By Dan Doyon
Hampton Union, September 5, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON BEACH — Derrick Hamel’s lead in the final mile of Sunday’s Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon didn’t last long.
The 31-year old from Northwood had been battling with Boston’s Thomas Gennaro when Hamel made a move to get ahead with a mile left, but the 28-year old Gennaro passed Hamel a quarter-mile later and hung onto win the race among 3,885 finishers in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 42 seconds.
“I didn’t expect to win,” Gennaro said. “I was fortunate enough to run with a really good group of guys who did a lot of work, and either one of us could’ve won today,” Gennaro said.
Hamel finished second with a time of 1:14:49, while 32-year old Aaron Chelate of Saco, Maine, finished third (1:15:13).
“When he made his move with three-quarters of a mile left, I was done,” Hamel said. “Once I passed him I figured he was just testing what I had left and that’s when he came right back.”
Portsmouth’s Saeger Fischer had been knocking on the door of winning this race with a string of top-five finishes in recent years. The 29-year old who is preparing for next month’s Philadelphia Marathon finally broke through with a winning time of 1:26:55, which was good enough for 39th overall.
“It was a tough mileage week for me; I ran about 90 miles, so I didn’t feel great,” Fischer said. “I’m not necessarily happy with the time, but I’m happy with the finish; I wanted to run around 1:25. This was just to see where I was, fitness-wise, and see how I can run with tired legs.
Meagan King, 34, of Newburyport, Mass., placed second (1:28:13), while 27-year old Lisa Anderburg of Worcester, Mass., finished third (1:29:21).
Gennaro led the majority of the race, leading pack of four runners who broke from the rest of the field a mile in. Hamel kept a steady pace behind him.
“I thought I felt smooth until mile 6 or so when I turned the corner and hit a pretty big headwind that slowed me down quite a bit,” Hamel said. “Once we turned that corner, we all got back into that rhythm.”
“In a race like this, you just try to run with people and relax and have a good time, and if you do that everything else kind of happens,” Gennaro said. “When you run with other people it’s not only easy to run fast but it’s fun.”
Chelate gained a slight lead 10 miles into the race before Gennaro passed him and Hamel in the 11th mile. Hamel took back the lead entering the 12th mile, before Gennaro made his final push to secure the victory.
“When he took the lead I thought, ‘Great, there is somebody else to run with,’” Gennaro said. “It’s so much easier when you can work with everybody else.
Both Gennaro and Hamel will run in the LOCO Marathon in Newmarket on Oct. 26. Gennaro was coming off a third-place finish in July’s Jamestown (R.I.) Half Marathon. Hamel’s highlight this season include third-place finish in February’s Half at the Hamptons, and winning April’s Great Bay Half Marathon in Newmarket and May’s Runner’s Alley/Redhook 5k in Portsmouth.
“I was happy with my time considering the training I’ve been doing,” Hamel said.
Fischer grew up in Gilmanton and graduated from Kimball Union Academy in 2003, and played field hockey at St. Lawrence University, where she graduated in 2007. She moved to Portsmouth four years ago and finished third in last year’s race.
“I definitely somebody who likes to stay in the back in the beginning and run my own race and then I start feeling better in the second half; it takes three or four miles for me to feel like I’m getting my rhythm,” Fischer said. “The beginning is always a bit shaky, but I start feeling better towards the end.”
Fischer passed a couple of women around the sixth mile and was able to run at a comfortable pace from there.
“There was no one around me, so I was sort of running just for running; I wasn’t necessarily running for time,” Fischer said. “I was just trying to keep pace.”
Fischer’s personal record in the marathon came during April’s Boston Marathon, where she ran in 3:12:55. She wants to run the Philadelphia Marathon around the three-hour mark.
“I really started to get my mileage up into the (85-90 per week range) about two miles ago, before my first marathon I was probably running 35 miles a week,” Fishcer said. “It’s been gradual. Marathon and training is slow and has to be down correctly.”
Gennaro, Hamel and Chelate were followed in men’s top 10 by Kieran Condon (1:15:25) of Milton, Mass.; Jonathan Barachowitz (1:15:37) of Malden, Mass.; Ryan Collins (1:15:38) of Worcester, Mass.; Ryan Proulx (1:17:49) of Portsmouth; Alex Bradford (1:18:22) of Bedford; Daniel Dion (1:19:03) of Dover; and Mark O’Dell (1:19:36) of Groton, Mass.
Following Fischer, King and Anderburg in the women’s top 10 were Elise Morgan (1:29:25) of Southborough, Mass.; Kelly Sullivan (1:29:37) of Auburn, Mass.; Megan Papineau (1:29:53) of Burlington, Vt.; Stephanie Smith (1:29:55) of Amesbury, Mass.; Summer Cook (1:30:06) of Madbury; Sara Wild (1:30:19) of Somerville, Mass.; and Jamie Morse (1:30:42) of Nashua.
Male age-group award winners were Brandon Harty (19-and-under, 1:28:38) of Gardner, Mass.; Bradford (20-24); Barachowitz (25-29); Proulx (30-34); Condon (35-39); Dave Kirk(40-44, 1:21:52) of Sudbury, Mass.; O’Dell (45-49); Alistair Leigh (50-54, 1:28:23) of Bedford; Ernst Linder (55-59, 1:22:17) of Durham; Harvey Blonder (60-64, 1:36:26) of Canton, Mass.; George Campbell, Jr. (65-69, 1:54:41) of Portland, Maine; and Jorge Camargo (70-and-over, 1:58:47) of Lexington, Mass.
Female age-group award winners were Cassandra Morin (19-and-under, 1:43:11) of Derry; Kelsie Schanlaber (20-24, 1:38:35) of Lancaster; Wild (25-29); Sullivan (30-34); Morgan (35-39); Colleen Ryan (40-44, 1:31:11 of Danvers, Mass.; Karen O’Dell (45-49, 1:35:20) of Groton, Mass; Kris-Anne Kane (50-54, 1:38:40) of Preston, Conn.; Mary Smith (55-59, 1:46:49) of Strafford; Michele Deangelo (60-64, 1:47:17) of Stoneham, Mass.; Mary McKinley (65-69, 2:24:10) of Pittsburgh; and Barbara Seacrest (70-and-over, 3:01:11) of Indianapolis.