“New England’s Finest” at ING Hartford Marathon

The inaugural “New England’s Finest” program at the 15th ING Hartford Marathon went off with a bang on Oct. 12. On a sunny and dry day, the program’s male marathoners would place 1-3-4 with female marathoners finishing 2-3-4-6-8.

When the marathoners and half marathoners split ways at 3.5-miles, Pat Moulton, 26, liked his prospects. “There was a big group that went out fast, but when we made the turn, there was just one blond-haired guy about 15 seconds ahead,” said Moulton, a NH native who returned this spring from a year with the Hanson’s Distance Project and is now residing in Providence, RI.

“I slowly started reeling him in and caught him at eight but he stayed right on my shoulder. I didn’t know who he was or what he was capable of. Coming back from Michigan was a big transition so I was a bit undertrained coming in. I just kept to my own pace and we ran together for a long time. He kept me honest.”

Sweden’s Jonas Buud, 34, hung with Moulton until a slight incline at mile 19. “I made a move and pushed uphill to see what he’d do,” said Moulton. “He stayed the same distance behind me. It was a tough race, I’m glad I came out of it with the win.”

Moulton hit the tape in 2:21:49 with Buud just 14 seconds back and Michael Hall, 27, of New Milford, clinching the bronze in 2:32:24-a PR for the former UConn runner. Moulton received $3K for the win and another $3K as part of the NEF bonus package (top five places in the marathon, top three in the half marathon).

“Here he comes down the homestretch, one of the top masters runners in the country! Glen Guillemette is 48 years-old and he’s going to run 2:33 for fourth place!” The exurberance of the PA announcer was met with loud cheering and a few audible gasps from the large crowed gathered by the finish line alongside Bushnell Park.

Guillemette’s inclusion in the NEF program provided a bit of embarrasment, in retrospect, for the Narragansett, RI runner.  “I’ve never received a reception like that, but it was getting a little lonely at the end,” he laughed.
Ellington coach Aaron Flamino, 33, brother of Olympic Marathon trialist Yolanda Flamino, placed seventh in his marathon debut in a fine 2:37:27.

Ethiopia’s Serkalem Abrha, 21, was a solo whirlwind in the women’s race, winning in a runaway 2:38:37. Behind her a very interesting story unfolded. Sheri Piers of Falmouth, ME and Shannon McHale of Simsbury had both run in the Olympic Trials Marathon in Boston, both are 37, both have multiple kids at home, both planned on running the same marathon outside New England before receiving invites to Hartford. Yet they hadn’t met until they took to the starting line at Hartford.

From there, they became ‘fast’ friends, whipping though two miles in 11:50 and 10K in 37:38. “We reached halfway in 1:20. I saw that split and I thought, ‘Uh-oh, no PRs today,'” said Piers. “We went out fast,” said McHale. “We went out way too fast,” added Piers.

The second half of the course proved to be a struggle for both. “I’d look at Shannon and if she looked like she was flagging, I’d tell her she looked great. I’d be feeling half sick and she’d tell me I was looking strong, we kept each other going,” said Piers.

“It would have been really ugly if we didn’t have each other,” said McHale. “There were sections where there wasn’t even any noise so you wanted the company.”

“I had to make a pit stop at around 20 miles and she told me to go in my pants,” laughed Piers. McHale didn’t deny it, “Oh my God, I didn’t want her to leave me alone.”
 “I jetted out after her but it took me three miles to catch up,” said Piers.

At this juncture, the pair decided to finish together and arrived at the finish line in 2:47:03. Not long after, Diona Fulton, 28, of Somerville, MA, made her way under the Soldier’s and Sailors arch and to the finish line in 2:48:16, good for $1,250 and a PR. “For about five seconds out there I was ‘oh, it’s so pretty’ and then it was ‘Focus!'” stated Fulton. Master runners Mary-Lynn Currier, 44, of Canton and Simonetta Piergentili, 44, of Wilmington, MA, placed 5-6 in 2:52:53 and 2:53:38.

In the attendant half marathon, NEF participant Nate Jenkins was coming off a 29:44 10K and had every intention of winning the race. Jenkins hit two miles in 9:35 and was 15-flat at 5K before a somewhat chronic hip/hamstring malady kicked in. “I went from 4:48 to 5:17-5:18 and it wasn’t long before the Africans went flying by,” said Jenkins, who continued on to place 8th in 1:07:38. “I could get though it but I wouldn’t have wanted to go another 13.1 like that.”

The top three Africans would place within a second of each other with the edge going to Ethiopia’s Derese Deniboba, 26, in 1:04:20. Placing just off the pace in fifth was surprise entrant Lucas Meyer, 25, a former steeple great while at Yale. Meyer ran sub-5 pace to finish in 1:05:16 and was pleased with the effort.

“This was my first half marathon and it was a lot of fun. I’m living just two miles from here,” said Meyer, who’s attending UConn Law School. “I was in a pack with the Africans and I felt strong the whole way.”

