of America Marathon
The best weather conditions ever. A shade cooler than last year except after the two-hour mark, when last year it got cloudy, this year it got sunny. The wind was not so strong this year, but there was somewhat of a headwind on the road back. 46 degrees at the 7:00 a.m. start, only up to 53 by 10:00, humidity ranged from 86% down to 69.
Jon Herbert is threatening the record for most HOA
victories. Tim Hendricks has five first place finishes to his credit and, he, too, had a string of three in a row. In today's race Herbert had the lead from the start and only Vern Darling, an erstwhile runner from Northwest Missouri State, Maryville, in his first marathon, made an attempt to stay with the experienced Herbert. Darling, no doubt much faster over 10,000 meters, stayed reasonably close for the first half of the race, but shortly thereafter, came Easley Hill and Herbert's margin began to grow considerably. Darling eventually faded to tenth. In the meantime, Tom LaFontaine, moved into second, and at one point was probably 400 yards ahead of Robert Steven Cline. However, after 22 miles or so Cline, moving quite easily, took over from LaFontaine who ultimately finished with virtually nothing left. He was hurting. For Cline this was a step forward as he had finished third the past three years.
Frank Curotto ran the second half faster than anyone
(1:20:09) to nail down fourth. Bill Fox captured the age-40 award for the second year in a row posting the second best time ever for 40+. Second age-40 was Lou Fritz in his debut as a 40-year-old and in his 19th consecutive HOA. The 1983 race was one of the rare occasions in which Fritz did not run the second half faster than the first. No doubt his idea was to stay close to the speedy Fox and so he did for it was not until the final mile or so that Fox could be confident that Fritz would not come charging past him. Out of those 19
HOA's Fritz has only run faster in three of them than he ran in 1983. Another example of improving with age.
Debbie HoxWorth, in her third marathon, got a PB with a time second only to the record 3:00:07 set by Liz Bulman a year ago. At halfway Hoxworth was 42 seconds ahead of Bulman's pace but she couldn't throw in a comparable second half.
Howard Calkin was, once again, the oldest finisher,
72. Calkin had his sixth best marathon time out of 21 marathons. His first marathon came in 1973 when he was a sprightly 62-year-old.
John Ostroot won the Dave Schulte Award for Performance, being 38:05 faster than he was in 1982, a 17.14% improvement.