MHR Marathon and Hannaford Half: Winners and More!

by Christine Bishop

Christine Bishop

I went to the MHR Marathon event thinking that I would interview the winners but as the day progressed, I realized there were others who I encountered whose stories should also be told. So, I interviewed them too. As the penultimate story, I am including a heartwarming event made possible by our marathon!! Finally, Paul Rosenberg writes about running this event 35 years after he created it in 1983. If you have something you would like to share about this race for the November Pace Setter, please send it to

Enjoy, and think about entering either the MHR Marathon or the Hannaford Half next year. It will add excitement to your life!

Hannaford Half Marathon 2018


1st - Daniel Lennon - 24, Albany! 5:04 Pace, 1:06:12

He started out faster than he expect to. He hoped to take the first two miles more controlled but he went out too fast and then just rolled with it. Around mile 7 he started to fall off a little. He regathered himself after that and then just went for it. He had a decent pace for the last 5 or six miles. He knew that Sam Morse was right behind him and that he is a great runner, an incredible athlete and the one to beat. He worried that Morse could come back from behind him and takeover and he wouldn’t be able to respond, but he got lucky. He was going for 65:30 or 66:30, so he was on track. It was on the tail end of what he wanted to do. He never ran a fast half before so he was happy with running “a more respectful time at this point.” He is running the half marathon in Philadelphia. The goal there is to go 63 minutes for the half.

2nd - Sam Morse- 35, Camden, NY- 5:14 Pace, 1:08:25

First half was good and the second he felt he started to fall apart a little bit. I pointed out that he came in second, which was great but he wanted to go 67 minutes. Lennon ran off and there was no way he could catch up to him. He ran by himself the whole time but loved the beauty of the course. He runs with the Syracuse Track Club and is now training for the Philadelphia Marathon hoping for 2:20.

3rd - Jacob Andrews- 25, Troy- 5:15 Pace, 1:08:45

He was happy with his run. There were a lot of fast guys so he was very happy with coming in third. He would have liked to have come in faster but the heavy humidity and headwind most of the way slowed him down. As the race started Lennon and Morse immediately went ahead and then there was a group of people Jacob was with.  He went ahead of them and then it was just him and David Melly at the 5k point. Jacob then pulled ahead of David, got into third and held it from there on. He tried to close in on second but he couldn’t. This is his first race in a while. He is in marathon training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November.


1st-Samantha Roecker, 26-Charlton, NY- 6:00, 1:18:32

In 2016 Set Course Record!!

It was pretty humid but she grew up around here and liked being in a familiar place. She was hoping for a win like the one two years ago when she set the course record with 1:18:09!! She hoped to run faster but as soon as she got out there she realized the weather wasn’t cooperating. However, she was pushed by some tough people behind her and thoroughly enjoyed the race. She is training for the California International Marathon (CIM) in December. This was her tune-up race. Her best time in the marathon is 2:38:11 and she is hoping for 2:35. Josh Merlis, MHR Marathon announcer and timer, was kidding her about how she was a little off and she mentioned he was one of her high school teachers years ago and she loved his never ending jokes.

2nd - Bailey Drewes, 25, Ithaca, NY Pace: 6:05, 1:19:30

She would have liked to have gone faster but the competition was too steep. The course was beautiful though. She was hoping to beat the course record, which she heard was won by one tough lady. She has it on authority. J Her next big race is the Philadelphia Marathon.

3rd - Alexandra Niles, 35,Montclair, NJ  Pace: 6:13, 1:21:18

She ran much slower than she wanted to. She was aiming for 1:18 but it didn’t happen. She went out too fast and that was a bad mistake and coupled with the weather that made it impossible. At mile 8 the humidity really kicked in and she had trouble. Her next big race is California, not Philadelphia. Her best time for a marathon is 2:40:43 and she is hoping to better that. She did the full here in 2013 and she WON that year 2:49:25. It was the first time she broke 3:50!

