A View from the Back at the Hall of Fame Half

The National Distance Running Half of Fame Half-Marathon on Sunday, May 19, saw three Utica Roadrunners among the top five and eight of the top fifteen fastest finishers. Leading Club member was Jerry Tylutki, returning to Grand Prix racing for his first event of the year, after being kept away by busy weekend schedules with his TNT Timing company. Jerry’s third place 1:20:22 was just ahead of Cory Battles and Thomas Joslin’s fourth and fifth place finishes, respectively, with Joseph Mashaw and Josh Kuelling in the seventh and eighth slots. Top overall female was Club member Christine McGlynn, 14th overall, in 1:33:48. (And, though not Grand Prix events, numerous Club members competed and earned accolades in the 5K and half-marathon relay in open and masters male, female and mixed divisions.)


There were five more runners finishing this 15th edition than last year’s, with two-dozen males and eleven females among 35 Utica Roadrunners. Highest age-graded performances were turned in by: Jerry Tylutki (73.8%), Bob Vandenbergh (73.66%), Christine McGlynn (72.1%), Joe Mashaw (71.83%), Bill Kosina (71.75%), John Murphy (71.23%), Ingrid Otto-Jones (68.98%), Liz Miller (68.81%), and Cornelia Brown (68.71%).


The HoF Half added nine more participants to our Grand Prix ranks, now with 64 males and 40 females vying for age group points. Of the four members who’ve run all four races thus far, only Ashley Fess maintains an unbroken record of first-place finishes in her age group, though it’s wide open for numerous others to log perfect results for their remaining seven best races.


Next races in the Grand Prix series are Kirkland Art Center 5K on June 1st and Utica Roadrunners’ Summer Sizzle 5 Mile on June 9. (Please contact Summer Sizzle race director Dennis Johnson if you’d like to help out with this second Club-sponsored race at SUNY-IT!)


Finally, hope you’ll indulge a personal perspective from the back of the pack. After racing considerably better a few years ago, finishing dead last at the HoF Half was humbling (humiliating?) Injury, extra weight, and lack of training (any?) have a way of handicapping performance, as many of us know. But far more importantly, I had a chance on Sunday to experience and enjoy the event from a plodder’s point of view. As I shuffled along, it became amply apparent that course support was nothing short of terrific! Excellent attention and care were given to every single last runner, with each aid station present, prepared and enthusiastic until the bitter end in the rain (thanks for being there first and last, Bill Dunham and crew!); what seemed like a personal entourage of “sweep” personnel who supported us late-comers (especially Emilie Huxley and Alan Copeland from the Ride for Missing Children, whose conversation made the hours seem like minutes); cycling State Troopers and rolling UPD and UFD uniformed officers; numerous course marshals who flagged the way and inspired the journey; well-marked roots, rails, and other trail irregularities to prevent injuries due to tripping/falling; and cheering Leone Timing staff at the finish who provided a box of cookies, granola bars, banana and water (lest the post-party provisions be already consumed and/or cleared)! Having been age-group competitive just a few years ago, I would be hard pressed to choose now between being amongst the vanguard or stragglers, for there is fun and fulfillment to be had in each kind of participation! Everyone stay strong, train safe, and race swift (if you like or can!)                   ~ Ted Lenio       5/20/13