NEF participant Brendan Callahan, 27, of West Hartford, ran a PR 1:07:13 to place 7th. Also kudos to 10th placer Ian Nurse (1:10:38) who’s headed to Chiropratic School in Oregon but is keeping his NER sub active. Bravo!

Ethiopia also prevailed on the women’s side as Alemtsehay Misganaw was first to the finish in 1:17:31, followed by Olympic Marathon trialists and NEF participants Heidy Westerling, 27, of Acworth, NH in 1:18:25 and Caroline Bjune, 34, of Andover, MA in 1:21:00.

Senior NEF participants Marge Bellisle, 53, of Warren, RI and Reno Stirrat, 54, of Dorchester, MA, both won their divisions by over six minutes. Bellisle, who ran 1:30:58, remarked, “You know, I thought the course was fairly difficult. Of course, what do I know, I’m just an old lady, maybe someone younger wouldn’t find it tough at all.”

“The course is deceptive,” noted Stirrat. “It’s a roller, to call it flat doesn’t do it justice, but the organization was great, it seemed there was someone every quarter-mile.”

Larry Olsen, 61, of Hopedale, MA, won the Veteran’s division by 11 minutes in 1:22:44 (2nd up was Bill Rodgers) topped only by Bill Riley’s 41-minute edge among Septuagenarians. Ironman, Riley, 72, of Centerville, MA, checked in at 1:32:28. “It’s a beautiful but surprisingly challenging course,” remarked Riley.

Other superlative age-group times were registered by well-known Connecticut athletes Jo Marchetti, 65, of Newington, the W60 winner in 1:45:49 (8:04 pace), and the ageless Mary McCauley, 76, of Middletown, the 70+ winner in 2:37:42 (2:34:00 net).

There’s a festival atmosphere to Bushnell Park post-race with 1400 square feet of tent space devoted to various vendors. One of the most popular locales was the Oktoberfest Beer Garden. While there were 50 bands out on the course, the final performance was by the ‘Garden’ as runners licked their wounds, told war stories, or engaged in both.
‰ÛÓBob Fitzgerald

