Ethan Coffey of Knoxville, Tenn., defended his Charleston Marathon title on Saturday, but may have been among the few to complain that the weather was “too warm.”
“I’m a cold weather runner,” admitted the 31-year-old mechanical engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Last year, there was strong headwind. This year, the wind was better, but it was too warm for me.”
Coffey won Saturday’s in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 17 seconds — nine seconds slower than last year’s winning time.
Coffey won last year’s race in what he described as a “training run” for a “double Boston” marathon, in which he ran from the finish line to the starting line before running the actual marathon. He did it to raise money for “Be Strong, Stay Strong,” a charity for victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing in 2013.
Not only did he raise more than $10,000 for the charity, but he achieved his goal of running the double marathon in under a cumulative six hours. He ran 2:48 to the start and the actual marathon in 3:11.
Next up for Coffey is attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials by running a half marathon in 65 minutes or faster, either in Indianapolis or Philadelphia in November.
The female marathon winner also hails from the Volunteer State.
Ashley Casavant, 27, of Nashville, Tenn., achieved her personal goal of breaking three hours in the marathon by running 2:58:53. The time was more than 10 minutes faster than the next fastest female.
The former Michigan State runner chose the Charleston Marathon, in part, because her parents live on Hilton Head Island.
“I also wanted a flat, fast course with great weather and love the idea of a winter marathon,” said Casavant, shortly after crossing the finish line.
While Casavant describes herself as a “marathon junkie,” she said her next plans are “to chill out and enjoy this (win).”
While Tennesseans dominated the marathon, locals ruled the half marathon.
Chris Bailey, 25, of Charleston, won the half in 1:13:09 and was among many top runners using the Charleston Marathon events as a training race.
“My goal race is Boston (in April). I did Charlie Post (15K) last week and this race to break up the training,” said Bailey, who finished second in the 15K on Sullivan’s Island in 49:33. “It (Charleston Half Marathon) was fun to run in my hometown race and up King Street, a route I drive a lot to go to work.”
For Sarah Harriman, 31, of Summerville, winning the Charleston half was the second local half she’s won in two months. She won the inaugural Sweet Tea Marathon on Nov. 15 outright (no males beat her) with a time of 1:23:14. She won Saturday’s race in 1:22:29.
Her time improvement came despite the fact that the marathon and half marathon courses were nearly three-tenths of a mile longer than they should’ve been, due to the lead car taking a wrong turn somewhere between the Mile 1 and Mile 2 marks. As a result, many runners with GPS watches saw discrepancies at all of the mile markers after that point. As a result of added distance, race officials expect to tweak final race after calculating the extra distance and times logged.
Harriman, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at the Summerville Family YMCA, has not been racing much in the Charleston area since moving to Summerville in February 2014, the same month she gave birth to her second child. Now a bit more settled, she plans to run the Shamrock Run in Summerville and the Cooper River Bridge Run in March as she prepares to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh (N.C.) Marathon in April.
Another local took a top spot in the Charleston Marathon’s less competitive 5K.
Elite level triathlete Lauren Wilson, 34, of Mount Pleasant, won the 5K in 20:12, which surprised her considering that she is currently training to be an indoor cycling studio instructor at CHS Revolution and has spent a rigorous 10 hours spinning in the last five days.
The other 5K winner was Colt Griffith, 16, of Pelzer. He came down with his family who also ran the 5K.
Despite the regional nature of the top finishers, the event drew participants from 49 states and 10 different countries.
“Next year we hope to get someone from Hawaii,” said Race Director Liz Miello Alford, referring to the only state not represented.
In all, 5,218 signed up for the marathon, half or 5K. Of those, preliminary results show that 4,255 finished, including 911 in the marathon, 2,584 in the half and 760 in the 5K. The event also includes bike rides today.
Alford and other race officials were relieved that this year’s race did not feature strong winds and that the sunshine allowed people to enjoy the street party on Montague Avenue near the finish line at North Charleston High School.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.
Overall: Male — Ethan Coffey 2:34:17, Patrick Hearn 2:35:56, Brent Fields 2:46:13. Female — Ashley Casavant 2:58:53, Beth Dollas 3:09:20, Jennifer Helmer 3:18:04. Masters: Male — Yancey Ream 3:04:55, Mike Crisp 3:07:41, Brad Harvey 3:09:24. Female — Jennifer McClure 3:22:38, Elizabeth Cottone 3:26:41, Mary Flaws 3:28:38. Grandmasters: Male — Stephen Ahrens 3:11:53, Mark Lanzillo 3:11:58, Tim Richter 3:16:04. Female — Allison Lassoe 3:57:24, Audrey Burgoon 4:01:27, Patricia Murphy 4:03:34.
Overall: Male — Chris Bailey 1:13:09, Blake White 1:16:06, Brian Carnes 1:17:41. Female — Sarah Harriman 1:22:29, Courtney Cooper 1:25:19, Shawanna White 1:25:45. Masters: Male — Todd Walter 1:24:44, Mark Carver 1:25:40, Brendan Silver 1:26:50. Female — Lisa Tolley 1:35:12, Sharryn Whitmore 1:39:53, Mary Margaret McEachern 1:43:39. Grandmasters: Male — David Quick 1:27:14, Joe Patrick 1:27:38, Jeff Smith 1:30:49. Female — Sarah McCullough 1:46:42, Karen Buxton 1:48:09, Peggy Gibson 1:48:26.
Overall: Male — Colt Griffith 17:03, Chris Markwell 18:17, Rob Halliday 18:23. Female — Lauren Wilson 20:12, Kelley Rauseo 20:42, Anatasia Boyle 21:24. Masters: Male — P. Mark Taylor 19:27, Tony Shuler 19:46, Rob Dyer 20:14. Female — Sue Ellis 22:14, Deanna Galasso 24:14, Judy Creedon 25:20. Grandmasters: Male — Kent Adams 22:01, John Edenfield 22:25, Keith Arnold 23:18. Female — Kelly Berry 26:06, Noriko Johnson 26:20, Eileen Weinpress 26:33.