As we enter the final month of the year and wind down the 2015 racing season, let us take a look back. At HMRRC, it all begins on Day One. Then again, with a schedule boasting running events of some three dozen dates, there is little time to waste. I would like to start off by thanking all the race directors and volunteers for their time and dedication to putting these races on.
The new calendar kicked off the year with the Hangover Half Marathon and Bill Hogan 3.5 miler. Thomas O’Grady wins the half marathon event for the third time in the past four years while Karen Bertasso leads the women to begin 2015. It is the club’s first Grand Prix race of the year. Francisco Geltran and Julia Flower take the top two overall spots and are victorious in the 3.5 mile event which sees a record number of finishers with 294. A total of 603 runners complete Winter Series #2. Winter Series #3 sees 368 finishers as Jeff Long (3M), Eric MacKnight (10K), and Chuck Terry (25K) are the male winners while Mollie Turner (3M), Julia Flower (10K), and Denise Iannizzotto (25K) are the female winners. Winter Series #4 sees a record number in the 15K with 163 finishers. Event winners are Jeff Long and Stephanie Viloria in the 3 mile event, Eric MacKnight and Emily Acker in the 15K, and Thomas O’Grady and Karen Bertasso in the 30K. A total of 320 finish up in Winter Series #4. Winter Series #5 wraps up the 2014-2015 Winter Series with a total of 294 finishers. Mathew Nark and Julia Flower are tops in the 7K race, while the 10M Grand Prix event race winners are Thomas O’Grady and Emily McCabe. In the club’s longest Winter Series race, Chuck Terry and Liz Chauhan are the first male and female to cross the line in the 20 miler. Overall the 2014-2015 Winter Series has the third highest total participation ever with 1,990 finishers. The 2011-2012 Series is tops with 2,182 followed by 2012-2013 with 2,060.
It was the 2nd coldest Albany February ever (only 1934 was colder) and with predictions of a wind chill of 25 to 35 below on Winter Marathon day, a decision was made to postpone the February 15 race date. The 42nd Winter Marathon was moved to March 1 where it was still winter (and still cold). Thomas O’Grady led the pack of 37 marathoners and finished up with a time of 2:36:33. He was followed by Chuck Terry at 2:37:47. Jennifer Flaherty from the Bay State led the way for the women with a time of 3:53:59. The relay team of Bob Irwin, Chris Herbs, and John Stadtlander are the winning team in 2:41:39 as fifteen teams compete in the relay.
While it is still winter on the calendar, the racing season kicks off with the 37th Runnin’ of the Green. The four mile Grand Prix event makes its debut at Schalmont High School where 287 runners parade around a residential loop in Rotterdam. Patrick Carroll wins for the men in 21:11 while Sara Dunham repeats for the women making it three victories in four years with a time of 22:53. Sara also holds the event record with a 22:39 time in the 2012 race at the Green Island venue. Chuck Terry (21:16) and Julia Flower (23:46) finish in 2nd place and Derrick Staley is tops in the age-graded at 88.80%. The month of March winds down with the 27th Delmar Dash and the leader board repeats from the Runnin’ of the Green. Patrick Carroll leads the pack of 443 finishers and breaks the tape in 25:52. Sara Dunham wins in 28:42 putting her at a tie for 4th on the list of fastest event female times. Renee Tolan narrowly misses the Masters event record by three seconds with a time of 29:46. Runner-up Julia Flower, 16, also leads all competitors in the age-graded category at 87.09%. Mike Roda, 39, takes 2nd place overall.
The club sees three races in May after a quiet April. The Bill Robinson Masters 10K in Guilderland moves from April to May due to scheduling conflicts at the site as James O’Connor repeats on the men’s side when he finishes up in 34:51 to lead the 81 finishers. On the women’s side, Emily Bryans runs 40:10. After four short months into motherhood, Meghan Mortensen wins the 35th Mother’s Day 5K bRUnch over a field of 329 finishers in a time of 19:56. The number of finishers is twofold over the previous record. The mother/daughter (Stacia/Sydney) Smith team repeats from 2014. The CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge (36th year) signs up a record 505 teams and 10,237 participants. Kiernan O’Connor (Tyler Technologies) leads the way for 8,319 finishers (a record number) to finish the 3.5 mile course in 17:02 (4:52 pace). It is the fastest winning time since 1996. Karen Bertasso (Albany Medical Center) leads the field of women in a time of 20:22. Overall team winners include: Albany Running Exchange Event Productions (male), General Electric (female), and Albany Medical Center (co-ed). AREEP win is a repeat in the male category and their 5th win in six years. GE looks at a three peat for the females and AMC notches their third win in four years for the co-ed category. The Charities of Choice were presented with total donations of over $31,200 and they include: Brave Will Foundation, CEO, and The Food Pantries for the Capital District. GE puts up the most registered participants with 443 while Albany Med and CDPHP signup 276 and 261 respectively.
In June, Maureen Cox joins a class of 54 other Distinguished Service Award Recipients going back to 1972. We thank Maureen for her service and dedication to the club. Several past recipients were on hand to take part in the pre-race ceremony and then run or volunteer. Thomas O’Grady and Karen Bertasso, who repeats, are the overall winners in the 44th Annual Distinguished Service Award 8 Mile Road Race as 127 cross the finish line at UAlbany. Colonie Summer Track Meet begins the first of its eight Tuesdays. Colonie Summer Track was taken over by HMRRC in 2010 and it has the distinction of being the only HMRRC race older than HMRRC. HMRRC was founded in 1971 and Colonie Summer Track began in 1969. The 2015 season was the 47th for Frank Myers. The 5K at Joe Bruno Stadium celebrates its 10th anniversary in the Tri-City ValleyCats Father’s Day Home Run 5K. It must be the favorite race of Brina Seguine as she repeats and wins for the 6th time in the ten year history at The Joe. Eric Young is the overall winner and leads a field of 365 with a finishing time of 16:26. The Father/Son team winners are Mark and Victor Warner while Rick Munson and his daughter Cheyenne are tops in the Father/Daughter results. A total of 94 participate at the Colonie Mile held the last day of June with the overall winners being a pair of seventeen year olds. Jake Johnson from Colonie wins overall in 4:29.3 and Julia Flower of Schenectady comes in under five minutes with a 4:59:1. In fact, five of the top ten were under the age of eighteen.
At one time or another during a race, we have heard race spectators claim ‘you’re almost there!’ Actually, you are only halfway there. However, you will need to wait until next month to read about the second half of HMRRC’s 2015.