Harnish, Orrson win second leg of Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series

By Robert Miner - For Times Leader | August 10th, 2017 9:41 pm

KINGSTON — Mike Harnish and Marina Orrson ran to easy wins two weeks ago in the first of three 1-mile runs that are part of the Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series. So it was a foregone conclusion that they would be overwhelming favorites to win the second leg, the Susquehanna River Runners Club’s 1 Mile Run on the paved loop on Church Street in Kingston.

They didn’t disappoint.

Harnish won overall honors in 4 minutes, 57.92 seconds. Orrson won top female honors with a fifth-place overall finish in 5:08.20.

“Actually I’m looking forward to the challenging hill (the Giants Despair Challenge — the final leg of the series set for Aug. 24),” said Harnish, who was a two-time All-American at Lebanon Valley College in the 800-meter indoor track event “Last year I finished right around seven minutes. This year I’d like to better that mark.”

“The hill is so terrible — it’s fun,” Orrson said.

While there were no surprises in the overall section of the series, Kerry Potter has been impressive at the female master (40 and over) level.

Potter was away from the running scene for a year-and-a-half following hip surgery. In just her second race after the long lay off, the 44-year-old from Kingston ran and biked her way to a second-place finish among women in the Wilkes-Barre Duathlon in June.

On Thursday, Potter finished the second leg of the Fastest series in 6:37.11, giving her a more than comfortable lead heading into the grueling Giants Despair Challenge.

“I’m up to the challenge,” Potter said. “I just hope my hip holds out. Two years ago, my first time driving up Giants Despair, my car was horrified. It was as if my car was asking me, ‘Are you kidding me?’ “

John Jeddic leads in the men’s masters division.

Susquehanna River Runners Club’s 1 Mile Run

Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series

Second leg

Top five

Mike Harnish, 24, Annville, 4:57.92

Eliot Bonds, 25, Manheim, 4:58.72

Sean Robbins, 47, Dallas, 5:03.11

Aaron Stredny, 36, Dallas, 5:05.11

Marina Orrson, 26, Shavertown, 5:08.20

First male masters (40 & over) finisher: Robbins

First female masters finisher: Kerry Potter, 44, Kingston, 6:37.11

Field: 50.

Leaders after first two races

Male

Mike Harnish, Race No. 1. on the track at Misericordia University, 4:27.78; Race No.2, on the paved loop in Kingston, 4:57.92.

Female

Marina Orrson, Race No. 1. 5:08.19; Race No.2., 5:08.20

Male masters

John Jeddic, 47, Hanover Twp.

Female masters

Potter

Field: 50. Starter: Jeff Skwierz. Timing and results: Susquehanna River Runners Club. Race director: Chris Wadas.

Schedule

Saturday, Aug. 19: 19th annual Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run, starts at Pittston YMCA, Main St. at 10 a.m. and finishes at festival grounds. Info: Jay Duffy, 570-574-0463.

Thursday, Aug. 24: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Challenge (final 1-miler of Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series), Northampton St., Laurel Run at 7 p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.

Saturday, Sept. 2: Wyoming Valley Striders 43rd annual Cliff Robbins Sr. Memorial High School Invitational Cross Country Races at Letterkenny Fields, Dallas Twp. at 9:30 a.m. Info: Marjorie Adams, 570-690-2978.

Kerry Potter, of Kingston, is one of the top female runners in the series despite coming off of an injury.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_One-Mile-Run-2.jpgKerry Potter, of Kingston, is one of the top female runners in the series despite coming off of an injury. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
Mike Harnish (41) won the race in 4:57.92, with his friend Eliot Bonds (40) taking second. Both runners hail from the Hershey area.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_One-Mile-Run-3.jpgMike Harnish (41) won the race in 4:57.92, with his friend Eliot Bonds (40) taking second. Both runners hail from the Hershey area. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
The second leg of the Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series was held on Thursday evening on the paved loop on Church Street in Kingston.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_One-Mile-Run-1.jpgThe second leg of the Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman series was held on Thursday evening on the paved loop on Church Street in Kingston. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

By Robert Miner

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports


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