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Mason posts county best

November 20, 2005|By KEVIN SPRADLIN

WILLIAMSPORT - With his right index finger raised into a "1," Hagerstown resident Andy Mason indicated his order of finish among Washington County competitors on Saturday at the 43rd Annual JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon.

Mason finished 15th in the men's field and 17th overall in 6 hours, 51 minutes, 56 seconds. His previous best, and only other attempt on the course, was 8:19:02 in 2003.

"I couldn't believe the number of people who went out fast," said Mason, Assistant Sports Editor of The Morning Herald. "My first mile was in 7:07 up the hill, but I usually run hills hard."

When runners take a right turn onto the Appalachian Trail for roughly 13 miles on challenging terrain, Mason waited. And waited. And waited. He finished the first 15.5 miles in about 2 hours and 30 minutes, averaging about 9:40 per mile.

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"Once I got on the towpath, that's when I started going," Mason said. "I was 55th or something coming off the trail."

Ten miles later, Mason had moved up nearly 20 spots. His final 8.4 miles, on rolling hills from the towpath through rural Williamsport to Springfield Middle School, was in about 63 minutes, or about 7:30 pace.

Mason, 33, set a personal best at the marathon (26.2-mile) distance five weeks ago at the Steamtown Marathon. Ironically, his 2:46:16 also earned him a 17th-place finish.

Staff Correspondent

Mason

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