Gianotti Sets New Female Course Record
BY DINO OBERTO
HAZLETON, PA--Leading up to the 13th Annual Run for the Cannoli 5K, held Sunday, August 20, as has been the case in previous years, most runners were expecting a hot, blistering day, especially when considering the past few weeks had been extremely humid; not to mention the 3 p.m. start would be the warmest time of the day.
But in this years edition of the popular mid-summer classic that is held in conjunction with the St. Mauros Italian Festival at Queen of Heaven Parish the competition faced a completely different scenario as a driving rainstorm was going on at the same time as the start.
The rain turned out to be a welcome sight to the over 100 runners who toed the line and more so for top female winner Emily Gianotti of Ephrata, who took advantage of the cooler temps which were 20 degrees cooler than last year and set a new course record for females at 17:30.
It was a lot of fun and the course was tough and the conditions werent ideal but I tend to run better in cooler weather so it was a lot more comfortable and refreshing over the heat weve been getting, said 24-year-old Gianotti.
The previous record was held by Northeast Pennsylvania running standout Marina Orrson at 17:41 set two years ago.
I had talked to people who had done the race and they told me about the first mile being downhill and fast so I was able to put some time in the bank. I was anticipating it being pretty quick. I ran around a 5:16 which felt really comfortable. I knew I had to go out quick because the latter half of the course was going to be a little tougher, said Gianotti.
Whitney Heydenreich of Bloomsburg was a solid runner-up at 19:42 with Megan Natale of Conygham taking the third spot at 21:13.
Overall winner Shawn Lake of Elizabethtown was also making his first Cannoli appearance and heeded the advice of last years record-setting winner Zach Mains with whom he attended the race. Mains ran a 15:44 in 2015 with temperatures at 92 degrees.
Lake, who ran cross-country at Lock Haven University, paced the field for most of the 3.1 miles and crossed the finish line at 16:04.
I think the only thing the rain did was make me a little heavy but it was also cool out there and conditions werent near as hot as they have been the past few weeks, said 25-year-old Lake.
It was a great race. The rain let up just as we set out and coming down the [first] hill was fast and coming back up it definitely didnt do it justice. Zach [Mains] told me all about how tough it was last year and it was as a race as advertised.
Mains, of Harrisburg, finished second at 16:15 with Robert Moulton of Mountain Top, taking third at 16:19. Multi-time Cannoli winner Jeff Skwierz of Forty Fort was fourth at 16:32 while inaugural Cannoli winner Brent Edwards of Hazle Township rounded out the top five with a 16:56, making it the closest race history.
I took the first mile out hard and I didnt see
Zach then around a mile and a half-two miles he pulled up alongside
me and we were pulling away together. I could tell that he was
trying to press out early and I just held on and hoped Id
have enough at the end, said Lake.
Both Lake and Gianotti run for the Keystone Track Club of Harrisburg for coach Henry Klugh.
Prior to the start of the race a moment of silence was held in memory of Jonathan Kiddish, Weatherly Area High School Cross Country coach, who recently passed away.
The Run for the Cannoli 5K continues as a tradition of being
one of the premier races in the Hazleton area and annually attracts
not only the best talent from the immediate region but likewise
from throughout the state and beyond. This years event
pulled in runners from as far away as New York and New Jersey.