of America Marathon
The 40th Annual Heart of America Marathon will be most noted as completing the turn-around from HOA as a competitive "runner's" marathon to a "people's" participation event. We had the fifth largest field ever, the 131 finishers being the most since we had 141 in 1981. The record field was 178
in 1978. The comparison of those finishers with today's is striking. In '78, of the 178 finishers, only four were female, in '99, 29 were female; in '78 we had 32 age 40 or over, less than 20%, while in '99, 73 were 40 or over, well over half; and 12 of them were female. Never before had we more than 14 female finishers, any age. The times were
slower. For example, the median time in '78 was 3:44:30 compared with a slower 4:05:41 in '99. Notice the 25 years ago column showing 22 runners under 3:00 - a third of the finishers. This year only five were under 3:00. Yes, the
marathon has changed - it is truly an event for everyone assuming that "everyone" will undertake the proper preparation for at least a five-hour marathon.
Anyway, back to the 40th Annual. We got a break in the weather; a welcome break from the searing heat of the previous two months. 57 degrees at the start, high humidity,
warming to low 70's, and a bright sun, but lower humidity
towards the four and five-hour marks.
This was Ron Chisolm's race. Chisolm had won in 1996 with the third fastest time on record, 2:30:43. He was back for another go at Dennis Hinkamp's mark of 2:29:15 set in 1977.
Chisolm was on record pace for the first 12 miles, but gradually slipped to being 39 seconds behind at 15 miles and from there it was a matter of running on to the finish with no one pushing him. There was a battle for second. Shawn Standridge, last year's winner, caught Mark Palm shortly before the nine-mile mark and from there they ran in tandem until Standridge burst away coming down College Ave.
Andrea McGehee and Christine Rockey had a nice duel for the first place plaque for the female side. At three miles McGehee was ahead by eight seconds, but Rockey was in front by 15 seconds at six miles and she gradually built that lead to two minutes by the 15-mile mark. Then McGehee began
closing the gap: 74 seconds at 18, 73 at 21; the Sparta runner catching the St. Joe runner going up the Providence Road hill at the stadium and then increasing the lead to the final 1:52 margin of victory.
The Dave Schulte Award went to Stephen Bourgeois who ran 3:33:02 in 1998 and came back in '99 at 3:08:01, an 11.75% improvement. Barbara Fulkerson, who ran as Barbara Mueller last year, improved from 3:55:27 to 3:29:51 (10.78%) to make this a close contest.
Age Records: Male: Chisolm, age 38, Gerald Glass, a remarkable 3:12:10 at age 61; Chuck Van Duzee, 62; Lou Joline, 67; Don Osman, 68. Female: Kyleen Albert, 13; Maggie Mosier, 16; McGehee, 31; Susan Matthews, 41 (Matthews ran this race three times in the early 80's when a student at MU; here she is 16 years later); Sondra Wheaton, 43; Rae Mohrmann, 51; De Ann Aydelott, 56; Donna Murphy, 59.