One of the interesting facets of a local road racing scene is that runners of all levels can develop rivalries, usually amiable, that ultimately can help an individual to stay motivated, get fitter and add a layer of fun to the sport.
Last Saturday's 23rd annual Charlie Post Classic 15K demonstrated just that.
The top billing featured a rematch of last year's race, when Tom Mather and Mike Aiken battled each other and left the third-place finisher more than two minutes behind them. Mather beat Aiken, who is 21 years younger than Mather. This year, the battle was once again between the two of them, as they put at least a minute and half on the third-place finisher. This time, however, the table was turned and Aiken beat Mather.
But that's the local elite version of the story.
Endurance sports competitions, such as road racing and triathlons, usually have multiple competitive categories, such as masters (ages 40 and up) and typically 10 or more age group categories for both males and females.
As a result, it creates a level of democratic competition that is hard to match in sports. Very few people can run as a fast as Mather or Aiken, but why should they have all the fun?
One "rivalry" that I've most recently noticed is between age groupers Bratton Fennell, 41, and Chris Handal, 44, last fall.
Both made improvements on their Charlie Post 15K times last Saturday. In '05, Fennell was timed in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 4 seconds and Handal in 1:05:01. Last Saturday, Fennel clocked a 1:00:42, while Handal closed in on him with a 1:00:59.
What I like about some of these rivalries ? and I've been involved in several myself ? is that many of the people involved are training partners and friends. Aiken and Mather do speed workouts on Tuesday mornings. I recently saw Fennell and Handal running together on a weekend morning on Sullivan's Island.
The most important thing is to keep it friendly. After Handal edged Fennell by two seconds in the Laura Griffin Run on Jan. 14, Fennell congratulated Handal on the good run. It was a small gesture and it should be the norm.
But it not always is ? even at something as relatively insignificant as a local road race.
South Carolina's chapter of Special Olympics is holding its Mid-Winter Games in late February at The Citadel and organizers are looking for runners to help be a part of it opening ceremonies, specifically a "torch run" at 5:45 p.m. Feb. 24 that will depart from Colonial Lake.
The 2.8-mile run will finish at The Citadel's McAlister Field House.
While police officers with the Charleston city police department will be holding the torch, runners are needed to run along with the officer, according to Angela Klick of Special Olympics.
To find out more, contact Klick at Aklick@so-sc.org or (843) 991-4171 or 852-9275.
FEB. 4 ? 5th Save the Light Half Marathon and 5k. 8:30 a.m. Folly Beach. $20-$30. www.actioncarolina.com.
FEB. 4 ? 2nd Winter Challenge Off-Road Triathlon. 7-mile run/6-mile kayak/10-mile mountain bike. 10 a.m. Springfield. $55-$65 for individuals. www.winterchallenge.com.
FEB. 11 ? 4th Collegiate Challenge. 8 a.m., Charleston Collegiate School, Johns Island. No information on registration fee. www.charlestoncollegiate.org or 559-5506
FEB. 18 ? 9th Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon, Dasani Myrtle Beach Half Marathon, and House of Blues Myrtle Beach Marathon Relay. $70 for marathon, $40 for half, $175 for five-person marathon relay. 6:30 a.m. www.mbmarathon.com.
The 23rd annual Charlie Post Classic was held Saturday on Sullivan's Island. 296 participated in the 5K and 299 in the 15K. See complete results at www.actioncarolina.com.
5K OVERALL: Male ? Irv Batten 16:08, Rob Anderson 16:26, Mark Bedenbaugh 17:34. Female ? Kelly Hazel 20:21, Rives Poe 20:48, Helen Hiser 20:53. MASTERS: Male ? Danny West 18:34. Female ? Mary Mauldin 22:12. GRANDMASTERS: Male ? Michael Drose 19:26. Female ? Cathy Burton 23:45. AGE GROUPS (Top male/female): 13-under ? Boyce Haigler 26:27. Margot Syracuse 25:52. 14-17 ? Forrest Parker 17:46. Cara Browning 21:03. 18-24 ? Matt Finkerbinder 19:43. Dena Piecuch 26:00. 25-29 ? Nic Vondrak 19:17. Chappell Hughes 22:06. 30-34 ? Sumter Debrux 23:15. Keri Bowers 23:50. 35-39 ? Tim Tenne 18:36. Lisa Wallace-Anderson ? 21:56. 40-44 ? Mark Nelson 18:51. Sheri Irwin 24:18. 45-49 ? Lennie Moore 18:49. Peggy Klimecki 24:44. 50-54 ? Richard Carter 20:47. Mimi O'Brien 28:49 55-59 ? Tom Pope 23:58. Anne Boone 26:06 60-64 ? Gary Melville 23:35. Nancy Parson 31:03. 65-69 ? George Larson 22:49 Jan Mizzell 38:52. 70-99 ? Clyde Mizzell 25:12. Jane Gregorie 34:44.
15K OVERALL: Male ? Mike Aiken 50:22, Tom Mather 50:54, Hudson Belk 52:29. Female ? Lisa Tolley 59:46, Janice Addison 1:01:39, Janet Regnier 1:06:04. MASTERS: Male ? Michael Parker 56:06. Female ? Mimi Sturgell 1:06:48. GRANDMASTERS: Male ? Glenn Dennis 58:39. Lyn Hammond 1:15:18. AGE GROUPS (Top male/female): 17-under ? Chris Fallis 57:19. Caitlin Tuten-Rhode 1:29:07. 18-24 ? Christian Englert 1:07:45. Lauren Passero 1:09:02. 25-29 ? Chad Brittingham 1:02:02. Jill Hawley 1:08:25. 30-34 ? Karl Walsh 54:17. Debra Brown 1:08:01. 35-39 ? Mark Widman 59:00. Meredith Nelson 1:10:23. 40-44 ? David Quick 56:22. Inga Sullivan 1:10:16. 45-49 ? Marc Embler 56:08. Jennifer McGorty 1:14:12. 50-54 ? Shawn Nettles 1:01:32. Therese Killeen 1:15:53. 55-59 ? Paul Brown 1:08:47. Janice Wilkins 1:19:49. 60-64 ? Keith Ambrose 1:14:38. Joan Kelly Mulvihill 1:29:15. 65-69 ? Thomas Dority 1:14:49. Faye Davis 1:37:45. 70-99 ? William Boulter 1:18:02. No female.
Reach David Quick at firstname.lastname@example.org.