Runners battle through heat, humidity at Steamtown Marathon

By Robert Miner - For Times Leader | October 9th, 2017 12:09 am

SCRANTON — Runners battled hot temperatures and high humidity, from Forest City to downtown Scranton, in the 22nd annual Steamtown Marathon on Sunday.

Hillary Too and Lauren Liuzzo prevailed in the challenging 80-degree temperatures.

Too, 30, of Morristown, New Jersey, captured overall honors, breaking the tape in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 39 seconds, anc collected $1,500 for his efforts.

“I took it easy over the first two miles,” said Too, who is originally from Eldoret, Kenya, a high-elevation area of his homeland. “Then, at the two-mile mark, I picked up the pace.

“I pushed and pushed to move in front. Then I settled into a nice pace. And I finished strong.”

His Steamtown victory was his second marathon win this year and his fourth overall.

The field of 1,824 featured runners from six countries and 44 states, including Pennsylvania, as well as Washington D.C.

Too, obviously coming from an area of Kenya that features high altitude and hot conditions, wasn’t bothered too much by the unseasonable weather. But even he didn’t finish under 2 hours and 20 minutes, like he expected.

Abu Kebede Diriba, 29, of New York City and originally from Oromo, Ethiopia, finished a distant second in 2:31:56 and collected $1,000. Trevor van Ackerman, 28, of Bethlehem, who ran for Princeton University and now runs for the prestigious Aadvark Running Club in Bethlehem, finished third in 2:32:49 and won $500.

Sam Kuchwara, 25, of Dickson City, finished fourth in 2:37:57. The former Scranton Prep runner won $300. Dan Martin, 28, of Arlington, Va., who ran for Susquehanna University, won $100 for finishing fifth in 2:41:12.

Liuzzo, 29, of Acton, Mass., won top female honors, and $1,500, finishing in 3:09:33.

“It was really, really hard,” said Liuzzo, who ran for UMass. “I ran conservatively over the first half of the race because of the humidity. And then I took it easy over the second half of the race.”

Emily Coyle, 26, of Philadelphia, finished second in 3:10:11, collecting $1,000.

Mountain Top’s Rachel Sowinski, 22, finished third, 39 seconds behind Coyle. Sowinski, who ran for the College of the Holy Cross, in Boston, won $500.

Jenna Rau, 33, of Orefield, who only took up running five years ago, finished fourth in 3:13:06, followed by Anna Leer, 33, of Denver, who finished in 3:15:20.

Michael Bedrin, of Mountain Top, finished fifth in the 55-59 age group, clocking in at 3:26:17.

Proceeds from the 22nd annual marathon go to St. Joseph’s Center, a facility in Dunmore for neurologically impaired, multiple-handicapped and medically fragile children and young adults.

On Thursday evening at the prerace VIP party held at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton honored many of those who helped make the marathon possible. Race director, Bill King and race treasurer, Jack Marx, presented Sister Maryalice, IHM, Jacquiot, president of St. Joe’s, with a check for $50,000.

The check put the amount the marathon has raised for St. Joe’s at more than $1.65 million over its 22-year history. Another check to St. Joe’s will follow after the marathon expenses are paid.

In her thank you speech at the VIP party, Sister Maryalice said, “We at St. Joe’s are grateful for being the recipients of the proceeds from the marathon. The runners use their athletic abilities to benefit those who are less fortunate.”

Sister Maryalice thanked the sponsors, committee members and the many volunteers who make the marathon possible. “The volunteers — their gift of time is priceless,” she said.

22nd annual Steamtown Marathon results

Top 5 male money winners

Hillary Too, 30, Morristown, NJ, 2:23:39, $1,500

Abu Kebede Diriba, 29, New York City, 2:31:56, $1,000

Trevor van Ackeren, 28, Bethlehem, 2:32:49, $500

Sam Kuchwara, 25, Dickson City, 2:37:57, $300

Dan Martin, 28, Arlington, Va., 2:41:12, $100

Other male money winners:

Top 3 masters (40 & over) winners

Mark Burton, Scranton, 2:48:26

Brian Rosenberg, Mechanicsburg, 2:49:01

Mike Demars, Claremont, NH, 2:54:45

Top local runners to finish: Sam Kuchwara, Dickson City, 2:37:57; Mark Burton, Scranton, 2:48:26, Robert Mark Olechna, Scranton, 2:58:15.

