Amidst the pungent fragrance of fruit tree blossoms in full bloom under threatening clouds, twenty-five Utica Roadrunners ran (and walked) the third Grand Prix race of the year, the Rome Art and Community Center 5K, on Saturday, May 11. The Club took half of the top ten overall places, six first-place finishes among fifteen ten-year age groups, numerous podium awards, and fastest walker, with eighteen males and six females (two more than last year) among the 75-participant field. Club member and race director Jason Pare did a fine job arranging a flat, fast, certified George Street course for this seventh edition, even keeping the rain away until after the race, when smart RACC tote bags and framed certificates were awarded in the 19th century Carpenter mansion. Finally, Linda Turner and Mike Kessler of KT Timing were on hand to tabulate race results, as they do every week at the Club’s development runs.
In race highlights, Cory Battles and Josh Kuelling took second and third place overall, respectively, with Ellen Furnari third fastest female overall. Our best age-graded performance was turned in by Tina Lindsey (73.13%), who also took her 50-59 age group, followed by John Draper (71.99%) and Paul Humphrey (71.97%) who took first and second places in the 40-49 men’s group. Scott Suba made it a full podium sweep for Utica Roadrunners in that age group.
Most encouraging was to have Emma and Noah Cohen (age 9) and Danny Humphrey’s (age 12) participation open their 0-14 female and male Grand Prix age groups, book-ended with Joe Madeira, Jr. and Dan Cohen initiating their 70+ GP age group. (Noah, Danny, Joe and Dan all earned framed certificates for their respective races) It looks like the Cohens and Humphreys are in early contention for this year’s GP Family Award!
With a quarter of the series now complete, eleven members are still in the running for Grand Prix-mier awards (for participation in all twelve races), with Ashley Fess, Mary Wilson, Cory Battles, and Bruce Palmer maintaining perfect records of first-place finishes in each of the first three races. Thus far, 58 males and 37 females have entered the friendly Grand Prix competition, and we are ahead of last year’s total racer participations, 141 vs. 104.
Next (and longest) race in the Grand Prix series, will be this Sunday’s National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half Marathon (which also offers 5K and half-marathon relay races, though not counted toward GP points.) Until then, everyone stay strong, train safe, and race swift! ~ Ted Lenio 5/13/13