By Brenda Barrera
Washington, DC
October 30, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

Charles Ware wins it all in a near Olympic-class 2:19:16.

What a weekend with so many elements of drama. A rare fall storm hit the mid-Atlantic on Saturday bringing not only rain, but hail, sleet, slush, and snow. On Sunday, however, the skies cleared in time for the 36th Marine Corps Marathon where Army 1st Lt. Charles “Chad” Ware from Wheeling, IL won in an impressive 2:19:16 and Tezata Dengera, from Ellicott City, MD by way of Turkey, claimed the women’s title in 2:45:28.

With early morning temperatures hovering in the mid 30s and a slight breeze kicking up, there was nary a trace of the storm from the prior day except for a few slick spots on the roads and muddy fields as 20,895 runners completed ‘The People’s Marathon’ under bright sunshine and blue skies.

“Cold weather is a good thing for me,” smiled Ware, 27, as he soaked in his victory after giving thanks by looking upward, giving the number one sign and breaking the finish line tape.

A head taller than most of the lead runners, the lanky Midwesterner was easy to spot during the race. “I felt good through the early hills,” he said, then lost a little ground at mile 13 before he made his move at mile 19 to take the lead for the rest of the race.

When asked, Ware claimed he was not aiming for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials standard time of 2:19:00, but he knew it was within his grasp.

“If I kept on 5:18s [per mile], I knew I could get it,” he acknowledged. By the last couple of miles, however, he slowed a bit, narrowly missing the qualifying standard by 16 seconds.

Brushing off that topic, Ware emphasized the honor to run for the All-Army Team. “It’s a privilege to be able to represent the Army and wear the Army singlet,” he said. An Army Reservist, he will be going on active duty this January.

While most of Ware’s competition was either dropped or dropped out, stalwart Michael Wardian, who gives his all whether the distance is a 5K, 42K, or 100K, was trying to reel in the leader.

“I saw him at Crystal City and thought that wasn’t too far,” remarked Wardian who thought he might be able to catch Ware but was not able to do so. The Arlington running icon took the runner-up spot three minutes later in 2:23:46. Representing the Coast Guard, Patrick Fernandez, 24, from Alexandria finished next in 2:26:37.

Finishing in the top ten was Adam Condit, (left) a familiar runner on the local scene who recently moved to Cedar Rapids, IA. Condit ran the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon two weeks ago finishing in 2:27:20. At this race he ran 2:29:28 to clinch 5th place.

The women’s competition as not decided until after the 35K mark where the trio of Tezata Dengera (217), Emily Shertzer (146), and Getachew Shiferaw(3) all went through in 2:16:44 battling for top honors. It was after that mark when Dengera and Shertzer pulled away from Shiferaw, making it a two-woman race to the finish. Dengera prevailed to cross the finish line 27 seconds ahead of her competition, 2:45:28 to 2:45:55.

In photo race winner Dengera (217) races in a tight pack through Georgetown early in the race.

Two weeks ago Dengera ran the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon finishing 7th among the women in 2:37:52. So it is understandable that, while her time was a bit slower, capturing the victory was certainly sweet.

Shertzer, 31, from Jonestown, PA and representing the Air Force, made her marathon début this past May at the National Guard/Lincoln Marathon. On Sunday, she crushed her May début time (2:54:20) with her 2:45:55 runner-up finish and also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials. Shiferaw, 27, from Ellicott City, MD (ETH) took the final podium spot with her 2:47:30.

Arlington’s Lindsay Wilkins, 33, cracked the top 10 with her 6th place finish in 2:53:28 after running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon two weeks ago where she posted a 2:50:41.

Top wheelchair finishers in the rim category were Jacqui Kapinowski, 48, from Point Pleasant NJ in 2:05:46 and David Swope, 45, New Windsor MD in 2:12:12. The wheelchair crank field boasted almost 100 competitors. Leading the way in this division were Scot Seiss, 44, from Ricky Ridge, MD who crossed the finish 1:28:41 and Erica Davis, 30, from Carlsbad, CA who was the first woman in 2:13:52.

Most runners did not recognize a participant without his trademark wide-rim black glasses, but TV host and comedian Drew Carey, 53, finished his first marathon in 4:37:11. Carey finished 555th among the 1,170 competitors in the 50-54 age group.