Maureen Cox, Sam Morse, Dan Lennon, Jacob Andrews, Bailey Drewes, Alexandra Niles, Sam Roecker and Brian Fabre.

Mohawk Hudson River Marathon 2018

1st Nicholas Lemon, 26-Brighton, MA 5:34, 2:25:28

Nick lives in Boston with roommates who are all outstanding runners. His roomies are Lou Serafini, who set the record course for the half marathon in 1:05:48, Jarred Iocavelli, who came in third today, David Melly who placed 4th in the half marathon and another who was running the USA ten mile championships on our race day. Nick’s goal today was to win. He wanted 2:25. He ran 2:33 at Boston this year in the really bad weather that we all witnessed on TV. His friends told him if he could run that well in dreadful conditions, he could easily do 2:25, but to Nick words are easy. His friends recommended Chicago but that was too far away with no support. So it was the MHR Marathon with Lou’s family kindly housing him and the others in their Niskayuna home. When Nick ran the course there was no challenge. He went out and held it. His next goal is to take two weeks off and then do cross country. This will be his last marathon for a while but he ended it with a bang. Lou is his coach. He works at Marathon Sports in Boston. It will be interesting to see if he can resist the lure to do another marathon particularly in Boston where he lives!

2nd Kyle Smith-30, - Lindon, MI.  Pace: 5:35, 2:25:57

He won the MHR Marathon in 2012, 2:30:41 and decided to come back because it is a great course to run with a fun atmosphere. It was a little warmer than he remembered and of course there was the headwind and humidity. He did not run smart. The plan was to do a certain pace for the first ten, but he went out too fast and he paid for it in the last half. However, he did come in second!! He said that the plan was it. It’s not like a 5k where you can run and grind. You have got to be smart first and then race later. He was disappointed but the crowd was welcoming and aid stations along the way were great. He may not be returning our way because he is joining the US Army OCS. He has no idea where he will be. Before he goes he may try CIM. The Army has a running team and he hopes to join that but it all depends on where he is stationed.

3rd Jarred Iacovelli, 25-Brookline, MA Pace: 5:40, 2:28:15

Jarred trains with Lou Serafini and works out with Nick Lemon who won. Basically he had been training to run today at a 5:40 pace and that’s what he did give or take. At mile 22, he got within striking distance but didn’t have it in him. Luckily he went out faster than anticipated and that helped. He may come back next year because it is fun race, competitive, nice flat to downhill course, and friendly atmosphere. This was the big one on his calendar so he plans to rest and recover.

4th Bryan Morseman, 33- Bath, NY Pace: 5:53, 2:33:49

Bryan’s Past Wins: 2015-2:24:01, 2013: 2:24:24

He was hoping for the time he got the last two times he ran here, but it was not to be. He was afflicted with crippling stitches that made him actually stop running for several minutes and walk! He had an upper side stitch at 9 miles and later a lower side stitch. At 17 miles he was thinking of stopping but others urged him to stay in and even though he lost time with pauses and walking he came in 4th. He never gave up.  He will definitely give it a shot again. He was amazed because he has never had this before. His 6 year old son was with him and he proudly told me that like his daddy he runs a lot too. Bryan uses the prize money from racing to help pay the medical bills for his younger son who has spina bifida. The treatment has been helping him greatly.

Neil Sergott, Joy Miller, and Karen Bertasso

Marathon 1st- Joy Miller – 30, Lexington, SC Pace: 6:34, 2:51:48

Joy ran the race hoping for nice weather and to get away from the 80s and 90s of South Carolina thinking it would be in the 50s in cold New York! The race did get hot toward the end but not at the Carolinas’ level. She was hoping for 2:45 but was minutes off. She was OK with it saying that she still has plenty of time to reach her goal. She wasn’t in the lead until 15K. She felt really strong until mile 20 when the heat hit her causing her to go slightly off pace. At that point she just ran for the win. She wasn’t really challenged so she just held on in the lead. She has 5 or 6 halfs coming up from here to January and then will run in Houston in February hoping for 2:45.

