Fonder, Edwards Lead Record Field
BY HAP MILLER
HARRISBURG, PA--The New York City Marathons loss became
the Harrisburg Marathons gain. The late cancellation of
the New York City Marathon, due to catastrophic damage by Hurricane
Sandy, caused the many trained and ready to go marathoners to
scramble for an alternative race close to the same time frame.
Harrisburg, not being too far away, and scheduled for the next
weekend, November 11, seemed to fit the bill for many. Due to
the increased number of entries, a record 1,583 crossed the finish
line located at the Harrisburg City Island. The previous years
count was 702, with the all-time record of 940 set in 2010.
First year Race Director Andy Wahila, and his hard working crew
that numbered in the hundreds, ably saw to the needs of the vastly
expanded field. Last minute increased shirt and finisher medal
orders had to be filled, hours of more time spent stuffing race
packets, recruiting more volunteers, and increasing supplies
to be used along the marathon course are just a few of the many
things handled with very few glitches. The many, many, pages
of positive feedback in the form of e-mails attest to the success
of the 40th Annual Harrisburg Marathon. There was rumor of a
petition being circulated, nominating Wahila for mayor of Harrisburg.
I know there would be hundreds of NYC Marathon refugees,
along with many locals, willing to sign it.
Michael Fonder, 26, Princeton, NJ, finished first among the record number of runners, walkers, and relay runners, in a time of 2:27:34. Fonders time was the first under 2:30 since the 2000 race when Thomas Stickel, 37, Lancaster, OH, finished in 2:37:42. On hand to watch the race was course record setter Rick Blood, Summerdale, PA, who set the record of 2:21:38 in 1981 at the age of 23. It was Fonders first marathon win on just his second attempt at the distance. It turned out to be a major personal record for the New Jersey resident, who was scheduled to run the New York City Marathon. He signed up for the Harrisburg event just hours after the New York race was canceled. After breaking away at the three-mile mark, Fonder continued to increase his lead, winning by almost eight minutes.
Finishing in second place was New York resident, Art Gunther, 41, Nyack, who was also the first Masters in a time of 3:35:19. Continuing the New York flavor, New Yorker Michael Arnstein, 35, 2:36:10, came across the finish line in third place. Arnstein won the Harrisburg Marathon in 2008 with a time of 2:32:17. Finishing fourth for the men was Pennsylvania resident Matthew DeBlander, 24, Duboistown, 2:36:22. DeBlander was second overall in 2010.
It was a big day for everyone, New York runners in particular, who were given large rounds of applause in the City Island carousel following the race. Several running clubs, including the Central Park Track Club, were participants on the events biggest day in its 40-year history. The Harrisburg Area Road Running club as usual, was involved in helping at all phases of the race, which also included many of their members competing in the marathon.
Many repeat Harrisburg Marathon finishers were evident. Park Barner, 68, Harrisburg, PA, and Mike Ranck, 61, Deer Lake, PA, have finished all 40 Harrisburg Marathons. Hap Miller, 69, Carlisle, PA, completed his 38th. Dwight Edris, 66, Leesport, PA, 32nd. Donald Halke II, 53, Newport, PA, finished his 19th and it was also his 100th overall marathon. Dale Jordan, 59, Baldwin, MD, 18th. Alan Sommerville, 64, Halifax, PA, 16th. Paul Hedin Jr, 55, Lewisberry, PA, 15th. Elliot Collins, 60, Raritan, NJ, 14th. Jim Honchar, 48, Dillsburg, PA; Stephen Housenick, 44, Kingston, PA; Richard Parker, 58, Duncansville, PA; and Steve Whittle, 61, Hummelstown, PA, all finished their 12th. Jennifer Cadenhead, 34, Harrisburg, PA, finished her 10th marathon at Harrisburg. Nick Marshall, 64, Camp Hill, finished his 23rd Harrisburg Marathon. Also, Robin Venick, 50, New York, NY, and Lois Broussard, 66, Northborough, MA, finished their 50th overall marathon. Chris Kunkel, 55, Oradell, NJ, completed his 45th overall. Barry Goldmeier, 48, Rockville, MD completed his 5th Harrisburg Marathon while juggling five beanbags the whole way, just as he had in the previous four.
Womens age-group winners: Tara Allen, 40, Greenwich, CT (First Masters), 3:11:00; Daphne Tsoucas, 19, Mount Kisco, NY, (19 & Under), 3:18:54; Jolene Collins, Annville, PA (20 24, 7th woman overall, first overall woman in 2011 with a time of 3:06:22), 3:08:03; Alysia Dusseau, New York, NY (25 29, 4th woman overall), 3:07:19; Dana Kolsar, Philadelphia, PA (30 34, 6th woman overall), 3:19:09; Alison Wilson, Larchmont, NY (35 39, 8th woman overall), 3:09:19; Sinead Fitzgibbon, Sag Harbor, NY (40 44), 3:15:57; Riva Johnson, Carlisle, PA (45 49), 3:13:08; Cindy Lewandowski, Sartell, MN (50 54), 3:24:48; Antoinette Marmora, Jersey City, NJ (55 59), 4:03:33; Regina Collins, Williamsport, PA (60- 64), 4:22:29; Ruth Liebowitz, 70, Staten Island, NY (65 & Over), 5:03:24. Liebowitz completed her 8th marathon at Harrisburg, winning her 7th first place age-group award, and is the third woman, 70 years or older, to ever finish at Harrisburg.
First out of the 69 jogger/walker finishers was Vincent Ma, 43, San Jose, CA, in a time of 4:27:41. First among the 92 finishing relay teams was all male SWIFT Racing Orange in a time of 2:30:06. Team SWIFT Racing Orange, consisting of Brian Hagar, Patrick Hagar, Eric Bofinger, and Jason Brown, was only beaten to the finish by marathon winner Michael Fonder. The first female team, Rockin the Road, made up of Mindy Smith, Belinda Heltzel, Keri Walton, and Gredda Schreffler, finished in 3:13:43. The 2012 race was brought to a close when walkers Lynn Annis, 58, Emmaus, PA, and John Annis, 57, Emmaus, PA, finished in 8:41:15 and 8:41:16 respectively.
People from seven countries and 29 states participated in the 2012 Harrisburg Marathon. Over the years (1973 2012) there have been finishers from every state except Mississippi. A record number of over 43% (683) of this years finishers were female. The first 16 years of the Harrisburg Marathon (1973 1988) saw 64 woman finish at Harrisburg, or 9% of the total finishers for those years.
The Marathon raised over $55,000 to support the various programs the YMCA provides to the Harrisburg Community. The 41st Annual Harrisburg Marathon will be held on November 10, 2013.