Holyoke Massacre - Part Duex
Jun of '68 was 3 months before I was born so I lack the first-hand knowledge to compare today's race to that '68 battle of wills. Nor could I begin to comprehend what exactly race directors were thinking holding a marathon in June at noontime. But that's what they did back in the day when greats like Jim McDonagh and legendary Ted Corrbit fought it out over the city streets in 100 degree heat. Jim would win in a time considerably slow for that era: 2:46:51 in what became indearly called The Holyoke Massacre of '68 aka The Holyoke Inferno. Jim followed up his '68 win with 2 more in '69 and '70 with times 2:33, 2:35, respectively.
Well today's temperatures, by comparison, were a bit more modest 70' by race finish thanks to a more sensible early-May 8am start. Never-the-less, by the time the last finishers came thtu the chute some 6 hours later, the roads were ablaze, with only the slightest of breeze, and temperatures topping in the low 90's. Yikes!
All good stories get better in the re-telling. Even in this day of the Internet and the ever reaching power of Google searches for the factual; in years to come, during stories told over beers at post race parties, this could very well go down as the second edition of that historic day.
Pete Stasz starts the race with the traditional pre-race introductions of past year winners: 5 timer Mike Carroll ('02-'06 and '08), Harry Lepp ('98 and 19 Holyoke's and 27 Bostons), Curtis Lintvedt ('79 - hope I got the right name here), Gina Ciampand ('08) and course record holder, Cherly Abert aka Cheryl Dube.
My 1st marathon over the 2:50 mark since my 1st (Clarence DeMar in '05). Your 1st is always special but I think it's safe to say I'll never be more happier to run a 2:50. There were times today were I was close to cracking. I doubt I would have pulled it out today without Barb's help.
Big congrats to Karin George for her impressive 3:26 win in this heat. Like myself, Bill Romito, Mike Carroll and Harry Lepp, we ran just 13 days after running the Boston Marathon. I was told Karin won a tough battle today, re taking a lead she lost late in the day. Well done.
Tammaro and Carrol come in 2nd and 3rd. Of the top 10, 7 were masters (age 40 or greater) five in their 40's and two in their 50's. Impressive stuff.