Cold and Blustery at Boston Beanery 5K

BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER

UNIONTOWN, PA--On March 9, I left my house in Winchester, VA, at 5:45 a.m. for the two-plus hour drive to Uniontown to compete in the Boston Beanery St. Patrick's Day 5K Run/Walk. I tried to be real quiet when I arose as I didn't want to wake Ruth, but that lasted about 15 seconds as the dogs wanted to play! Of course, Ruth snarled at me for waking her, but her beloved dogs got off scott free. Anyway, before I left, I checked the local TV station and saw it was a pleasant 57 degrees in Winchester. Should be a nice day for a race.

Some two hours later, after battling heavy, dense fog on I-68 (an area in MD where the weather is always an adventure), I arrived in Uniontown and the local bank had the temperature at 22 degrees! Somehow, I lost over 30 degrees in temperature. Tack on some nasty winds and conditions were less than ideal.

But these conditions didn't keep 106 runners and another 95 walkers from coming out and participating. That's a pretty decent participant number when you factor in the weather. The course is two loops around the Uniontown Mall with an out-and-back section used on the back of the first lap.

Adam Shinsky, from Hopwood, PA, jumped out to an early lead and didn't let the wind and cold effect him as he sped to victory in 17:15. David Madison (17:46) and Pat Reagan (18:11) finished second and third, respectively.

For the women, it was a bit of a tighter finish for the win as Amanda Love, of Ohiopyle, PA, was first in 22:04, with Julie Lipniskas finishing second just eight ticks back. Taking third was Karen Mizikar in 23:02. Karen was also the first female Masters to finish.

Amazingly, in the top eleven finishers, ten were under the age of 21! This author finished as first Masters in 19:07 and in 8th place, surrounded by these thin, fleet youngsters. I overheard a youngster whispering to his buddy as we panted in the finish chute, "That chubby old guy didn't run too bad." Kids!

The race was a well-run and well-organized event though it did have something I have never seen before. They had a water stop, and instead of the usual passing out of cups, they had bottled water. Additionally, if you wanted water, you had to grab the bottle and then pry off the plastic cap and pull up the spout in order to drink. Kind of a self-serve water stop!

With the Boston Beanery being the title sponsor and it being located right in the mall where the race was staged, I was drooling the whole morning anticipating some great food to add to my girth. Alas, there was no food and by the time I got home at 1:30 p.m. I was one hungry puppy. Well, more like one hungry old mongrel!