Miles of Fun Ahead “On The Run!”

The Latest Running News, Notes, and More From Sportswrap Running Reporter, Jon “Flex” Leiding

Last weekend  was the time to get outside.  Talk about a long weekend for running in Hampton Roads.  Many of you decided to go long, including races longer than marathons. That’s amazing!

Let’s start short and simple: the Run for the Beads 5K in Suffolk was won by Matthew Palagyi with the time of 18:55, while the top female was Sarah Cantrell from Norfolk with the time of 22:16.  Picking up the pace and the mileage, The Polar Plunge Four Miler at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront coincided with the polar plunge.  Many took the plunge and Virginia Beach’s Chris Stock was cool and hot at the same time, crushing the four mile course in 23:10, while Joyce Hartman from Chesapeake was the ladies Champion in 30:57.

Game Day Races
Game Day Races

Just across the water in Newport News, the Game Day 5K and Game Day 10k went on Super Sunday.  With plenty of time to race and then go prep for the “Big Game,” the 5K was won by Michael Stohler with a time of 17:46,  while the ladies were led by Kasey Gibson from Newport News with a time of 19:01.  Time for a “Peninsula Shout Out!”  This one goes to Yorktown’s Langston Shelton, 68 years old, who ran the course in 22:01!  Go ahead, Langston!!!

Familiar names adorned the 10K race, with Portsmouth’s Ryan Carroll capturing the overall title along the 6.2 mile course in 33:14.   Bethany Specter from Virginia Beach was the first female in 42:03.   Also, respectful congrats to Robert Williams from Yorktown!  The 59-year-old conquered the course in just 42:14.   Well Done, Robert!  Superstars in this sport are every size, shape, and age!

Staying on that side of the water  up the road “a piece”, Toano featured the fourth annual ICY 8K last Saturday.  The ladies get top billing for this one!  Sika Henry, who set the female course record last year, did it again.  She bested her 2015 effort of 31:06 and dropped a 30:46 through the Toano area.  Wow!!!   Roger Hooper was the overall 8k winner and his 26:56 was just two seconds off the almost 5 mile course record. That is moving!  More “Shout Out Time!”  I never ask a woman her age but, proud to share that 76-year-old Judy Stewart from Williamburg set an age group record on this course, blazing away with a 57:54.  It was a perfect weekend for great runs!

Time to ramp up the distance a little bit. How about 50 K I’m on 100 K how about 100 K Relay?

Stephanie Manny Unstoppable in 100K!
Stephanie Manny Unstoppable in 100K!

It all went down at the Bow Creek golf course on Sunday. The runners circled a 2.3 mile loop around the course and were provided a shelter for refueling and supplies along the way.  This is an all day experience for both runners AND volunteers!
First, let me say I have never run a distance longer than a marathon so anyone who finished either distance was incredible! If you are one of those people, I tip my cap to you.  First the 50K, which is approximately 31 miles.   Richmond’s  Patrick Bell finished first in three hours and 24 minutes. Chesapeake’s Vincent Ortiz gets the big age Group win, completing the event in three hours and fifty six minutes, while Angela Gardina was the women’s winner in four hours and twenty one minutes.
You think that’s a long way?  There was a 100k race and a 100k relay as well.
Not many people wake up and say to themselves: “today’s a great day to go race almost 63 miles.”  There were some who took up the challenge.  With temperatures in the 40s and some wind as well, Team Treason was the 100k relay while Virginia Beach’s Ryan Staggs was the 100k winner in eight hours 59 minutes and 19 seconds.  He didn’t have long to enjoy the spotlight. Less than five minutes later,  Stephanie Manny  became the ladies finishing in nine hours four minutes and 35 seconds.   She is a beast!  You  Rock, Stephanie!

From Beasts to Legends :  Do not confuse him from the Welsh actor with the same name!  It seems that Steve Speirs of Virginia Beach has never met a race where he hasn’t done well.  This past weekend, he ran the 100 mile Iron Horse Rails to Trails Endurance Race in Florahome, Florida.   Of his many accomplishments, winning a 100 mile race has never been on his list until this past weekend.  Steve was colossal, battling the rain with a finishing time of fifteen hours and fifty two minutes!  His wife Ally Speirs, also competed in the 100k portion of the race and is a tough competitor herself.   I am blown away by these efforts!  Quite Inspirational!

Love On The Run!
Love On The Run!

So with all those long long long distance races out-of-the-way, you wanna go for a Run?

This weekend offers shorter one races including Valentine’s Day themed races. First at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach,  Cupids Undie Run to benefit the Childhood Tumor Foundation goes off at Seventh Street. The idea is to run a mile or so and your “bedroom best”.  You can still join the fun by going to cupidsundierun.com

Looking for Love on Valentines weekend?  How about the Love Run 5K at Thalia Elementary School!  Just 5000 meters or 3.1 miles should be a breeze plus, you’re helping out the school.   Staying in Virginia Beach, we “share the love.”  Just drop by their website, http://chkdloverun.jimdo.com/.

More love this weekend?  You Romantic!  How about the Life Net sponsors it’s inaugural Share the Love 5K starting at their offices near Princess Anne Road. If you’re looking for a short fun race this weekend, they’re all over the place. On the other side of the water Gloucester features it’s Gloucester 8K event.  Go to colonialroadrunners.org for more information.

Go South and Go Long!
Go South and Go Long!

Many times people like to travel out of town.  There is a marathon this weekend a little further south. At Hilton Head Island, they offer a full and half marathon weekend for Valentines day. Plus I’m certain you could sneak in a round or two of golf.

We like sharing pictures of people in Hampton Roads while they are “On the Run”. If you have a picture you’d like to share, send it to me: astrovp@yahoo.com. Make sure the picture is really of you and that you or your friends took the picture. No photo shopping needed.

We like you just the way you are.

See You On The Run!
See You On The Run!

That’s all that’s all we have for this week.  Be on the lookout for more great shout out stories and inspiration along the way.  Now my gift to you: Guys!  Don’t forget your sweeties Valentine’s Day gift!  Just helping out a little. Catch you soon…“On The Run!”