MHR Marathon Director Maureen Cox with Karen Auteri

2nd - Karen Auteri-37, Liberty NJ Pace: 6:51, 2:59:26

When asked if she achieved what she was hoping she replied, “Place wise yes, time wise no!” The humidity and headwinds made it so that she could not achieve her goal of 2:50. That’s what she trained for but she had to adjust her pace. At the beginning, she went out too fast and basically had a rough time. She thought she was in third place most of the way. There was a girl who went out ahead of her and Joy Miller who she was running with at that time and neither she or Joy realized that she dropped out because she was so far ahead of them. They were told the person did the same thing last year.  After the 10K point she was hurting and only hoped that no one passed her, she was hoping to at least break three. As she was running around mile 17 a fellow she knew from NJ caught up with her started to talk with her. He was doing a clockwork pace of 6:45 and told her to join him and she did for four miles but thought she should back off because she was hurting. She has been fighting some ailments like plantar fasciitis, a pulled hamstring, and her legs were tired, but she finished. After this race, she is taking a break from marathons and returning to halfs, which she won here in 2017, 1:25:33.

Maureen Cox with Dana Bush

3rd Dana Bush-40, Saratoga Springs, NY  Pace: 6:53, 3:00:04

She was very pleased with the race. Her goal was to break 3 hours and she was within a few seconds of that. The last half mile was really difficult but she did the best she could and given the conditions she was happy. She started the race conservatively making her way up. At the halfway point she was in ninth. She ultimately saw Karen Auteri in second but just didn’t have the power to pass her. This is her third time racing the Hannaford Half marathon and her third time coming in third!! As a consolation, it was her best time. She hopes to run it again, this time shooting for under three hours and if she comes in second, that would be great!

Marathon Winners!

First Row: Joy Miller and Karen Auteri.
Second Row: Nicholas Lemon, Kyle Smith, Jarred Iacovelli.

Liz with husband Ravi and son Div

Liz Chauhan

One of our best local runners, Liz Chauhan, has done our marathon many times. This year was different because she had knee surgery less than ten months ago and didn’t resume running until February.  She did races in May and by late summer she was prepared for something more difficult and so did the Adirondack Ultra Ragnar on September 21-22 with her training partners and best running supporters, Ken Klemp, Mike and Kevin Kelly, Bart Trudeau and Clay Ludovice. Her husband Ravi is not a runner but supports her and us by being in charge of refreshments at the MHR Marathon and is now the HMRRC Race Committee Treasurer. She hoped to run under 3:30 and was amazed when she “crushed it” with 3:22:50. At mile 24 she began to tire but pressed on. Amazingly she didn’t look at her watch until mile 26. When she reached that wondrous point in the race, she saw that she was at 3:19:50 and so knew her goal was within reach. She loves this race and did remarkably well considering that she had knee surgery less than a year ago.

After her knee surgery, Liz’s attitude about racing changed. Before surgery she was dismissive of her achievements and thought that she should have done better, even when she won. When she woke up after surgery and discovered that she couldn’t walk, she realized how lucky she had been before and that she should have been grateful for her many accomplishments. But as she said, “Hindsight is 20-20.” Now she just tries to enjoy competing no matter how she does.  The winners in our race would do well to think about what Liz says here.

Chuck Terry with Charles Bishop

Chuck Terry - 2011 Marathon winner 2:32:47

Chuck is now only running 5Ks and 10Ks. For last two years he has been fighting a calf muscle injury and doesn’t want to push it. His calf muscle could pull again at any time. So until he is completely healed, marathons are not on the radar, but don’t count him out!

Clay Ludovice and Jon Golden are naturals as bicyclists for the course as they are accomplished triathletes. They helped to clear the path for the leaders in the marathon race as they make their way to the finish line. They observed the neck and neck race of the two leaders over the first 14 miles. At the finish line only 29 seconds separated the top two!! It was often difficult for them to clear a path for the leaders because runners wearing headphones couldn’t hear them yelling to move. The two motorcycles had less trouble moving runners to the front because of their loud noise and flashing lights. But keep up the good job, guys!!

