TCS Annapolis Classic Half Marathon & 10K
November 22, 2014
This year's start
Did someone say cold! Surely we could still be running in shorts on the last Saturday before Thanksgiving. Race Director Craig Harrison told us the day before the weather would be great. He was no even wearing gloves at the start. To be sure there was no wind, no rain, and just a touch of night to start the race to stop the runners from delivering themselves back across the finish line after an interesting twirl through the streets of historic Annapolis. Harrison and co Race Director Lisa Fontaine were former directors of the Annapolis 10 miler which is usually 60 degrees warmer as a tripe H race (hot, hilly, and humid). Today’s shorter event, the 10K was known of the three. The thermometer nestled at just under twenty degrees at 6:55 as Jeanne Larrison sang our National Anthem.
The course started in similar fashion to many races run here by circling the stadium clockwise by way of the Taylor Avenue entrance. It is always nice to start with a downhill to get your engines started. Both the 10K with 759 finishers and the half marathon with 23:50 finishers began together. The event is all about having fun and with no prize money does not draw an elite field based on speed. The announcer kept encouraging the faster runners to move to the start and there was no crowding there.
Once the runners reached Rove Boulevard things changed. Instead of a straight shot towards the dock, runners circled back toward the big tent (heated) that was the site of the band, the oysters, and the booze. Unwisely I made the left hand turn away from the party and headed for the dock. There was a lot of weaving around in the next three miles including one time when the returning runners had to cross through the trailing runners. I always prefer races when I get to see runners coming and going from front and behind.
There were scores and scores of volunteers to marshal the course but I was turning right to go over the bridge like a lemming having always followed that course in other events. Plus I wanted to punish my legs on the first of three major hills on the way out of town. The worst of them was the last that covered nearly all of the eight mile. On the way home I promised myself there would be three down hills.
The 10K got to turn left and head for home without crossing the Severn River. They only had one hill and it was softened because the finals half mile changed to circled back to the finish from behind. In past events runners got to charge the final 150 meters straight back up the hill. Today the last quarter mile was flat.
Just beyond the bright red finish arch 10Kers got a memorial pin and the half marathon finishers a very classy medallion. More than gravity drove the runners back down the hill. To the left was the entertainment tent but first runners surged to the right for food and a very nice jacket as proof that they had finished. The event’s premium was like the lottery, “You gotta play to win.” Now to food ripe bananas and fresh bananas prove how much this event knows runners. Even more was the hot tomato soup to take the some of the chill out of the air.
By 9:00 a.m. the sun had burned away the wicked cold of the start and taken us up to a more manageable 30 degrees. Next to the entertainment tent for warmth but once I arrived the talented band keep our runner’s feet tapping as we sipped beer and cider and eat oysters. They did a wonderful rendition of the Devil Came down to Georgia.
Tyler Larkin, 29, Annapolis won it all in the 10K with 39:50. Leeann Machiesky, 35, of Sykesville was the 14 racer overall in 46:08 and the top female. That was not far behind Ronnie Wong, 68, of Catonsville, MD who was sixth to finish in 45:34. The slender Wong wore a trash bag for the first mile before surging up Rowe Boulevard. The masters champion, Ivan De Leon Hernandez, 42, of Washington, DC was second overall in 41:56 as was Leighann Cotter, 42 for the women in 48:53.
In the half marathon the overall went three deep yet only the top two overall in each sex ran a Ranked Runner time. None of the three women even started right at the start for their race. One runner suggested that the winners would be runners in short and tank tops racing like it was a normal day. That was Jon Goldsmith, 31, of Reston who won in 1:13:23. Nicholas Medolia, 20 of Oakland was not far behind in 1:14:11. He still looked as if he had a shot as they charged back towards the bridge near mile ten. Calum Ramm, 25 was a little further back in 1:16:54.
In the women’s race it was all Megan Digregorio, 26 of Baltimore in a very nice 1:26:51 for 26th racer overall. That was not far behind master male Christopher Rotunno, 51, of Washington, DC who finished in 1:26:03. The award was based on gun time and just beat Reynolds Wilson, 42, of Arlington in finished 11 seconds later but had a net time of 1:25:10. Kaitlan Moynihan, 19, of Bel Air ran a very nifty 1:31:05 to earn second overall. Emily Pollock, 27, of Washington, DC was third a minute later in 1:32:11. Matsters champion Cathy Grams, 42, of Annapolis was eighth women overall in 1:35:10.