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Turnout lets Freedom's Run reign

October 03, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- From 36 states and four countries, runners came by the hundreds to participate in the Freedom's Run races Saturday.

There were 306 official finishers in the marathon, 484 in the half marathon, 291 in the 10K, 361 in the 5K and about 200 in the kids fun run.

Not bad for a first-year event.

"The huge success is that people were having fun, and they got out on the trails," director Mark Cucuzzella said.

The local heritage was a main attraction.

The marathon (26.2 miles) started in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and connected four national parks in West Virginia and Maryland -- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Antietam National Battlefield and the Potomac Heritage Trail -- before finishing at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown.

The half marathon (13.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) -- which all started and ended at Shepherd -- offered shorter park tours.

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The marathon and half marathon also featured relentless hills.

"That's the toughest marathon course I've ever run by far," said David Hryvniak, 24, of Chesapeake, Va. "But that's what marathons are supposed to be -- tough."

Hryvniak won Saturday's marathon in 2 hours, 43 minutes, 7 seconds -- the slowest time of his six marathon finishes and well off his personal best of 2:27. Ben Bollock 27, of Shepherdstown, was the runner-up in 2:48:59.

Hryvniak said the race will only make future, flatter marathons seem easier.

"I'm hoping to keep improving and working toward the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials," said Hryvniak, who still needs to meet the qualifying standard of 2:19. "I'm excited."

Local legend Susan Graham-Gray, who competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, was the female champion in Saturday's half marathon in 1:23:58. It was her first race in more than six months.

"I've been out with some health issues -- a vascular circulation issue -- and I had to take care of that and kind of put running on the back burner for a while," said Graham-Gray, 41, of Greencastle, Pa. "I'm not 100 percent, but I'm working toward it. Today was a step in the right direction.

"I like hills. That was my strength in this race."

Saturday's other champions included: Mandana Mortazavi, 45, of Leesburg, Va. (women's marathon, 3:28:27); Mike Orton, 26, of Reston, Va. (men's half marathon, 1:17:34); Justin Fritzius, 25, of Purceville, Va. (men's 10K, 36:12); Jennifer Burkhardt, 28, of Charles Town, W.Va. (women's 10K, 45:11); Zachary Gates, 18, of Shepherdstown (men's 5K, 19:51); and Jessica Squire, 22, of Warrenton, Va. (women's 5K, 22:31).

Cucuzzella said he hopes Freedom's Run becomes an annual event.

"We'll kind of debrief after all of this is over and see how the parks felt about it and see how the towns felt about it," he said. "We'll make sure we clean up really well today and see what Shepherd University thinks about it."

Freedom's Run

Top 10 finishers

Marathon

Males: 1. David Hryvniak 2:43:07; 2. Ben Bollock 2:48:59; 3. Josh Hite 2:51:56; 4. Charles Bowles 2:51:58; 5. Timothy Smith 2:53:57; 6. William Bondurant 2:56:14; 7. Douglas Basinski 3:05:01; 8. Jake Green 3:09:28; 9. David Bolton 3:10:55; 10. Yukun Fung 3:12:07.

Females: 1. Mandana Mortazavi 3:28:27; 2. Anna Scheinzbach 3:29:58; 3. Dorothy Beal 3:35:02; 4. Valerie Kilcoin 3:35:27; 5. Bekki Manville 3:35:57; 6. Maria Vargas 3:41:07; 7. Kristin Shaw 3:43:41; 8. Leslie Knibb 3:45:20; 9. Kelly McCullough 3:47:15; 10. Missy Price 3:48:00.

Half Marathon

Males: 1. Mike Orton 1:17:34; 2. Kari Selin 1:20:58; 3. Malcolm Lester 1:21:05; 4. Andy Mason 1:22:18; 5. Tim Fisler 1:23:32; 6. Jared Matlick 1:23:50; 7. Robert Dinterman 1:24:40; 8. Stephen Bosco 1:25:31; 9. Kenneth Hawkes 1:25:36; 10. Robert Jahn 1:25:37.

Females: 1. Susan Graham-Gray 1:23:58; 2. Emily Ferguson 1:28:31; 3. Elizabeth Jones 1:29:18; 4. Leah Kate Atkinson 1:32:51; 5. Erin Dilley 1:33:27; 6. Kelly Hunsecker 1:35:00; 7. Dani Mason 1:35:12; 8. Maureen Hall 1:38:18; 9. Karen Williams 1:39:19; 10. Kauren Nordstrom 1:40:15.

10K

Males: 1. Justin Fritzius 36:12; 2. Graham Peck 37:01; 3. Robert Stephens 38:25; 4. Brad Rippey 39:26; 5. Joseph Jordan 41:25; 6. Grant Quick 41:32; 7. Brent Phillips 42:30; 8. Stephan Sarro 42:41; 9. John Rudmin 44:02; 10. Keith Janssen 45:16.

Females: 1. Jennifer Burkhardt 45:11; 2. Alicia Korol 45:32; 3. Lizzy Jenny 45:38; 4. Nicole Eldredge 46:15; 5. Molly Briggs 47:52; 6. Stacy Miller 49:57; 7. Katrina Bigelow 50:37; 8. Heidi Marks 52:04; 9. Nikki Snider 52:13; 10. Matthew Kradel 52:28.

5K

Males: 1. Zachary Gates 19:51; 2. Camden Connell 19:55; 3. Mark Schmitt 20:04; 4. Aaron Steinberg 20:40; 5. John MacLean 21:02; 6. Jonathan Quigley 21:20; 7. Lukas Roberson 21:35; 8. Robert Chavarry 21:38; 9. Simon Ayling 21:52; 10. Sam Scanlan 22:29.

Females: 1. Jessica Squire 22:31; 2. Jessica Clingan 23:27; 3. Anya Wallace 23:45; 4. Johanna Biola 24:05; 5. Stacie Beyer 24:21; 6. Teresa Hawkins 24:40; 7. Melody Miles 26:51; 8. Jodi Taetle 27:09; 9. Katie Thompson 27:46; 10. Heather McSharry 27:56.

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