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Runner's Gazette
Serving the Mid-Atlantic Region

America's First Running Newspaper - Established September, 1976

MARCH, 2017

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RONALD JOSEPH EXPRESSES HIS JOY
RUNNING ALONG THE RIVER.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO

Sun, Cold Temps for 44TH Aspire
Harrisburg Marathon & Relay

By Hap Miller

HARRISBURG, PA--It was great weather for Sunday November 13 and the 44th running of the Harrisburg Marathon & Relay. A little cool early on (27 degrees while I was driving to Harrisburg at 6 a.m.), but very nice after the sun came up. Clear sunny skies with a light breeze during the second half of the race; nice for runners, walkers, and spectators alike.

Third year Race Director Tom Gifford and his huge group of volunteers orchestrated a well run event. Everything from the start to the finish was well organized. The water/aid stations were well supplied and well staffed with enthusiastic helpers. All intersections and street crossings were well maintained and monitored (A big “thank you” to the Harrisburg Police Department and all race volunteers) and the course was well marked; if you got lost it must have been on purpose.

I arrived at the City Island just before the walkers (around 50) were to take off at 06:30 a.m. Long-time HBM stalwarts, Walt Greene and Jim Collins were getting walkers lined up for their casual start in the dark, Said good luck to Park Barner, Karl Robinson, and Steve Whittle. Passed Park,72, Harrisburg, on his way back from Fort Hunter (little past Mile 18), where he shouted at me to just “take it a mile at a time.” Park finished his 44th HBM, wearing his traditional red (shorts, singlet, socks). Karl’s wife Amy and daughter Debbie were there to see him off. Karl, 74, Carlisle, finished his 11th HBM, with his daughter Chrissie by his side the whole way. Steve, 65, Hummelstown, PA, whose wife Debbie was there to see him start, finished his 16th HBM in a row.

The gun (horn) went off at 08:00 a.m. for the runners, with temps edging just above the freezing mark. Ran and talked with Mike Ranck during most of the first mile. Mike, 65, Orwigsburg, PA, who finished the NYC Marathon the week before, had no problem finishing his 44th HBM. He and Park are the only two to accomplish this amazing feat. After finishing Mike was standing with Nick Marshall (Nick had to defer this year due to nagging injuries; he has finished 25 HBMs) at the Walnut Street Bridge just as Park went by, on his way to the finish. Nick said to Mike “you will be alone as the number-one HBM all-time finisher for about another 15 minutes”.

(Continued...)

 

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