of America Marathon
The weather: Not too bad at the start. 64 degrees, 97% humidity (that's bad), light SE wind at 6 knots, 30% cloud cover. The temperature worked up to 70 by 9:00 am and 76 by 10, while the humidity stayed about the same for 2 ¬hours and then dropped a little. There was never a bright sun with clear skies, so that helped.
Tom Nichols was here for the second time having also won this race in 1989 (he was entered as Charles) with a time of 2:42:00. In that race Nichols was dogged by Raul Flores for some 21 miles before pulling away to win by almost four
minutes. This year Nichols lagged along behind Dmitry Voldman and the same Raul Flores, but by only 20 seconds or so before pulling even with them coming up to the 17-mile hill. It was then Nichols and Voldman until Nichols began pulling away on the downhill stretches after 22 miles. "He was too fast going downhill," said Voldman who racked up his third straight second place finish, yet establishing a PB for HOA by eight minutes. Both Nichols and Voldman ran negative splits, the second half going some six minutes faster than the first. A leisurely 6:40 pace for the first several miles set up the hammering over the final half-marathon after Easley Hill.
Julie Bergfeld had the women's portion of the race all to herself in her HOA debut, getting her desired sub-3:30 by almost seven minutes.
Todd Beaverson, with his fourth place finish, was the leading CTC runner bettering his 3:03:55 of last year and making up a lot of ground on Flores over the last few miles. Beaverson's second half was six minutes better than his first.
Garry Gribble was in his 82nd marathon - he has run at
least one in every state and DC. Jim Maxwell completed his 11th HOA; the last several years he has come all the way from San Diego to run (but he does have relatives in Missouri). Dennis Simmons got the 40-49 first place award with a PB by over ten minutes. Wife Cheryl Simmons equalled that first place performance for female 40+.
John Patton, a Columbia lawyer, won the Dave Schulte Award
by improving 14.57% over his previous best HOA time.
Chuck McFerren, at age 75, is the oldest person ever to