WARNING — expect this month to see colorful ways that runners express their love of road racing with St. Valentine’s traditions.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 5K kicked off 2013 racing in Columbia with its annual 5K on Jan. 12. Columbian Ryan Plexico, 29, led the field of 89 with a finish of 17:18. Paul Reardon, 45, from Hartsville was first Masters finisher and second overall in 18:40. Columbian Hugo Rodriguez, 18, finished third in 19:02. Irmo’s Anna Johnson, 16, was eighth overall and first female in 20:37. Also from Irmo, Birgit Spann, 51, was second female and first Grandmaster finisher in 20:45. Hartsville’s Arnold Floyd, 70, finished 15th overall in 23:30 — a 7:34 minutes per mile pace.
On Jan. 19, the Snowman 8K in Hopkins saw 142 runners challenge the hilly course and chase Columbian Eric Ashton, 44, who had possibly his largest lead ever on this course with his 25:47 win. Lexington’s Jason Dimery, 30, finished second in 30:21. Third place went to Aiken’s Brady Rafanan, 15, who finished in 30:50. Columbian Kenzie Riddle, 28, was fifth overall and first female in 30:54. Anna Johnson finished in 15th place and was second female in 34:06, while Birgit Spann finished 17th overall and was first Grand Master in 34:10. The eldest finisher was Columbian Lonnie Collins, 80, who traversed the demanding course in 70 minutes.
The Mountain in the Middle Trail 12K and 17K events at Harbison drew a hardy field Jan. 26. New Yorker David Patalano, 25, won the 12K handily in 49:04. Columbian Clayton DeLosier, 30, took second in 52:50. Greenville’s Kristin Tempel, 24, was first female in 1 hour, two minutes. Columbian Emily Krodel, 29, was second in 1:07. In the 17K Greenville’s Glenn Lyerly, 43, was first in 1:18:47. Jeff Valerio, 51, from Ft. Mill, was second in 1:19:06. Columbian Jennifer Kennedy, 39, was second female in 1:36:05.
The same day, Lexington’s Jason Dimery, 30, won Columbia’s Red Shoe 10K in 36:40 and Irmo’s Anna Johnson, 16, finished in 11th place as first female overall in 43:12 among the field of 146. Columbian Ryan Plexico, 29, led the 248 5K runners to the finish in 17:20. Irmo’s Amy Mcdonaugh, 36, was fourth overall and first female in 18:38.
Columbia hosted three races on Feb. 9. Irmo’s Kenneth Vowles, 14, led 102 runners to win the Cupid’s Chase 5K in 20:03. Cayce’s David He, 26, was second in 20:12. Coleen Vowles, 39, in sixth place was first female overall in 22:42. From Irmo, Tricia Roland, 32, was eighth overall and second female in 23:48.
The Discover Columbia International University 5K & 10K had small but competitive fields. Geary McAlister, 55, of Rock Hill, was first in the 10K in 43:14. Columbian Colleen Vowles, 39, was fourth overall and first female in 52:07. Myrtle Beach’s Garrett Searcy, 19, won the 5K in 20:32. Columbian Janey Chisholm, 17, was fifth overall and first female in 23:45.
The Race for the Place 5K that benefits Columbia’s St. Lawrence Place had 251 finishers with 45-yar-old Eric Ashton winning in 16. Irmo’s Amy McDonaugh, 36, was sixth overall and first female in 18:37.