Missoula Marathon, Half Marathon winners set records

2013-07-15T06:00:00Z 2014-07-11T18:10:02Z Missoula Marathon, Half Marathon winners set records missoulian.com

Using the term "record setting" would be an understatement to describe this year's Missoula Marathon.

Three of the seventh annual event's four races resulted in new course records as 5,000 runners made their way through Missoula Sunday morning.

The men's marathon as well as both the men's and women's half marathons feature new top times.

Polson native Jason Delaney ran the 26.2-mile marathon, which started in Frenchtown, in two hours, 26 minutes and 10.2 seconds, nearly 15 full seconds faster than the previous record of 2:26:25.0 set by Kalispell's Elliot Weider in 2011.

Delaney was almost 13 minutes faster than Isaac Barnes, who completed the race in 2:38:53.0. Mark Handelman was third at 2:42:21.1.

For the men's half marathon, Jim Walmsley cruised to the finish in 1:09:05.0, close to two minutes faster than runner-up Mark Messmer, who finished in 1:11:00.2. Timothy Caramore wasn't far behind at 1:13:21.8.

Corvallis' Kath Hardcastle, originally of the United Kingdom, took the women's half marathon in 1:20:52.4, over three minutes quicker than Carly Holman's time of 1:23:57.2. Lisa Minnehan took third in 1:27:16.6.

Although she did not claim an all-time mark, Elizabeth Paddock earned the women's full marathon title, out-pacing the field at 3:04:13.1.Bryanna Gondeiro took second at 3:05:33.9 while Megan Williams rounded out the top three at 3:07:04.5.

To no surprise, Delaney needed a moment to catch his breath following his record-breaking jaunt.

"I feel tired, but great," Delaney said. "I wanted to try for the course record. I wanted to get down to 2:25:00, 2:24:00.

"It wasn't until the last couple miles that goal went out the window with fatigue setting in. But I'm pleased with the effort for sure."

Perhaps it was Delaney's two-year hiatus from the specific type of race that led to his record-setting "underachievement."

"I've been away from the marathon for a couple years," he said, "so I had some rust to break off there, but I got through it and I'm pleased.

"I was doing a lot of shorter stuff, some mountain races, but this is my first time back on the roads. I haven't raced this distance in quite a while."

Despite coming up short on his desired time, Delaney said he knows he's capable of faster times.

"I've run as fast as 2:19:17," he said, "so today's time was a pretty middle-of-the-road performance for me."

Delaney wasn't the only winner on Sunday who felt the final time could have been better.

Paddock, too, said fatigue set in and caused a slower time than desired.

"It was not my best race ever, but I felt pretty good," she said. "I felt great through Mile 14, then I started having some G.I. issues and kind of fell apart a little bit. The first half was really good, the second half I struggled through."

Paddock said the main thing that kept her running was knowing there was a finish line.

"You can't stop, you gotta get there," she said. "It is amazing to see the finish line and know you're so close. Then to be first and know that banner was waiting for you – it was great."

In his first-ever Missoula Marathon, Walmsley put his name in the event's record books.

"It's exciting to break the record in my first race here," said Walmsley, who currently lives in Great Falls. "I'm really just getting back into shape, so it's pretty cool to win it.

"The people's morale and energy levels are so high, it's just a great race."

The second time proved the charm for Hardcastle in the women's half marathon.

After finishing as the runner-up a year ago, Hardcastle bettered her time and her placement in 2013.

"I finished in 1:22:00 last year," she said. "I'm really happy about my run today, especially earning the top time.

"It's such a tricky course, I'm just glad I got through it. It makes me feel encouraged to do so well in such a signature event."

Though the winners are quick, they weren't quick enough to evade race director Anders Brooker's attention.

"Three course records? It doesn't get much better than that," said Brooker, who is in his third year at the helm. "That was great to see."

While the record-breaking performances stole the show, Brooker said the event wouldn't be possible without the city's interest.

From ringing bells to dispersing water to playing a piano on a front lawn, countless Missoulians lined the streets to help encourage runners through to the finish.

"I can't say it enough, we appreciate the community's support," Brooker said. "Seeing the bridge literally full of people, the live music, looking out over Caras Park, it's just awesome. I don't think it could be much better."

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(1) Comments

  1. johnny Dollar
    Report Abuse
    johnny Dollar - July 14, 2013 6:30 pm
    Just curious....what was the prize money?
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