Exciting Races and Solid Performances at the Hartshorne Masters Mile

After last year’s snowpocalypse, we were worried that the weather might once again hurt attendance at the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile, and indeed, a few runners reported slow driving conditions through snow and slush on their way in. But despite it Ithacating outside all day, forcing everyone to warm up indoors, Barton Hall was warm and dry and light, and the race went off without a hitch.

That’s due in large part to the machine that Charlie Fay and Tom Hartshorne have built, and that I’ve maintained and enhanced as race director. Jim Miner and Bill Watson showed up early to help Charlie and me set up, and Jim and John Whitman continued on to manage the registration table, at least until Jim needed to run his race (with spikes, not barefoot!). After being snowbound last year, Joe Simpson returned as clerk of course, and Dan Hurley once again started all the races flawlessly. Megan Powers put in time ahead of the race—coupled with fancy Excel work during—to produce a saddle-stitched results booklet that proved wildly popular with the runners and for which I’m still getting requests. Joel Cisne helped runners take photos in front of our snazzy new photo backdrop, Bruce Roebal ran the lap counter, Truck Rossiter called splits, and Mickie Sanders-Jauquet and Kathleen Gibson held the finish tape for the elite sections. Bert BlandSean NicholsonAaron ProujanskyRick Cleary, and Bill Watson helped Tom keep the track clear of wayward collegiate runners. And of course, Steve Gallow took great pictures and Jorge Cuevas produced fabulous videos of each race.

The races themselves were once again huge fun to watch, and I tremendously enjoyed being able to cheer for the runners—at least when I wasn’t off being interviewed for the Spectrum TV News. The FLRC site now has sortable results, and Leone Timing (who do an amazing job) has full results with lap splits.

Combined Women & Men: Our leadoff race showcased our oldest runners, 95-year-old Dixon Hemphill and 85-year-old Edna Hyer (running her 23rd Hartshorne!), along with 75-year-old Joe Reynolds, 73-year-old Harland Bigelow, and 73-year-old Sandy Balling. But it also served as a local return to racing for 52-year-old Oliver Habicht, who has spent the last 18 months fighting pancreatic cancer through chemotherapy, radiation, and major surgery. In the end, Habicht trailed Reynolds for seven laps before opening up a 22-second lead for the win. With luck, next year he’ll be closer to his 6:09 from 2017.

Women Section 1: In this tight race, Kim Jackson led for the first few laps, Colleen Magnussen took over briefly in the middle of the race, and then Jackson retook the lead and kicked it in for the win in 6:52 to Magnussen’s 6:56. Tonya Engst held on for a solid third in 7:01.

Men Section 3: After Jack Salisbury led for the first three laps, 63-year-old Gary Radford ran away from the field to win in 5:57, beating Don Hughes in 6:11 and Salisbury in 6:21. Radford’s performance may have been impressive, but nothing in comparison to his 6000-mile solo bike ride from Key West to Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Circle between June 1st and August 5th, 2019.

Men Section 2: This race saw the most impressive kick of the day, with Tristan Lambert sitting in third as Peter Frazier led for seven laps. Then Lambert went from 42- and 43-second laps to a final 31.94, the fastest lap of the day for any runner, and won the race in 5:29, 7 seconds ahead of Frazier, who just managed to hold off Robert Mozo at the tape.

Men Section 1Steve Folsom led a tight pack through 5 laps before Mike Bronson took over for a commanding victory in 5:12, with Brian Lee throwing down a 35-second final lap to nip Folsom at the tape by a second, 5:15 to 5:16. Close behind in fourth was Ryan Niclasen in 5:21, and Walter Silbert outleaned Scott Armstrong by .06 seconds for fifth in 5:23.

Women Elite 2: In this race, early favorite Kristin White hung on rabbit Jenny Berkowitz through 800m before surrendering the lead to Lynn Gottfried. Gottfried cruised in comfortably for the win in 5:59, followed by Julie Barclay in 6:12. Mary Swan kicked hard in the last straightaway to outpace Brenda Osovski by a quarter of a second in 6:13. White finished fifth in 6:27, followed by Betsy Stewart in 6:31, Sandy Gregorich in 6:31, and 68-year-old Coreen Steinbach in 6:53.

Men Elite 2: 62-year-old David Westenberg tucked in behind rabbit Mik Kern to lead this race through seven laps but couldn’t hold off 54-year-old Dale Flanders and 53-year-old John McMahon in the end, finishing third in 5:15 to Flanders’s well-kicked 5:13 and McMahon’s 5:14. Just barely back in fourth was 60-year-old Casey Carlstrom in 5:16. Francis Burdett completed the field in 5:30.

Women Elite 1: After rabbit Bella Burda led a tight four-woman pack through 800m with former All-American Alisa Harvey in the lead, Dianne DeOliviera took over, followed by former Olympian Michelle Rohl. DeOliviera extended her lead through the rest of the race, winning in 5:30, ahead of Rohl’s 5:34 and Harvey’s 5:38, with Amy Fakterowitz in fourth in 5:44, Lorraine Jasper fifth in 5:46, and Joan Totaro sixth in 5:56. 61-year-old Lynn Cooke took seventh in 5:57, but that was good for an astonishing 97.15% age-grading, the best by far for the day from any runner. Filling out the field were Wakenda Tyler in eighth in 6:07 and 60-year-old-Julie Hayden in ninth in 6:16.

Men Elite 1: In our final race of the day, the win was never in question, with 2017 winner Peter Brady shadowing rabbit Adam Pacheck through 1200m before running it in for a commanding victory in 4:36. 2018’s second-place finisher, Dave Welsh, was recovering from the flu but still managed a 4:45 for second place, followed by 55-year-old Kenneth Barbee in 4:51 (his 91.06% age-grading was tops for the men). Then it got tight, with Jordan Varano pulling out an impressive kick and a lean at the line to nip Ryan Mitchell by .04 seconds in 4:52. Next in was Jay Hubisz in 4:54, followed by fellow High Nooner Brian Lazzaro in 4:55, and GVH’s Mike Nier in 4:56. Rounding out the field, Tim Van Orden came through in 5:01, Scott Grandfield in 5:05, and Joe Mora in 5:11.

Finally, I’d like to thank the sponsors who make Hartshorne possible. It takes a lot of money to put on a national-level meet like this, with rabbits, a professional announcer, video of all the races, a post-race banquet, and cash prizes to attract some of the top talent in the US and Canada. The race’s 2020 sponsors include Cayuga Medical CenterBangs AmbulanceJoe Daleythe Hartshorne FamilySean NicholsonKen ZesersonBill Quinlisk, and Felder Track & Field. The masters running community is tremendously appreciative of their support. Just because we’re not so young anymore doesn’t mean we don’t take our racing seriously!

See you next year!