Ramon Vasquez with Jazmin Abraham

Ramon Vasquez

In top of sub three, 2:57:39, Ramon was happy with his results. Last year’s weather he thought was better, but this year he coped well with the humidity and headwind. He credits his faster race to Freddie Evangelista, his coach, and his neon orange NIKE Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Sneakers that he felt corrected his running form. These shoes were developed by NIKE for Eliud Kipchoge, Shalane Flanagan and other elites to run marathons. Ramon will be back next year and who knows what shoes he will have then.

Mat Nark of Nark Running wrote the following:

In the Mohawk Hudson half and full we had 15 athletes participating in a race day that was warm , muggy, and with a headwind. We had many great performances that day.  Our top two local females Allison Konderwich and Jessica Bashaw finished up first and second for the locals in the half at 1:26:07 and 1:26:18 and raced together almost the entire way. The day was highlighted by others we coach: Stephanie Wilkinson had a PR and is primed for Richmond in a month. Trudy Boulia hit for a 4 min PR at 1:42:49, while Amanda Pilla was rewarded with a 3+ min PR of her own, and Alyssa Risko just missed her PR at 1:40:15 by 15 secs. Deb Valois had an amazing day and an 8 min PR down to 2:22 after coming back from a recent ankle injury. Emma Gryner completed her first marathon 4:28:54. Congratulations! Overall it was a great day at a great event and we are always thankful that we have this race here for us each year and that it is so well organized.

Dallas DeVries, MHR Bib#230 Proposes to Kristin Zielinski, Bib #3318

Be ready to smile as Dallas describes how running can change your life!!

Kristin and I met at an ARE trail run series last summer so running is a special bond that we share. We were both supposed to do the marathon this past Sunday so I figured that was a great time to surprise her at the finish. She pulled a switcheroo on me and changed to the half a few weeks before so I had to tweak things a little.  She almost didn't go to her half that morning because of dog issues but I convinced her that her day was going to get better! We had a lot of mutual friends spectating, volunteering and racing that day and the word got out. Before I proposed she was confused as to why everyone was staring and taking pictures of us. It was an awesome experience and I feel like a very lucky guy. Thanks to everyone for their support.

And now to finish our story ...

Coming Full Circle in Running My Final (?) Marathon

by Paul Rosenberg

Paul Rosenberg being interviewed by Josh Merlis


Why did I need to run another marathon?  What is it inside my brain that makes me determined to run 26.2 miles? Occasionally, over the last two months, I asked myself that question.  It's probably the same thing that forces me to eat a big bowl of ice cream every night! Actually, in retrospect, the consumption of ice cream is related to running the next day to work it off, whether training for a marathon or not!

After abstaining from marathoning for 28 years, since 1990, I recently decided to run one more marathon in my running career. My last marathon was in the event I created, the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon; and I just missed qualifying for Boston, running 3:16. I was gradually getting slower every year, and wanting to spend more time on my new passion – playing the fiddle. Over the years, my fiddling was superseded by my organizing contra and other dance events, including the Dance Flurry Festival.  So, after that 1990 MHR Marathon, I decided to “retire” from marathoning. A great idea, right, to end my marathon career on my course?

Since that last marathon in 1990, I have been running around 35 miles a week. My daily runs have been a physical, spiritual and mental gift to me.  Running an occasional race has kept a tiny connection to the running community and HMRRC.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis by Dr Todd Shatynski of the Bone and Joint Center.  I had been experiencing back pain for several years, and when it became severe, I searched for medical help. Luckily, a few years ago the Pace Setter featured a Profile of Todd.