15th ING Greater Hartford Marathon/Half Marathon, Hartford, October 12
1,942 Marathon Finishers – 3,120 Half Marathon Finishers – 932 5K Finishers – Timing by: Granite State Race Services – Marathon USATF Certified: CT080118JHP – Half Marathon USATF Certified: CT04019PH – 5K USATF Certified: CT01019DR – *Under USATF Age-Group guideline – Marathon Records: Moses Kemboi, 2:16:34, 2005; Ramilia Burangulova, 2:33:26, 2003. Masters: Wieslaw Perszke, 2:23:52, 2003; Ramilia Burangulova, RUS, 2:33:26, 2003. Half Marathon Records: Benedict Ako, 1:03:37, 1999; Jackline Torori, 1:15:11, 2002. 5K Records: Erik Nedeau, 15:03, 2001; Amy Nedeau, 16:47, 2003
Men’s Marathon (Overall): 1. Pat Moulton, 2:21:49; 2. Jonas Buud, SWE, 2:22:03; 3. Mike Hall, 2:32:24; 4. Glen Guillemette (48) RI, 2:33:19*; 5. Dave Vona, NY, 2:35:03; 6. John Yoder, TX, 2:36:49; 7. Aaron Flamino, 2:37:27; 8. Tim Ives, IA, 2:39:54; 9. David McKay, 2:41:47; 10. Dave Ruggles, ON-CAN, 2:42:14; 11. Chris Schulten, 2:50:22; 12. Adrian Dirusso, NY, 2:51:43; 13. Patrick Meacham, RI, 2:52:18; 14. Chris Deming, 2:52:59; 15. John Minervino, 2:53:50; 16. Scott McCraw, NY, 2:54:26; 17. Brett Stoeffler, 2:54:50; 18. Rich Fargo, 2:55:34; 19. Pat Dennen, 2:55:59; 20. Dan Cerasace, 2:56:18. Masters: 1. Glen Guillemette (48) RI, 2:33:19*; 2. Dave Ruggles, ON-CAN, 2:42:14; 3. Chris Deming, 2:52:59; 4. Brett Stoeffler, 2:54:50;5. Steve Hertford, VT, 2:56:35; 6. Wayne Piers, ME, 2:57:06. Seniors: 1. Rich Fargo, 2:55:34; 2. John Shostrom, NY, 3:01:00; 3. Ken Schatz, VT, 3:01:20; 4. John McAllister, TX, 3:06:42; 5. John Whelan, MA, 3:07:05; 6. Benoit Jadoul, NY, 3:07:09. Veterans: 1. Al Bates, MA, 3:19:19; 2. Bill Stewart, NJ, 3:22:40; 3. Ronnie Wong, MD, 3:25:53; 4. Chuck Bleifeld, NY, 3:36:42. (70-79): 1. David Sonstroem (72), 3:39:21*; 2. Al Miclette (72), PQ-CAN, 4:04:02*; 3. George Stump, OH, 4:22:30. Women’s Marathon (Overall): 1. Serkalem Abrha, ETH, 2:38:37; 2. Sheri Piers, ME, 2:47:03; 3. Shannon McHale, 2:47:03; 4. Diona Fulton, MA, 2:48:16; 5. Mary-Lynn Currier (44), 2:52:53*; 6. Simonetta Piergentili  (44), MA, 2:53:38*; 7. Pam Manley, MA, 2:55:39; 8. Mary Pardi, ME, 3:03:06;  9. Martha Grinnell (42), 3:04:39*; 10. Karen Dolge, NY, 3:04:46; 11. Anne Campbell, 3:08:43; 12. Susan Schadt (41), 3:08:34*; 13. Danielle Messinger, NY, 3:10:48; 14. Maureen Terwilliger, 3:12:04; 15. Janet Aronson, MA, 3:13:11; 16. Lisa Danielson, MA, 3:13:42; 17. Rebecca Gough, RI, 3:15:24; 18. Shira Springer, MA, 3:14:59. Masters: 1. Mary-Lynn Currier (44), 2:52:53*; 2. Simonetta Piergentili  (44), MA, 2:53:38*; 3. Martha Grinnell (42), 3:04:39*; 4. Susan Schadt (41), 3:08:34*; 5. Maureen Terwilliger, 3:12:04; 6. Janet Aronson, MA, 3:13:11. Seniors: 1. Deb Thomford (51) , MN, 3:24:03*; 2. Lynn Mardon (52), 3:25:32*; 3. Nancy Muller, 3:36:51; 4. Mary Lynch, 3:38:35; 5. Sally Robinson, 3:56:09. Veterans: 1. Patricia McDonnell, VA, 4:42:25; 2. Nancy Willemstein, MI, 4:43:39; 3. Geri Henry, TX, 4:45:19; 4. Joanne Meier (65), CA, 4:56:15*. (70-79): 1. Terttu Barsch (71), FL, 5:11:43*; 2. Jeannette Cyr, 6:17:57. Men’s Half Marathon (Overall): 1. Derese Deniboba, ETH-NY, 1:04:20; 2. Tesfaye Girma, ETH-NY, 1:04:21; 3. Elijah Kitur, ETH-NY, 1:04:21; 4. Stephen Chemlany, KEN-NY, 1:04:39; 5. Lucas Meyer, 1:05:16; 6. Teklu Tefera, ETH-NY, 1:06:59; 7. Brendan Callahan, 1:07:13; 8. Nate Jenkins, MA, 1:07:38; 9. Payton Batliner, CO, 1:08:21; 10. Ian Nurse, MA, 1:10:38; 11. Phil Reutlinger, 1:11:42; 12. Robert Rosasco, 1:11:42. (19-under): 1. Nick Kovaleski, MA, 1:24:36; 2. Vin Javinett, NY, 1:30:56; 3. Tim Butterfield, 1:34:10. Masters: 1. Gabriel Helmlinger, MA, 1:16:17; 2. Francis Laros, NY, 1:20:17; 3. Kevin Pieon, 1:20:47. Seniors: 1. Reno Stirrat (54), MA, 1:16:37*; 2. T J Dooling, 1:23:29; 3. Dan Hartnett, RI, 1:25:13. Veterans: 1. Larry Olsen (61), MA, 1:22:44*; 2. Bill Rodgers, MA, 1:33:50; 3.  Bob Pawloski, 1:41:15. (70-79): 1. Bill Riley (72), MA, 1:32:28*; 2. Ray Bykowski, 2:13:42; 3. Boris Lurye, 2:28:17. Women’s Half Marathon (Overall): 1. Alembehay Misganaw, ETH-NY, 1:17:31; 2. Heidi Westerling, NH, 1:18:25; 3. Caroline Bjune, MA, 1:21:00; 4. Claudia Camargo (37), ARG-CT, 1:24:27*; 5. Melissa Perkins-Banas (37), 1:24:33*; 6. Beth Parker, 1:24:51; 7. Nichol Sherry, 1:26:07; 8. Meredith Remigino, 1:29:18; 9. Laura Delbiondo, 1:29:30; 10. Laurie Tuohey, 1:29:40; 11. Mary Christian (45), NJ, 1:29:49*; 12. Amy Wadsworth, 1:29:52. (19-under): 1. Melissa Moser, NY, 1:39:03; 2. Colleen Dolan, 1:52:02; 3. My-Linh Luong, VA, 1:55:13. Masters: 1. Mary Christian (45), NJ, 1:29:49*; 2. Peg Panzer (46), CO, 1:29:55*; 3. Heather Bessette (45), 1:30:24*. Seniors: 1. Marge Bellisle (53), RI, 1:30:58*; 2. Betty Remigino-Knapp (52), 1:37:41*; 3. Cathy Lyons, 1:43:22. Veterans: 1. Jo Marchetti (65), 1:45:49*; 2. Barrie Robbins-Pianka (62), 2:01:25*; 3. Linda Brewer (62), AZ, 2:03:34*. (70-79): 1. Mary McCauley (76), RI, 2:37:42; 2. Barbara Frasca (70), 2:43:23*; 3. Irene Burke, 3:17:56.


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