rec sports

Dennis Albright, left, and Robyn Humphrey, both Columbia residents, raced in last Sunday's Columbia Metric Marathon 5k. (Photo by Noah Scialom, Patuxent Publishing / November 15, 2011)

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Running

Metric Marathon

For the first time its 35-year history, the Columbia Metric Marathon (26.2k) featured pacers and pace groups, with paces from 7:45 per mile to 10:30 per mile in 15 second per mile increments.


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Just a couple weeks shy of her 50th birthday, Donna Wecker decided she would tag along with the fastest pace group, led by Keith Levassuer and Len Supsic. Wecker had finished third at last year's Metric, and decided a more conservative approach this year was warranted.

Since there were no women going as fast as Wecker, she began running with Hafiz Shaikh, organizer of the Bagel-to-Brew Marathon. Hafiz proved a worthy pacer, and though he wound up finishing ahead of her, she succeeded in breaking two hours (the only woman to do so) and winning the whole race.

There was no thought of pacing among the men. Mark Buschman bolted to an early lead and left the rest of the field in his dust, including race favorites Peter Keating (second in 2010) and Karsten Brown (first in 2010).

"Mark outclassed the field from the quarter mile mark," Brown said. Buschman ended up over two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Keating.

A total of 383 individuals finished the Metric Marathon. Overall winners and age-group winners received medals and gift certificates for Asics shoes at Feet Feet.

For those not up to running a Metric Marathon, there was the accompanying Metric 5k, which drew 310 runners. Atholton High School's Gary Smolyak had run the Maryland State Cross Country Championships the day before, but he still had enough left to crush the men's field in the 5k with the only time under 18 minutes.

In the women's 5k, Eileen Fleck and Rebecca Parks raced neck and neck for the entire 3.1 miles, but finally Fleck edged Parks by two seconds for the win.

Columbia Metric Marathon top finishers:

Overall male: 1. Mark Buschman, 1:35:05; 2. Peter Keating, 1:37:23; 3. Edi Turco, 1:37:58.

Overall female: 1. Donna Wecker, 1:57:31; 2. Lisa Farias, 2:02:17; 3. Teresa Murphy, 2:03:43.

1-19 male: 1. James Smith, 2:00:11; 2. Conner McIntyre, 2:02:20; 3. Clifton Luber, 2:14:30.

20-24 male: 1. Brett Omstein, 1:57:00; 2. Nikolas Harvan-Matosich, 1:57:08; 3. Yuji Ibrahim, 2:23:50.

20-24 female: 1. Emma Celano, 2:09:02; 2. Maria Wells, 2:13:45; 3. Christina Aumand, 2:23:35.

25-29 male: 1. Brian Fleming, 1:43:48; 2. Lawrence Groman, 1:52:36; 3. Jason McCaul, 1:59:16.

25-29 female: 1. Rachel Clattenburg, 2:07:39; 2. Claire Cage, 2:11:50; 3. Noel McCracken, 2:12:42.

30-34 male: 1. Timothy McGee, 1:44:29; 2. David Spalding, 1:45:10; 3. Ujell Waols, 1:49:09.