Archive for Monday, April 19, 2010

Well traveled: Veteran runner claims first marathon victory

More than 1,500 runners competed in various races from Shenk Field at 23rd and Iowa Sunday, April 18, 2010 during the Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon.

More than 1,500 runners competed in various races from Shenk Field at 23rd and Iowa Sunday, April 18, 2010 during the Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon.

April 19, 2010


Runners take to Lawrence streets

The first local marathon of the spring season kicked off Sunday with a large turnout. The event led runners past several Lawrence landmarks on their way to hitting the 26-mile mark. Enlarge video

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Complete Kansas Marathon results

Check out the complete results from Sunday's Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon.

The Bentonville, Ark., home of runner Dave Weston features no shortage of race T-shirts.

They’re everywhere, he says, a collection accumulated over the years thanks to an ambitious road-racing schedule that has taken the 38-year-old through various states — Texas, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, to name a few — and subsequently left him with diminishing closet space.

“My wife gives me a hard time because I have more running shoes and (race) T-shirts than I know what to do with,” he said following Sunday’s Kansas Marathon. “I have T-shirts that are 15 years old.”

His newest one is certainly worth hanging onto. Weston earned his first overall marathon victory Sunday morning, finishing the 26.2-mile course through Lawrence in 2:50:11 to out-pace runner-up Cal Thoman by more than 21⁄2 minutes.

Racing in the city’s first marathon in recent memory — unlike in previous years, the 2010 Kansas Marathon schedule included a full marathon — Weston jumped to an early lead and had little trouble maintaining it.

Sunday’s race marked the 16th state in which he has completed a marathon, and if things go the way he hopes over the next several years — he already has additional marathons planned for November (Indiana) and December (Alabama) of this year — he plans to have raced in marathons in all 50 states by age 55.

A map of the Kansas Marathon half marathon route.

A map of the Kansas Marathon half marathon route.

A map of the full marathon route used in the 2010 Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon.

A map of the full marathon route used in the 2010 Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon.

“Each marathon is a different experience; they’re all a little different in their own way,” he said. “So this was great. I’ve never finished first before, so it’s pretty exciting. It’s a whole different feeling being the first one coming in.”

By many accounts, the 2010 version of the Kansas Marathon went swimmingly, from the spike in participation — more than 1,600 competitors registered for the 5K, half-marathon and marathon races, significantly more than ’09 — to the weather, which was near-perfect throughout the morning, to a course that proved adequately challenging.

“That last hill on Clinton (Parkway), I could have done without that,” said Topeka’s Michelle Andrew, who won the women’s marathon in 3:26:36. “The rest of the hills didn’t bother me too much, but that last one after (the 23rd-mile marker)? Yeah, that was tough.”

It was also an encouraging day for local runners, as the top-five lists of each of the three races were speckled with Lawrence residents.

The day’s most impressive performance, however, belonged to Sammy Rotich, who took the half-marathon title in dominating fashion, finishing more than 13 minutes ahead of the next-fastest competitor and setting the course record with a time of 1:08:34 — a time he says he’d like to improve upon in 2011.

“If I get a chance next year, I’ll be here,” said Rotich, who made the trip from West Des Moines, Iowa. “I hold the course record for here ... but I’ve got to come back and figure out how to break it again.”

Rick Stahl was the top finisher in the men’s 5K with a time of 17:11, while Eudora’s Marjorie Hedden was first in the women’s race in 20:50. Dannah Chambers of Lee’s Summit, Mo., won the women’s half-marathon, clocking 1:35:22.


Kash_Encarri 8 years, 2 months ago

"By many accounts, the 2010 version of the Kansas Marathon went swimmingly..."

Tell that to the runners in the marathon who endured aid stations that ran out of energy packets (or never even had them) and energy drink (sorry no, it's not Gatorade, but it's not water either).

Dave looked solid when he passed through our aid station, and congrats on the top finish, but there were others that were expecting/needing items that we never had available for them. For you naysayers out there thinking the runners should have been prepared, I'm only talking about things that other races provide along the course not anything special.

Evan Ridenour 8 years, 2 months ago

I didn't have this problem at any of the aid stations but then again... I carried my own gel and I don't drink energy drinks when I run so I might have missed a few stations that had these problems but it seemed to me that every single aid station had gel, water and energy drink.

And it is actually very unusual for a marathon to provide gel at every aid station. Most only do so at one or two points in the route so if out of all of the aid stations 3 or 4 didn't have gel the runners were still being spoiled.

The only real problem with this race was the course. Between the two steep hills in the last four miles and rejoining the full marathoners route with the half marathon deep into the race it was pretty darn awful.

Volunteers were awesome, the finish line area was awesome, aid stations were awesome, spectators were much better then I thought they would be (especially the guy who ran around the entire course playing the cowbell, you rock whoever you are!), t-shirt is pretty nice... just the course... the awful course.

JayhawkAlum03 8 years, 2 months ago

Agreed on the gels/drinks. I don't use the stuff, but of the fulls/halves I've run, only one provided gels along the course, and that was only at one or two stations very late in the race.

I also agree to some extent about the course. It is a little disappointing that the marathon route can't show off the city more in terms of downtown/campus, but I'm pretty sure they did what they could given the constraints. I suspect that they didn't have a lot of options on where they could go due to road closings. I know in the past, various groups that have tried to get a marathon started have struggled because the city wasn't willing to allow any closures on 6th or 23rd/Clinton Pkwy, which limits the options quite a bit.

However, I think the hills were pretty clear from the maps/elevation charts, so it shouldn't have been too big of a surprise even for non-locals.

Overall, thought it was a great event and was very well run. Enjoyed it completely. Hope out-of-towners will be back for it next year.

Evan Ridenour 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh I knew what it was like when I signed up, it doesn't mean it was a good idea to place two big hills in the last four miles. Although the most annoying thing again was having to dodge the tons of half-marathon people walking the route and this is just a big example of poor planning. They shouldn't have done the routing and timing in such a way that the full marathoners were going to have to weave back and forth between all of those walkers late into the race. That was avoidable.

I am sure the routing with the hills had a lot to do with restrictions on what could be closed and I accept that. With a field of only a couple of hundred full marathon runners I am not expecting them to be able to close down major roadways but it is kind of a catch-22 because I seriously doubt the race will ever grow very large if the full marathon route remains that awful and I still feel like there were things that could have been done to avoid it. For example: The last hill at mile 24.5/25 was completely avoidable but they threw it in anyways and I would like to again note that they could have easily done things to avoid making us slog through all of the walkers doing the half marathon.

Kash_Encarri 8 years, 2 months ago

Eride and Alum I am glad to hear that you both had a good experience. I didn't mean to imply that each aid station should have had gel packets, though as I re-read my posting I can see where you would think that is what I was saying. Our aid station, we were instructed that the next station was going to have gel only to find out that we had been providing incorrect information and it was two aid stations further. Then we found out that the aid station that had it ran out. That woud be a tough one for me especially when the website indicates that they are supplying it. The other thing was on the energy drink. I don't know how many times we heard runner "Gatorade?", station worker "energy drink", runner "if it's that stuff they have at the other stations I'll take water. Thanks for being out here for us though."

d_prowess 8 years, 2 months ago

Anyone wanting to run a 5K race this weekend through KU's campus? Sign up here:

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