Also among the marathon finishers . . .

Chas Bellew, 27, from Washington, DC who ran at Princeton decided to enter this race in 2010 and posted a 3:00:53 finish. He improved this year, bringing his time down quite a bit to 2:38:53.

Wearing bib #101, two-time Marine Corps Marathon champion Darrell General (1995, 1997), who is 45, ran a 2:48:06, placing third in his age group and 72nd overall. “My legs never loosened up,” he said afterward.

Kaitlin Koplin, 27, (left) from Washington, DC tried hard to break 3 hours but had a hard time warming up. She had to settle for 3:00:13. “I was still cold even at mile 8,” she said.

Speaking of cold, Maria Kozloski, 46, (right) from Bethesda, MD was all smiles at the finish but laughed as she recalled the chills earlier in the morning, “My teeth couldn’t stop chattering at the start.” Kozloski’s 3:08:54 was good enough for a second place in her age division.  She has now completed 20 marathons.

Caroline Bauer, 28, from Columbia, MD credits the group runs with the Howard County Striders for helping her finish in 3:17:35.

Among the many runners who raced in a costume was Sean Kelly, 25, from Annapolis MD. Here is a clue to his race day outfit: What is black and white and waddles? Yup, he donned a penguin suit and finished the race in 4:20:31. Kelly said the comments along the route included: “Go Penguin!” “Great, now I’m getting beat by a penguin!” and “Go Happy Feet!”

Araceli Uranga, 40, from Vienna, VA was dressed in pink from head to toe, including a tutu and even ran with a wand. Her time was 3:50:25.

At the runner finish area, Matt Stevenson, 40, from Arlington was happy to get off his feet and rested with his back against a fence, soaking up a little sun after finishing his 6th Marine Corps Marathon in 4:34:29.

The MCM 10K had 6,867 finishers and a new course record. Reuben Mwei, 25, from Acworth, GA handily won in 30:37, smashing the former record of 32:52 (Wyatt Boyd, 2009). Brian Dumm, 28, from Colorado Springs, CO finished next in 32:52 followed by the top local, Luke Belford, 29, from Nottingham, MD who finished the race in 33:13.

In the women’s 10K competition, Navy Lt. Amanda Rice, 27, from North Bethesda, MD, cruised to a 36:30 win. Rice said in an E-mail that being a member of the Armed Forces made the experience even more rewarding. Showing her competitive side, Rice admitted to adjusting her game plan mid-race from not only winning the women’s title, but seeing how many men she could beat. Her overall place was 14th and she beat 2,708 men. Jennifer Perrottet, 31, from San Marcos, CA took the runner-up spot in 39:22 and was followed by the top local Christine Rehwald, 32, from Arlington who crossed the line under 40 minutes with her 39:54 finish.


By Steve Nearman
Arlington, VA
October 09, 2011
For the Washington Running Report

Tesfaye Sendeku left little drama today at the nation’s largest 10-mile footrace, the Army Ten-Miler. Just two miles into the race along Constitution Avenue, he already was 19 seconds ahead of the field. By the midpoint near the Washington Monument, he was 38 ticks out front.

That was a wild contrast to the women’s race behind him. It turned into a battle of three international teammates with one local American closely trailing and hoping to spoil a sweep. Such were the storylines of the 27th running of the Army Ten-Miler. Staged out of the Pentagon North parking lot for the first time in at least a decade, some 23,300 starters and 21,890 finishers of the 30,000 entries enjoyed superb weather conditions – temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s, calm breezes and low humidity.

The first people to benefit from the conditions were the Golden Knights, who to a man landed on the bulls-eye near the start line as they parachuted down from high in the sky. Then off went the early starters, consisting of dozens and dozens of hand-cyclists, some visually-impaired runners, and scores of
Wounded Warriors.

It was the Wounded Warriors that moved Sendeku on this morning. While he was using the race as a long tempo run in preparation for the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon just six days away, he had other motivations for passing up a paycheck elsewhere to run Army for free.

“I didn’t care about time, I just wanted to win,” said Sendeku, who forgot to start his watch before finishing in 47:51. “I came to support the Army and the Wounded Warriors program. [Army Ten-Miler] has no prize money. It is more than the prize money. I’m very glad to run for the Wounded Warriors.” His team ran this year to honor David Wynne Francis, an Army veteran who passed away last month.