Male age group medal winners: 24 & under: Jigar Gosalia, E. Meadows, NY, 3:14:19. 25-29: Will Cunha, Pittsburgh, 2:46:23. 30-34: Jeremy Spry, Brooklyn, NY, 2:51:54. 35-39: Lewis Ondati, Nairbi, 2:43:03. Masters division: 40-44: Paul Keeler, S. Abington Twp., 3:07:42. 45-49: Ben Gross, Rosslyn Farms, 3:01:59. 50-54: Mike Karl, Knoxville, Tenn., 3:14:19. 55-59: Jack Davis, Scranton, 3:00:51. 60-64: Joe Guilyard, Penfield, 3:30:09. 70-74: na. 75 & over: Tony Cerminaro, Jermyn, na

Top 5 female money winners

Lauren Liuzzo, 29, Acton, Mass., 3:09:33, $1,500

Emily Coyle, 26, Philadelphia, 3:10:11, $1,000

Rachel Sowinski, 22, Mountain Top, 3:10:50, $500

Jenna Rau, 33, Orefield, 3:13:06, $300

Anna Leer, 33, Denver, Colo., 3:15:20

Other female money winners:

Top 3 female masters (40 & over) winners: Cathy Dragwa, Mayfield, 3:15:09; Amy Blithe, Wilmington, Del., 3:22:18; Nancy Labiner, Brooklyn, NY, 3:26:50.

Top local runners to finish: Rachel Sowinski, Mountain Top, 3:10:50; Cathy Dragwa, Mayfield, 3:15:55; Kathleen Healy, Scranton, 3:28:55.

Female age group money winners: 24 & under: Emma Rissinger, Lititz, 3:28:33. 25-29: Tiffany Lambert, Alexandria, Va., 3:17:29. 30-34: Chris Nguyen, Pittsburgh, 3:24:52. 35-39: Josie Walsh, Fort Lee, NJ, 3:16:37. Masters division: 40-44: Fiona Karlsen, Bethesda, Md., 3:28:15. 45-49: Ann Jones, Pennington, NJ, 3:31:56. 50-54: Rachel Pratt, Brooklyn, NY, 3:44:49. 55-59: Erika van Flein, Fairbanks, Alaska, 3:56:23. 60-64: na. 65-69: Nancy Werthmuller, Scott Twp., 4:22:44.

Handicapped finishers

Bruce Newman, 71, Stella, NC; Rob Leiser, 62, Nazareth; Peter Gagliardi, 32, Tenafly, NJ; Maria Bournnias, 41, Tenafly, NJ

Field: 1,824 registered. Official starter: Justin Sandy. Traffic control: Kevin Calpin. Finish line and Expo: Jim Moran. Kids race: Elaine Walker and Pat McKnight. Registration: Anne Gallagher. Treasurer: Jack Marx. Race director: Bill King. Assistant race director: Jim Cummings. Results: Scranton Running Company.

Schedule

Sunday, Oct. 15: A Moment of Magic, Princess and Superhero 5K Run/Walk at Riverside Cafe, 188 Old River Road, Wilkes-Barre at 9a.m. Info: Kylee McGrane, [email protected]

Sunday, Oct. 29: Wyoming Valley Striders 30th annual Fall Trail Run (a 5.5 mile age group handicapped run) at the pavilion near the boat launch area of Frances Slocum State Park, Kingston Twp., at noon. Info: Linda Wojnar, 570-263-0603 or Don Grose, 570-239-5792.

Hillary Too makes his way toward the finish line on Washington Ave. on his way to winning the Steamtown Marathon on Sunday in Scranton.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_mar2_faa.jpgHillary Too makes his way toward the finish line on Washington Ave. on his way to winning the Steamtown Marathon on Sunday in Scranton. Fred Adams| For Times Leader
Spectators line the sides of Washington Ave. cheering on the runners in the Scranton Steamtown Marathon on Sunday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_mar4_faa.jpgSpectators line the sides of Washington Ave. cheering on the runners in the Scranton Steamtown Marathon on Sunday. Fred Adams| For Times Leader
Medals handed out to the runners after finishing Sunday’s Steamtown Marathon.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_mar5_faa.jpgMedals handed out to the runners after finishing Sunday’s Steamtown Marathon. Fred Adams| For Times Leader
Lauren Liuzzo heads down the final stretch to take first place in the women’s division at Sunday’s Steamtown Martathon in Scranton.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_mar3_faa.jpgLauren Liuzzo heads down the final stretch to take first place in the women’s division at Sunday’s Steamtown Martathon in Scranton. Fred Adams| For Times Leader

By Robert Miner

For Times Leader


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