By Brenda Barrera
Virginia Beach, VA February 13, 2010
For the Washington Running Report
They say that Virginia is for Lovers. Given the weekend’s special holiday, it is safe to assume that is true. But even with all of that love going around, it was not very warm for this past Saturday’s sold-out Virginia is for Lovers 14K race in Virginia Beach. More than 2,000 runners participated in the event with temperatures hovering in the low 30s and wind gusts reaching 29 mph. (For any mathematically challenged readers, 14K equals 8.67 miles.)
The chilly temperatures did not deter Aaron Saft, 32, from Fletcher NC winning in 45:38, narrowly edging out local favorite, Ryan Carroll, 27, from Portsmouth, VA who came in second almost 20 seconds later in 45:56. David Hryvniak, 25, from Chesapeake, VA crossed the line a minute later to take third place with a time of 46:50.
Afterward Carroll gave kudos to his competition. “It was great to have Aaron to run with today.” The runner-up acknowledged having an 8-week old baby has put his competition into perspective, but he achieved his goal of getting out and feeling good.
The women’s race was not as close and the top three women were all from Virginia Beach. Renee High, 28, had a commanding lead winning in 52:53, but there was a battle for the next two spots as Kelly Taylor, 25, and Natalie Sherbak, 24, finished in 54:56.7 to 54:56.9, respectively.
Taking top honors for the masters were a husband and wife duo from Johnstown, PA. Michael McGee, 47, handily won his division in 50:53 besting local masters standout Steve Speirs, 43, who ran 52:13. Meanwhile, his “better” half, Gina McGee, 45, ran 57:12 to beat Williamsburg’s Laura Shannon by 10 seconds. Shannon’s time was 57:22.
Afterward, runners stayed warm in the post-race tent with a party that featured live music, burritos from local hotspot Moe’s Southwest Grill and plenty of Yuengling beer. J&A Racing, who also put on the Yeungling Shamrock Sportsfest, organized the race. Click on the link for complete results and be sure to check out the March