen here getting his award from Donnelly (far left) in the Puma office on Monday.

Emmy Waldman was the women’s winner 30:01, finishing in 15th place overall.

Luke Chamberlain was the top masters runner, getting the nod in a close battle with Kohei Hagio. Chamberlain ran 29:25 to Hagio’s 29:38. Like Jordan, Kohei also came into the race on tired legs after having a track session Friday and then a 20K on Saturday.

This marked a good day for Puma, as Hagio is the head of running footwear for the German brand, and runner up Donnelly is a product line manager there himself.

Believe it or not, trail racing is back. Yes, hard to believe that any trails would be clear enough right now, but down in RI the 4th Season race series is chugging along. The latest was the Brrr-lingame 5 & 10 Mile Trail Races. This gallery by Scott Mason Photo really shows how much fun the experience must have been:

  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Piecuch
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason start
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Galoob
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Weitzman
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Lonergan II
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Lonergan
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Hammett Garvin
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Jackman
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Peabody
  • Brrr-lingame Trail Races 03.29.2015 Mason Hammett

The more hotly contested event was the 10 miler, and that was won by Eric Lonergan in 1:06:40. Next in was Steve Brightman in 1:08:28. Steve was also the top masters runner. A few more familiar names came in next: Chris Garvin (3rd), Jonny Hammett (4th) and Robert Jackman (5th).

In 8th overall was the fastest woman on the day, Jess Kutcher. Jess ran 1:23:06 and got in ahead of former Smithfield Sentinels harrier Ben Folsom (9th). Mary Kutcher was the top masters woman in 1:44:55. Any relation there?

In the five miler, young whippersnapper Tanner LeClair got the ‘W’. The teenaged LeClair ran a 47:08 and had a decent lead over runner up Steven Palmer (47:52). The top woman on the day was also a youngster, as Liz Gray was in the same 14-18 AG as Tanner. Liz ran a 55:05 (good for 4th overall) and narrowly beat the next woman, who was also the top masters runner on the day. Liz Gray ran 55:09 in narrowly losing to…her daughter? We knew RI was a small state, but it looks like nearly everyone high up in the results for these races is related!

photos from Mason

The Vassallo’s pulled off the marital double…again. This time it was at the Cohasset Road Race by the Sea. Could that be considered double dipping? If this keeps up then races might have to start considering one award per household. Dan ran a 31:29 for 10k and was unchallenged. Katrina ran a 38:46, came in 12th overall, and was basically unchallenged herself. Kudos to them for their continued domination of the road race scene.

Must note that as we were continuously rolling out our Onion-esque April Fools updates on Facebook, we were on the receiving end as well. Dan texted us with a big scoop: he was going to jumping over to the BAA for the Boston Marathon. He had us going for a few seconds. Well played, Dan. Very well played.

Those guys out there using the old ‘hey I’m faster than Tim Ritchie right now’ pick up line at the bars need to stop. Sure, it’s probably incredibly effective, but Tim’s back so you can’t say that anymore.

We know this because we saw the tweet from the BC men’s track team sharing the goods news:

We got a couple of questions out to Tim:

How did that feel?

It felt AWESOME. I mean it hurt like heck and I was nervous as could be, but to put on a race kit after a whole year of injury was a great gift. There is nothing in the world quite like the sound of the starter’s pistol. The race itself was consistently tough throughout the whole thing and my tactics a bit rusty. But the goals were simply to start and finish, so I was 2 for 2 there!

What’s the plan for the spring/summer?

The plan for the spring is to regain my confidence, health and get back in the racing scene. I am going to slowly ramp up my training but be very cautious all spring. My hope is to qualify and race at the USA Outdoor TF Championships in June. If I achieve that goal, I will take a break following that race and then know I can start to really train after that. After back to back injuries the psyche takes a bit of a hit so if I can string together some weeks at 80% for a while now, then I can fearless prepare for the Trials later in the Fall/Winter.

That is great news! And Team Saucony? We’ll have to do something a little bigger for Tim as he comeback progresses, maybe ask a few questions about his new team situation. Congrats to him for getting a deal!

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