Two 28-year-olds with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program training at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO – Robert Cheseret, brother of U.S. record holder Bernard Lagat, and Augustus Maiyo, a Kenyan-turned-American – pursued Sendeku for most of the race and had to sort it out for second with a kick in the last 50 meters. They finished second and third, respectively, with the same time of 48:21.

The Brazilian Army team again performed admirably, placing Frank De Almeida (4th in 48:46) , Clodoaldo  Da Silva (5th in 48:56), 2008 Army champ Reginaldo Campos Jr. (7th in 49:11) and Cicero Da Rocha (8th in 49:21) in the top 10.

But the drama was in the women’s race. Teammates Tezata Dengera, Serkalem Abrha-Biset (left), and Shiferaw Tiringo-Getachew, who train together in Washington, exchanged the lead in a tight pack from early on with Amanda Rice of North Bethesda closely clinging on in fourth. They passed through five miles in 28:18 and 10K in 35:14, and it was not until shortly before nine miles on the 14th Street Bridge that Rice, a U.S. Navy lieutenant at Bethesda Naval Hospital, fell off for good and eventually ended up fourth in 57:17.

The 30-year-old Dengera, a Turkish citizen born in Ethiopia, waited until the last half mile to unleash her kick, triumphing in 56:35. Abrha-Biset, still recovering from a marathon in Montreal two weeks ago, could not respond, following five seconds later and Tiringo-Getachew was right behind her.

“I’m still tired from the marathon I ran two weeks ago in Montreal,” the 24-year-old Abrha-Biset said, clocking 56:40.

“And I knew that,” Dengera countered with a smile. “I ran the first half of the race pretty comfortable. It was according to the plan I made during training.”

Tiringo-Getachew said she was happy with third in 56:44.

For 2004 Olympian Dan Browne of Chula Vista, CA, victor here in 1997, 1998, and 2004, he was hampered by a nagging right hip injury and never challenged, struggling in at 44th place in 54:27.

Peggy Yetman of Leesburg, VA, repeated as top female master in 1:00:01 and Edmund Burke of Burtonsville, MD, took male masters honors in 52:57.

“I dropped off a little at the end,” said Yetman, a 42-year-old mother of two in training for Ironman Cozumel in November to add to three Ironman Kona podium finishes. “I went out conservatively so I wouldn’t blow up.”

Top Men
1.   Tesfaye Sendeku, ETHIOPIA/CA, 47:51
2.   Robert Cheseret, Colorado Springs, CO, 48:21
3.   Augustus Maiyo, Colorado Springs, CO, 48:21
4.   Frankc De Almeida, BRAZIL, 48:46
5.   Clodoaldo Da Silva, BRAZIL, 48:56
6.   Tariku Bokan, ETHIOPIA/MD, 49:08
7.   Reginaldo Campos Jr., BRAZIL, 49:11
8.   Cicero Da Rocha, BRAZIL, 49:21
9.   John Mickowski, Colorado Springs, CO, 49:37
10.  Charles Ware III, Wheeling, IL, 49:46

Top Masters
1.    Edmund Burke, Burtonsville, MD, 52:57
2.    Mike Scannell, Gland Blanc, MI, 53:39
3.    Liam Collins, Cortlandt Manor, NY, 54:13

Top Women
1.   Tezata Dengera, TURKEY/Washington, DC, 56:35
2.   Serkalem Abrha-Biset, ETHIOPIA /Washington, DC, 56:40
3.   Shiferaw Tiringo-Getachew, ETHIOPIA/Washington, DC, 56:44
4.   Amanda Rice, N. Bethesda, MD, 57:17
5.   Erin Koch, Chevy Chase, MD, 57:48
6.   Emily Shertzer, Jonestown, PA, 58:00
7.   Kelly Calway, Manitou Springs, CO, 58:04
8.   Emily Potter, Southern Pines, NC, 58:23
9.   Caitlin Chrisman, Charlotte, NC, 58:34
10.  Meagan Neldo, Charlotte, NC, 58:56

Top Masters
1.      Peggy Yetman, Leesburg, VA, 1:00:01
2.      Alisa Harvey, Manassas, VA, 1:01:56
3.      Bethann Telford, Fairfax, VA, 1:04:45


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