RONALD JOSEPH EXPRESSES
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).
Karls 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.