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OTQ’s – New England’s Finest Records Galore at Eversource Hartford Marathon

Photo: The marathon lead pack 6-miles in on Riverfront Plaza: Western Mass Distance Project teammates Jason Ayr and Dennis Roche are up front. Obscured behind Roche are SC’s Jon McGinnis and Brian Harvey of the BAA. In white is CT’s Everett Hackett next to Tracksmith Hare’s Jeff Seelaus in black and Flyin’ Ryan Smith of Maine to the right. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner

Busy weekend for NER with the Eversource Hartford Marathon & Half on Saturday, Oct. 12, the BAA Half on Sunday and Reebok 10K Run For Women on Monday. Yahoo!

 

We have a vested interest in the New England’s Finest program at Hartford. NEF athletes populated the awards podium once again, taking the men and women’s marathon, the men’s half marathon, and starting at 2nd in the women’s half marathon (with CT’s Annmarie Tuxbury running a minute PR of 1:13:17.

 

Annmarie Tuxbury bearing down. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner

First off, for NEF athletes in the marathon the top prize starts at $6,000 so that’s where the real $ is with NER kicking in bonus money for anyone breaking an NEF record, and Yikes! There were several.

 

The NEF Record Talley

 

Women’s marathon NEF record setter Marci Klimek at 8-miles with Mark Rabasco of WMDP. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner

Women’s Marathon: Marci Klimek laid waste to Erica Jesseman’s NEF women’s course record of 2:38:13 from 2013, running 2:35:13.

 

The BAA’s amazing Karolyn Bowley, 50, likewise flattened Mary-Lynn Currier’s W50 mark of 2:57:29 from 2015. Karolyn wasn’t sandbagging as the US W50 1500m record holder logged in at 2:50:41 to place 7th among women.

 

Men’s Marathon: Matty P. – 2015 champion Matt Pelletier, 40, returning after a 3-year retirement, ran 2:26:40 to pace 7th and polaxe Keven O’Neil’s NEF M40 record of 2:32:19 that had stood since 2010.

 

Matty P. training partner Dave Principe, 52, clocked 2:35:55 to take down fellow Rhode Islander Glen Guillemette’s NEF M50 record of 2:39:14 from 2010.

 

As Mr. Principe relayed post-race: “Matty had me doing damn hard workouts and long runs, longer than I’d ever done. It was tough but I finished them. I was like, ‘wow, if I can finish these, the race will be a breeze.’ I felt great throughout the race today, everything went excellent.”

 

Matt Pelletier and Dave Principe post race. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner

Also having an excellent race and notching an Olympic Trials Qualifier was Flyin’ Ryan Smith, 24, of Auburn, Maine, the overall winner in 2:18:25.

 

Smith had upped his mileage since finishing second her last year and his legs were surprisingly fresh. “I was feeling great even 15 miles in. The plan wasn’t to move until 22 but at halfway we were 15 seconds off OTQ pace, so at 16 we were going into a headwind and nobody wanted to lead. I made a strong move; if I was going to lead into the wind I didn’t want anyone sitting on me. I knew the turnaround was two miles up the road and when I got to it I’d feel better, so it was also a bit of a psychological move.”

 

At the turnaround, Tracksmith Hare’s Jeff Seelaus and CT’s Everett Hackett also broke from the remaining 5-runner pack. Seelaus would place second in 2:19:35 with Hackett at 2:20:24. SC’s Jon McGinnis was on Hackett’s heels in 2:20:32. 2016 champion Brian Harvey of the BAA placed 5th in 2:21:02 with Jason Ayr of the Western Mass Distance Project in 6th at 2:21:13.

 

“That was racing, it was cool,” said Seelaus. “It was fun working with those guys. When Everett and I took off at the turnaround it was part chasing Ryan and part running scared. There were some strong runners behind us.”

 

Much more in-depth overage in the Nov/Dec issue of NER, so in leaving.

 

Marci Klimek hadn’t raced since winning New Bedford this March and hadn’t raced before that after placing 10th in the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Last year’s bronze medalist Kate Pallardy of NYC got second in 2:41:43 in a close one over Red Newt Running’s Ellie Pell of Ithaca, NY in 2:41:52.

 

Pallardy already had an OTQ but Pell didn’t so a big day, also a big day for 4th placer Heidi Caldwell of Craftsbury Common, VT who snagged the OTQ in 2:42:15 – same for Allston, MA marathoner Emily Waligurski, 24, in 2:43:30.

 

Jonathan Phillips. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner

Heartbreaker Jonathan Phillips—the 1st New Englander at the Boston Marathon this past April—took the checkered flag at half the distance in 1:04:51 over W. Hartford, CT’s Sean O’Connor, 22 (2nd at the Lone Gull 10K USATF-NE GP) in 1:05:27.

 

Ethiopian Nuhamin Bogale Ashame took the women’s half in 1:13:07. Defending champion Tuxbury was not far back in 1:13:17 – a huge PR and more on what brought that about in the next issue of NER. Suffice that Tuxbury split 10K in 34:18 – a 30 second PR! NEFer Lyndsey Sherf of Tarrytown, NY was 3rd in 1:16:52, Whirlaway’s Jaclyn Solimine cranked out a big PR in 1:17:07 for 4th.

 

On it goes…time for bed.

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