By Tom Haley | Correspondent.
Pawlet’s Alicia Clark looked adversity square in the face and then ran with it. Literally.
The University of Vermont cross-country and track-and-field athlete did not have enough money with her for the late fee for running the 10K part of the Crowley Brothers Memorial Road Race on Sunday. She paid the entry fee for the 5K race, but then had to get from the 10K start to the 5K start on Loop Street, 3.1 miles into the 6.2-mile course.
Race director Mike Lannon told her there was no transportation available at that time to get her up to the 5K start line so she jogged to the 5K starting point and then ran the rest of the way to win that race.
“Next time I’ll pre-register,” she said, after running 6.2 miles to win a 3.1-mile race.
Her extra-long run not only netted her the victory, but also the new record. Her time of 19:46 eclipsed the Crowley standard of 20:45 set by East Poultney’s Katie Duffy in 2012.
Rutland’s Kassandra Howe came in second at 22:24.
Clark, an All-American high school runner at Granville, also has the Race for the Cure in Manchester on her race calendar for the summer.
Gannon McKearin, Proctor High School’s one-man track team, competed in the 1,600-meter run on Saturday at the New England High School Meet in Maine. He still had enough in his legs to win the 10K.
McKearin was a sophomore starter on the Proctor High boys basketball team that defeated Sharon Academy 70-66 in the state championship game.
The Crowley, he said, is much more low-key than basketball.
“This is just for fun. That other one was a big deal for me,” McKearin said.
The 16-year-old McKearin covered the hilly 6.2-mile layout in 36:11, well ahead of 47-year-old Ken Smith of Rutland who crossed the line in 39:13.
The women’s 10K winner was 32-year-old Celina Fuller from Salisbury. Fuller, who placed second in the half marathon in the Crowley last year, led the entire way.
“There are a lot of little hills that sneak up on you,” the Lehigh graduate said.
She still has a penchant for half marathons and will do a couple that are coming up, one in Peru, New York, and the other in Stowe.
“It’s a nice distance,” Fuller said.
The men’s half marathon saw a new winner, as Cuttingsville’s Kell Giffin edged three-time defending champion Hunter Berryhill, also from Cuttingsville.
Remarkably, Giffin and Berryhill had not met before Sunday, although Giffin said “we have mutual friends.”
Berryhill had over a minute lead on Giffin by about the seventh mile.
“I kept sticking to my pace,” Giffin said. “I didn’t panic. I was going to run my race.”
The plan paid off for the Rutland Regional Medical Center employee.
The 37-year-old Giffin clocked 1:22:10 to 1:22:44 for the 36-year-old Berryhill, a Rutland High School English teacher.
Giffin not only won, he erased the Crowley half marathon record of 1:25:26 set by Berryhill.
“He ran a heck of a race,” Berryhill said. “He reeled me in. I got a cramp at 10 miles.”
University of Vermont student Libby Collier won the women’s half marathon in a time of 1:38:56. Middlebury’s Kaelin MacKey was next in 1:40:25.
Collier, who played lacrosse and field hockey at Hershey High School in Pennsylvania, took the lead at about mile nine.
She is planning to run another half marathon in Seattle.
Running legends Bill Rodgers and Kathrine Switzer held the tape at the finish line for both half marathon winners.
Rutland’s Brian Finch was the first male to cross the finish line in the 5K, with his time of 20:56.
There was an extra touch for this year’s event, which is named for Rutland’s Crowley brothers — Frank, Joe and Larry. Nine members of the Crowley family, who had never attended the event before, came from Michigan to either race or to watch the event.
Next year will be the 40th anniversary race, and Race Director Mike Lannon said he is planning to add a full marathon to the lineup of races.
10K MEN: 1. Gannon McKearin, Proctor, 36:11; 2. Ken Smith, Rutland, 39:13; 3. Erron Hubbell, Rutland, 42:11; 4. Stuart Barlow, Bennington, 42:58; 5. Patrick Herlihy, Clemons, N.Y., 44:11; 6. Jacob Tomlinson, Proctor, 44:40; 7. Robert Kelley, Brandon, 46:15; 8. Charlie Pritchard, North Clarendon, 47:46; 9. Eric Lapp, Rutland, 48:23; 10. Bill Rodgers, Boxboro, Mass., 48:38.
10K WOMEN: 1. Celina Fuller, Salisbury, 43:12; 2. Rebecca Hollander, Rutland, 48:17; 3. Theresa Haywood, Rutland, 49:05; 4. Taylor Kenyon, Rutland, 49:37; 5. Ericka Emerson, Enfield, Conn., 50:23; 6. Amanda Gokee, Chittenden, 50:42; 7. Cayenne MacHarg, Burlington, 53:34; 8. Sarah Fortier, Rutland, 53:34; 9. Phoebe McChesney, 54:41; 10. Susannah Colby, Sharon, 54:59.
WOMEN’S HALF MARATHON: 1. Libby Collier, Burlington, 1:38:56; 2. Kaelin MacKay, Middlebury, 1:40:25; 3. Courtney Collins, Rutland, 1:43:37; 4. Meg Meyer, New Haven, 1:47:18; 5. Bonnie Badgewick, 1:49:24; 6. Lori Hennessey, Hinesburg, 1:54:46; 7. Debra Barker, Dayton, Texas, 1:57:34; 8. Kelly Trese, Brighton, Mass., 1:58:53.
MEN’S HALF MARATHON: 1. Kell Giffin, Cuttingsville, 1:22:10; 2. Hunter Berryhill, Cuttingsville, 1:22:44; 3. Marc Vanderhoof, Chittenden, 1:32:38; 4. Garrett Ferguson, Monroe, N.H., 1:33:18; 5. Brendan McLellan, Jersey City, N.J., 1:33:27; 6. Larry Clevenger, Rhinebeck, N.Y., 1:36:10; 7. Tom Poole, Rutland, 1:37:04; 8. Jeffrey Mish, Hadley, Mass., 1:37:07; 9. Bruce Commander, South Burlington, 1:39:59; 10. Michael Decaprio, Glens Falls, N.Y., 1:45:29.
WOMEN’S 5K: 1. Alicia Clark, Pawlet, 19:46; 2. Kassandra Howe, Rutland, 22:24; 3. Emma Tschaikowsky, 25:40; 4. Rossana Hyde, Rutland, 26:26; 5. Jennifer Picard, Rutland, 27:14; 6. Stacy Kovatch, Rutland, 27:25; 7. Chrissy Condon, Rutland, 27:42; 8. Diana Sharon, 27:52; 9. Kerry Finch, Rutland, 28:09; 10. Sheila Alexander, Rutland, 28:52.
MEN’S 5K: 1. Brian Finch, Rutland, 20:56; 2. Andrew Reid, Rutland, 21:13; 3. Finn McGuinness, Rutland, 21:39; 4. John Thrasher, 21:47; 5. David Hyde, Rutland, 23:40; 6. Eric Hudiburg, Poultney, 24:09; 7. Fritz Asuncion, 24:18; 8. Owen Crossmon, Mendon, 25:02; 9. Marko Svoren, Chittenden, 25:23; 10. Gary Arnold, 25:49.
NOTES: Frank Crowley died at age 70 from brain cancer in 1980. He won the Proctor-to-Rutland 10K road race in 1930. He set the national high school mile record while representing Rutland High.
The oldest runner in Sunday’s event was 88-year-old Robert Perkins of Rutland. Resplendent in a University of Vermont uniform, he finished the 5K in 53:45.
Tom Haley is a Rutland Herald sports writer, Rutland Reader correspondent