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Wardian's Brown run win was no accident

August 22, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT -- Michael Wardian was just lucky to be alive when he arrived in Williamsport on Saturday morning.

"Everything after that was gravy," he said, after pouring it on.

Wardian, 35, of Arlington, Va., convincingly won the 28th annual Gary Brown Memorial C&O Canal Five Mile Run in 25 minutes, 34 seconds.

His journey to the starting line, however, was even more eventful than his race to the finish.

"I almost wrecked on the way here, getting on 495 right off the G.W. Parkway," he said. "I started hydroplaning and spinning out of control. It was unbelievably bizarre. I was freaked out.

"It made the race seem so much less important."

Wardian still managed to dominate, winning the race for the second time in three years. Matthew Barresi, 26, of Falls Church, Va., was second in 26:03, while defending champ Jaron Hawkins, 26, of Frostburg, Md., finished a disappointing third in 27:37.

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Last year, Hawkins lowered the course record to 24:59, pulling away late from Wardian, who finished second.

"It was nice to come back and redeem myself," said Wardian, who took the lead for good a mile into Saturday's race. "I love winning."

Hawkins said he just had a bad day.

"I don't know what it was," he said. "I dropped back, (Wardian) kept going and I lost contact."

Mark Eissens, 28, of Williamsport, finished fourth in 28:35, and Tim Schuler, 46, of Chambersburg, Pa., was fifth overall and the first Master in 29:16.

Jennifer Hartnett-Plevinski, 32, of Clear Spring, was the women's champ in 32:57.

"I felt strong and just wanted to run as hard as I could," she said. "I just kept looking at the guys in front of me, but I never caught them."

The gals behind her were no match.

Amy Rowan, 29, of Cumberland, Md., finished a minute back in 33:57, while Laurie Dymond, 43, of Chambersburg, was third overall and the first Master in 35:09.

Overall, there were 121 finishers.

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