Champions Race Here – We’re On The Run!

The Latest Running News and Notes in Hampton Roads from Running Reporter Jon “Flex” Leiding

Runners, joggers, and race walkers! We had a pretty good week.  Time to go “On the Run” this week before Thanksgiving. Do you think the best time of the year is summer, winter, spring, or fall?  In terms of running races, FALL is definitely a good time.  So many races!

First up: He did it! Cox High School’s Jonathan Lomagda won the Group 6A Virginia Cross Country 5K state meet, becoming the first runner from Southeastern Virginia to claim the title of State Champion since 1984.  The Senior’s time of 15:34 was good enough for a big win after being runner up last year.  Jonathan plans to run the Foot Locker South Regional Cross Country Meet November 28th.

Jonathan Lomagda- State Champ!
Jonathan Lomagda- State Champ!

Also from the Group 5A Cross Country State meet,  there was big success for Princess Anne’s Brother- Sister combination of Doria and Harrison Martingayle. Doria finished third overall in the women’s cross country event, while Harrison finished fifth with a quick time of 16:12.  Definitely some speedy bragging rights in that household. Congratulations to all who compete at the high school level.  You are this sport’s future.

Two weeks ago we had the OBX Marathon and last weekend, Richmond hosted it’s Marathon weekend.  Hillary Too, winner of the OBX Half Marathon, claimed victory at the Richmond Marathon in 2:18:42.  That’s less than a minute away from qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials.  Hampton Roads was represented well by Newport News’ Michael Leech, big fan of the running blog, knocking out a 3:04:33 and Brittany Van Nielen of Norfolk who also ran a 3:03:18.   Williamsburg’s Marshall Irby smoked this 26.2 mile course in 2:42:44.  The “757” was definitely in the house!  Also, a big “Shout Out!” to Chesapeake’s Stacin Martin, the men’s top finisher from Hampton Roads in the Half Marathon with a great time of 1:24:03.  Plus, we love the ladies, too: “Shout Out” to Jessica Armstrong of Newport News, finishing in 1:32:03.  Speedy times all around!

Closer to home, the Portsmouth Coast Guard 5K was good to Norfolk’s Steven Armitage, winner in 19:02 while 12-year-old Lauren Hasty finished seventh overall and won the women’s title in 21:28.  It’s hard to top those efforts, but we’ll keep trying!

At the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, FM 99 had their Christmas Wish 5K with proceeds going to the Christmas Wish fund.   I was lucky enough to go and help support a great cause. They always seem to be able to make holiday dreams come true for those less fortunate. Chuck Inman was the overall winner in 18:21, while  Ann Mazur was the leading lady and second overall with the superfast time of 19:08.   Also guess who won his 55 to 59 age group? Morning man, Rick Rumble! Way to go Rick!

Ann Mazur, Chuck Inman, & Rick Rumble!
Ann Mazur, Chuck Inman, & Rick Rumble!

The Tidewater Striders, the largest running club in the Mid Atlantic Region, announced their five new members of their Hall of Fame. Included in this group are Ken Lampert, who in the ’70s and ’80s, along with Dave McDonald, put Hampton Roads on the map for running with super speedy race results.  Lampert’s 5K best of 14:15 and mile best of 4:07 still seem untouchable marks for most anyone I know. Kathleen McAllister Morgan, a 35-year member of the Striders, enjoyed great success from the mile to the marathon during the 1980s and 1990s. Paul Tidewater stridersSteele, a member of the club for over 35 years, is a successful master’s runner Leisa Villani is one of the most successful female masters and senior runners to compete for the Tidewater Striders. For more than a decade, she placed first as the overall masters’ and age-group winner in many local, regional and interstate races.  In 2008, she ranked fifth in the U.S. and 25th in the world in the half-marathon for 50-54 year-old women. She still holds six Virginia State Road Race age-group records.  Also, added to their Hall of Fame is good friend, Michelle Smith Harden. Michelle has run Marathons in all 50 states and all seven continents. She always seems to wear a tutu for each race and I have never seen her without a smile.

Back in 2011 I was lucky enough to enter view her and since it’s “Throwback Thursday”, check it out:

Let’s talk about this weekend! Are you ready to run? The Harbor Lights Half Marathon Weekend invades downtown Blue-Moon-Harbor-Lights-LogoNorfolk with a 5K and Half Marathon just waiting to be had. I will be on the course Sunday looking to give out free high-fives and maybe pump you up as you go for 13.1 miles. Best of luck to all my friends!  At the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the K5k, Run for Kendra starts at 24th Street.  You can still get in on the fun by clicking here

That’s all the time we have for this week.  Look for next week’s edition Wednesday here on ‘Til then, maybe I will catch you soon on the run!