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The Summer Sizzler series continued tonight with race #18 in the 20 race schedule. Cool temps and a breeze welcomed 28 runners to the 5000 meter cross country course. Conditions were perfect for fast times and the field did not disappoint. After a brief greeting from the race director, Ed Carroll successfully managed to ring the starting bell to send the field on their way. Little did anyone know that Ed’s bell ringing would be the first pin to drop in the Carroll family hat-trick. After already witnessing a mother/child win combination this season thanks to the Krasemann’s, could we possible see a brother/sister combination?!? Read on…
Leading the field down the opening straight was Sean Vieten and Dan McNair, with Bill Carroll and Steve O’Neil charging hard to make up ground. After waging war on the muddy trails it would be GSH’s Bill Carroll cresting the finishing hill first, earning the victory and a course PR with a time of 20:35. The win was Bill’s 2nd of the season and 3rd of his career. Second place went to Sean in 21:48 with GSH veteran Steve O’Neil grabbing the final podium spot in 21:59. Steve’s finishing time earned him an Age 62 record, shaving 23 seconds off the record previously held by GSH’s Art Roberts. Male age group winners were Bill in the Youth (0-19) division, Sean was first Open (20-39) finisher, Zhenia Zhigalin’s 23:30 was good for first Master (40-49), GSH’s Doug Bielefeld was first Senior (50-59) in 25:15, Steve O’Neils was the first Veteran (60-69) and SMAC legend Don Grant’s finishing kick earned him the first 70+ finisher with a time of 36:37.
Good things come in three, and Julie Carroll would complete the family hat-trick by grabbing yet another Sizzler victory. Julie would run a course PR of 22:11 in seizing the victory. The win was Julie’s 9th of the season and 17th of her career. The 17th win moved her into a tie for 10th place on the all-time win list with Kelly Joyce and Heather Wenninger. Second place female went to GSH’s Carolyn Dekker with a time of 22:59 and GSH’s Kathy McCarthy earned the final podium spot thanks to her 24:07 effort. Female age group winners were Julie in the Youth division, Carolyn in the Open division, Anne Taupier was first Master with a time of 31:05, and Kathy McCarthy was the Senior winner.
Volunteers for the evening were Brian “Smokey the Bear” McCarthy, Bruce Kurtz, Brian Goddu and Carroll. I’d like to take this time to recognize a few individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty. First is Brian McCarthy for extinguishing a smoldering garbage can. Apparently the picnickers didn’t realize that charcoal stays hot even after you are done cooking. I’d also like to thank Steve O’Neil for taking time out of his busy schedule to groom the trails and repair the damaged board on the bridge. With that said, there are now only two remaining races. Next week will be the final 8K road race. I hope to see you all again.