Heart of America Marathon
Labor Day heart2.gif (4940 bytes) Columbia, Missouri

1997 Report

With temperature at 70 degrees at the 6:00 am start, humidity at 93 percent, and a cloudless sky, it was evident that this would be one of those brutal Heart of America Marathons. And it was.

However, David Dabkowski and Andrea Fischer were able to put aside this harshness to completely dominate this years's edition, the 38th Annual. Dobkowski's performance was quite amazing considering that he had run HOA 11 previous times some of them in far better conditons, yet his PB was only 2:51:47 which he ran in 1990. So this year he lowers that by a solid 6:30 and this at age 39! Dobkowski becomes a four-time winner of HOA, having previously won in 1990, '94, and '95. In this year's race he took the lead shortly after six miles and steadily increased his advantage.

Andrea Fischer followed up her 2:54:10 of last year (having run that with Michele McFadden) by running solo this time, in worse conditions. Yet, she missed that PB by only 38 seconds. Fischer ranged back in 8th place up until the 12th mile. Thereafter she gradually picked off all those ahead of her (save the winner) to move into second shortly after mile 21, turning in negative splits of 1:28:38 and 1:26:10. She is, no doubt, ready for another Ironman, so Good Luck! to her in that venture.

Andrew Kotulski made this his 256th marathon. He has run at least two marathons in each of the 50 states and each of the Canadian provinces. He has run at least four miles every day for the past 19 years and has run 4,000 miles per year for 23 years.

Age records: Male 53 now goes to Paul Jensen, his 3:13:20 bettering the 3:14:39 Hal Higdon had in 1984; Lou Joline gets the age 65 mark. For the women, Fischer gets the age 33 mark, while Lynda Churchfield puts a new time in the 47 age slot.

The Dave Schulte Award went to Chris Cook who was at 3:37:12 last year in his HOA debut. This year the hot sun spurred him on to a 7.86 per cent improvement.