The Rochester Marathon was held on a perfect day on September 22 as 603 runners completed the 26.2 miles. William Murphy, who is 65, speed walks most events. Murphy completed the course in 8 hours and 23 minutes. Kip Tisia, 24, won in 2:19:59. That’s a 5:21 pace, and 16 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Pat Casterline, from Scranton, Pa. Kip passed the first marathon relay point 6.7 miles in and had already built a 4-minute lead.
Kip has also won the Flower City Half-Marathon, the Buffalo Half-Marathon and the Lilac 10K. This was Kip’s first marathon and now he says he is going to start training harder. The bikers who followed him around the course were probably exhausted!
One day when you’re watching the lead pack in marathons in Boston, NYC, Chicago or other spots, you will see Kip in the mix. Milessa Gillette, of Indiana, won the women’s title for the second time.
Of the 603 finishers, 17 finished in under 4 hours.
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Genesee Valley Harriers (GHV) is a running club in Rochester New members are always welcome whether you’re a new runner or elite. Coach Mike Reif will give you a personalized training schedule based on your goals.
There are group works outs Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. They move around based on the time of year. Workouts may be on the track at Nazareth College, Cobbs Hill Park or on an indoor track in the winter.
Annual membership fee is $75 and well worth it. You get the camaraderie of running with folks your pace or even some who may push you a bit. You get speed workouts, hill workouts plus all the information you need on rest and nutrition.
GVH sponsors several running events and participates in races nationwide. If you are interested come to a practice or two and check it out. Details are on the website. GVH teams participated at the USA Masters 1 Mile Road Championships in Pittsburgh, PA, led by Mike Nier (fifth overall) with 4:44 and Martha McLaughlin (ninth overall) with 5:35.
In August, GVH sponsored the Tour De Pain Innovative Edge Sports Summer XC Series at Cobbs Hill Park. For four Thursdays in a row, runners competed on a cross-country 5K course. On the last Thursday, Aug. 22, after the 5K run there was a 1-mile run up around the reservoir and then just to make sure the De Pain part was there, a 400-meter run up the grass side of the reservoir was held. Three races in the same evening!
As part of the series there were kids runs of 100 meters, 400 meters and 1 mile before each 5K. Participating each week there were kids of all ages. It was very fun to watch.
One of my most memorable parts of the series was Alia Spaker and Ryan Spaker. In week one, Alia ran the 5K cross country hilly course in 24:12 and Ryan in 24:20. Pretty good times, eh? Well, Alia is 8 years old and Ryan is 9 years old!!! Alia also did all 3 races on the last night. When the women ran the 400 meters, Alia was in third place as they made the turn to start the climb. If you are wondering if they beat me? I am proud to say … that is not important and eventually I got over it.
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In other news, of course we all remember J-Mac. Those of you who don’t know, Jason McElwain is a very competitive runner these days and a member of GVH. He qualified for Boston last year at the Rochester Marathon and is looking to break 3 hours in this year’s coming soon. J-Mac won the Heritage Christian 5k in 17:42. Daniel Andrus and J-Mac took turns leading the race until just after the second mile when J-Mac began to stretch the lead. Daniel came in second at 17:51. The first female was Kristina Mtz at 19:31.
It’s a busy time of year on the race schedule, with several events every weekend. The weather is cooler and perfect for getting out getting some exercise whether running or walking.
Until next time ...
Joe Haungs is part of the Rochester running community. His involvement is more than just running races and being passed by kids saying, “mister, are you going to be OK?” He has been married to Jan for 23 years and they have two daughters. Jan is at most events with her faithful companion, Daisy, one of their three dogs that behaves sometimes. Contact Joe with stories or ideas by email at