Reading about his philosophy of sports medicine and his devotion to running, I decided to make an appointment.  After he diagnosed the condition, he gave me some advise to minimize the pain and to keep me running as long as possible.  Sending me to physical therapy was a turning point in my life. Never having success up to that point with stretching and strengthening exercises, I was put into a program of daily exercises that very gradually has helped with the pain, and also has strengthened my core.  

In fact, I was improving so much, that I decided to think about running one more marathon before the stenosis might make it impossible for me to run another one, and also to “beat the clock” at being able to run a time that I would feel relatively satisfied with. This aging process of slowing down every year is discouraging, but it beats the alternative!

I have also learned that I can enjoy racing if I adapt a different mind set. My race times have no relationship to my peak running years, but I still have that same “runner's high” when I get into a good groove and feel strong and smooth in a race. It's especially rewarding to have that occasional race in which I run a faster time than the previous year!

Before running a marathon, I wanted to try a half marathon – the Hannaford Half – on my course in 2017. I did better than expected (2:04), and my back felt fine, so I decided that I could work toward one final marathon, in 2018, on my course.

My training was just enough to aim for a 5 hour or better time, and happily, I finished at 4:56. Part of my goal was to savor the experience of actually running a complete marathon on the course I dreamed of creating since the late 1970s. I felt some of the exhilaration at the starting line, realizing that all of those runners were there because of an idea I worked so hard to accomplish. And as I moved through the course, seeing the huge number of volunteers who were so helpful and encouraging was also very moving.  Wow, it is amazing to see SO MANY volunteers! How in the world do we find such a large number?

One of the highlights for me was the reaction by runners the first time they came to a view of the Mohawk River, remarking how beautiful it was.  My goal in creating this course was to create a fast route, and also to show off the beauty of our bike path system. Unfortunately, instead of savoring the experience, most of the time I had to work hard!  Between the humidity and a sinus infection, the race became a bit of a chore! But crossing the finish line feeling relatively good was a great feeling!

In the “full circle department,” a couple of thoughts come to mind. Having Todd Shatynski as my doctor and the medical director of the marathon – that his care has enabled me to finish – is a great feeling. Also, in looking back at the history of this event, the race committee of HMRRC did not commit to sponsoring the race until we had a successful trial run. So, on 10/23/82, I organized a 25 k race at the Colonie Town Park, heading west on the bike path and returning to the Park.  Looking at the results, Todd's dad, Steve was one of our volunteers. Perhaps Todd was helping out as a 6 year old that day!  But, very sadly, Steve died in a car crash just a few weeks before the first MHR Marathon.

Some tidbits:

The first MHR Marathon in 1983, with 152 finishers, had only one runner slower than 5 hours, and only one runner over age 60. Looking back, the times were really fast!  

Marbry Gansle and the Shaker Girls Cross Country team have been organizing a water stop around the 11 mile mark since the very first year! It was so nice to see her again this year! She (then known as Marbry Pulver) and Cathy Shrader were the only female runners in the early days of HMRRC, both teenagers at the time.

Since my last marathon, there have been so many new developments on training and running! I tried Gel just a few weeks ago in training, and ended up eating six of those packets during the race! Maybe that's why I was not so hungry for dinner?

The runners who walk and run was a totally new revelation to me.  It was funny passing the same people who passed me many times throughout the race.  I guess I am still living in a time warp of 1980s training and racing techniques!

It was so gratifying to see so many women marathoners!  There were just a handful during the four years I organized the race.

Despite my conviction that I will not run another marathon, as I also said in 1990, I will not completely rule out another one, if my health cooperates.  Who knows what my attitude will be in another 28 years (in 2046)? Will I want to be running for 8 hours at age 93?

Thank you to Maureen Cox and all the organizers since I bowed out in 1987 who have continued and vastly improved my dream.  This event has gone from a great little race to one of the best small marathons in North America.  I am so very grateful to all of you who run in and volunteer for the MHR Marathon and Hannaford Half!

Click here for Times Union Article and Photos from Races

Click Here for Results from MHR Marathon and Hannaford Half Marathon

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