San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 10th, 2009
Windy runs, hat wearing cows and Afghanistan races

Run with Moe: A column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runnes Club

Last Sunday, the ARA-Moe’s Better Half Marathon and the CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K was held out at the Tanger Outlet Center.

The volunteers were great and started showing up about 5:30 a.m. The runners started arriving shortly after that.  Everything was going along as scheduled, except the weather. Weather forecasters had predicted a cool morning with the winds dying down about midnight on Saturday. As it turned out, the wind did not die down until noon on Sunday. We moved the registration into the hall of the Tanger Outlet restroom area and, if you can imagine, almost 300 runners and volunteers crowded into a progressively smaller space. It was warm but very congested.

The race started and everything went well after that, except that wind just kept blowing across the top of the hills.  Listening to runners after the race, it seemed as they made the turn at mile seven, the wind literally straightened them up and several lost hats to the pastures in the area. If you see a cow out there wearing a hat of some sorts, let me know as several runners are requesting a return.

The runners were very complimentary and praised the volunteers that braved the wind and cold at the water aid stations for their commitment and friendly greetings. Tricia and Mike Schneider were really valuable in helping though out the entire race organization. Dr. Jim Moyle, the representative for Austin Radiological Association, was there early on and took time out to enter the 5K run before helping out with the half marathon again. David Alexander was there with mile markers and a trailer to help drop off equipment and lead Kirsten Messer, the wheelchair champion, in her first part of the race.

The Kiwanis Club volunteers were instrumental in getting the aid stations set up out on the course and making sure the different stations had a constant supply of water. They also helped with the registration of the Half Marathon runners and set out the awards for after the race. CASA volunteers manned the water stations and helped out with registration and organizing the refreshment tables for after the race.  The staff from Tanger were there at 5 a.m. with opening doors, bringing anything that we needed for the race such as filling water coolers and getting tables out and keeping the area clean. Sylvia and Ted did a great job at helping out there and Tanger Outlet Center has been outstanding in supporting this race throughout the years and it is very much appreciated.

Most of the runners came from Austin and San Antonio area, but a few San Marcos runners braved the wind and cold to run in the races. In the Half Marathon, Caroline Newman, Austin, was the overall female champion in 1:32:54 and Rolando Roman, Austin, was the overall men’s champion in 1:22:34.

Masters champions were Lisa Preeg, San Antonio, in 1:37:55 and Scott Birk, Austin, in 1:29:12. Senior Masters  champions (over 50 years) were Carrie Spruiell, Allen, in 1:41:54 and Raul Contreras, San Antonio, in 1:36:34. The Grand Master (over 60 years) were Vonda Lee Adorno, Austin, in 2:34:11 and Michael Chicka, San Antonio, in 1:43:23.  Vonda is a young 74 years old and still manages to put in a fast time for 13.1 miles.

Local runners in the Half Marathon included Lori McNabb coming across in first place in the 45-49 age group with a time of 1:43:41.  Laura Mason ran in at 2:37:50 for a personal record for her and Brigitte Payne in 2:40:20. Ashley Wheeler, a student of mine at Texas State, ran in at 2:01:50.  Mathew Moreno ran a good 1:39:42, Jonathon Sosa ran in at 2:12:24 and Desmond Daigle and Josh Morgan came in at 2:58:32.  Ed Quinonez took time out from delivering mail to run in at 2:04:03 and Randall Villapando entered his first ever race and ran across the finish in 2:12:26. Abe Jaquez, Martindale, ran in with a time of 2:44:57 and Bill Soto ran in at 3:15:08.

In the 5K race, many of the local runners entered the fun portion of the run and did not run to get a time or place for an award.  Those that ran in the timed portion of the race included Jacqulyn Lawhead in 41:01 and Katie Chomel in 41:00 and Cheryl Soderquist managed a 30:02 that was good for a second place finish in the 30-39 age. Barbara McLeod from Fort Ene, Ontario, Canada, took first in the over 60 years. Ed Kurtmen, Maxwell, was the overall champion in 20:27 and Alan Atchison was the first place finisher in the 50-59 age with a 24:06 time and Jim Moyle, ARA, was first in the over 60-year category with a 33:04 time.

The race had 25 runners over in Afghanistan running on Sunday morning, and I will report on their efforts next week. They did not have the wind blowing, but had some very unusual circumstances during the race.

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