by Christine Bishop
(Enjoy the many hyperlinks in this article!)
The first three runners all broke his long-standing record: Tyler Andrews of Virginia-2:15.52: Louis Serafini of Boston, MA by way of Niskayuna-2:17.25; and Kiplangat Tisia of Rochester by way of Kenya. Samantha Roeker former Burnt Hill-Ballston Lake High School track star ran the Hannaford Half Marathon in 1:18:09 breaking the record set on October 12, 2014 by Diane Matthews. It was a day for the books.
The marathon was a true nail biter. The pace of the first half was dizzying with Kiplingat Tisia and Tewodros Zewdu blazing ahead at an average 5:12 per mile. Tyler Andrews and Lou Serafini stayed close but felt the pace was too fast to sustain. At the halfway point, Tisia, Zewdu and Serafini were seconds ahead of Andrews. At the 20-mile mark, Tisia was slightly ahead of Andrews, but at this point Andrews sprinted much to the astonishment of onlookers to overtake Tisia and then maintain the lead. What most in the crowd were not aware of is that Andrews is known for his ability to run a sub-5 minute mile after running for 12 miles or more. This athletic gift made it possible for him to set the world record for a half marathon on a treadmill at the Boston Marathon Expo in 2015. Tyler also trains frequently at high altitude spots such as Peru’s Sacred Valley and Kenya’s Great Rift Valley in his role as a co-founder of the STRIVE Program for high school scholar athletes. Serafini, who set the course record for the half-marathon in 2015 (1:05:48), had a personal record at the marathon of 2:17:25 placing him in second. Lou, a former Niskayuna high school track star, loves to race in the capital district and said, "This is my fourth marathon … Coming back here and running the full was something that I really wanted to do. It fit into my schedule this year nicely so I figured why not." Tisia came in third and also broke Dale’s record by three seconds.
Roberta Groner of Randolph, NJ ran the second fastest time in MHR Marathon history coming in at 2:37:54. She ran the second half of the race faster than the first beating Sarah Hickie of Greenville, Delaware. Sarah was thrilled with a second place finish saying that it fulfilled a goal she chased for five years. Dana Ostrander Bush of Saratoga Springs, NY came in third.
Former RPI track star and now ARE team member, Jacob Andrews, began his half-marathon career with a winning performance of 1:07:55. About his run, Jacob said that he planned to run conservatively but had to change that once the race started because the leader shot ahead. “I kept him in sight as much as I could, until we reached the bike path and started to close on him. With 3 miles to go I pushed to take the lead and pushed to the finish.” He beat Bryan Morseman of Bath, NY, 1:08:19, who had won the MHR Marathon in 2015 and the 2016 Wineglass Marathon on October 2, 2016. Conor Cashin formerly of Albany came in third with 1:08:40.
In Samantha Roecker’s record setting run she was ahead of the other top two runners throughout all the splits. She had a blistering pace of 5:58 per mile. Emily Hulme placed second with a pace of 6:16 per mile and Albany’s Karen Bertasso finished in 1:23:23 for third place.
If next year’s MHR Marathon and Hannaford Half Marathon on October 8, 2017, has weather as perfect for running as this year’s: cloudy with temperatures in the low 50s with no tail wind, maybe more records will be broken. The anticipation is fun to think about.