Light rain dampened but didn’t deter runners from the annual Holiday Hustle 5K at HCC Sunday.
Five-hundred, seventeen turned out and chased to the finish line two runners whose performances are on the upswing — John Ford and Courtney Waldhauser.
Waldhauser, 28, of Fallston, won the women’s race, taking another step forward in her long and patient comeback. Nine years ago, she was a rapidly improving 19-year-old with 5K personal best 18:48, a 3:19:01 marathon and a victory in the Clyde’s 10K in Columbia. Then came a litany of leg injuries requiring surgery, all but ending her running career. On Sunday, her resurgence was apparent; she is beginning to look like her former running self. She finished with a lead of about 180 meters in 20:39.
Ford, the runner-up in last year’s race, was featured in a Towson Times article in January as a runner on the autism spectrum who has improved rapidly in the short time since he began to train as a runner. In three years, the 26-year-old Phoenix resident dropped his weight from 190 to 145 pounds and steadily advanced to the front of the pack in 5K races. This time, he won easily in 17:07, finishing with a lead of over a minute.
Ben Breschi of Perry Hall finished second in 18:16. Others in the men’s top 10 were Brian Lindsey of Silver Spring, 18:42; Daniel Evans, Washington, D.C., 18:45; Jeff Burger, Bel Air, 19:09; Jim Smiley, New Bloomfield, Pa., 20:12; Steve Tauber, Bel Air, 20:15; Jason Keller, Cockeysville, 20:34; Ben Smith, Parkville, 21:03; Brandon Clark, Street, 21:13.
Finley Lavin of Jarrettsville was the runner-up behind Waldhauser in the women’s race. Also the top 10 were Cara Thompson, Phoenix, 21:18; Sophia Breschi, Perry Hall, 21:36; Sarah Groetz, Dallastown, Pa., 21:49; Dawn Lasek, Perry Hall, 21:53; Samantha Frederick, Laurel, 22:27; Melanie Waters, Pasadena, 22:28; Erin Schisler, Bel Air, 22:45; Abby Fleming, Bel Air, 23:00.
Nancy Hill of Havre de Grace placed 12th and repeated as the 60-69 age group winner in 24:03. Steve Tauber of Bel Air took seventh overall in 20:15 and led the 50-59 age group, as he did last year. Willow Borowski of Edgewood repeated in under-11, running 25:36. Also repeating as age-group winners were Larry Elias, Havre de Grace, (26:33 in over-70) and Marianne Freedman, Baltimore (49:13 in the women’s over-70).
Other age-group winners were Gabriel Olszyk, Fallston, 22:45, in under-11; Sophia Breschi and Garrett Saboy, Abingdon, 21:23, in 11-14; Sarah Groetz, and Daniel Hanuska, York, Pa., 22:03, in 15-19; Melanie Waters and Daniel Evans in 20-29; Erin Schisler and Ben Smith, Parkville, 21:03, in 30-39; Dawn Lasek and Jeff Burger, Bel Air, 19:09, in 40-49; Robyn McElwee, Churchville, 23:11, in 50-59; and Frank Ziemski, Bel Air, 25:14, in 60-69.
Celtic Solstice 5 miler
Will Tikiob of Jarrettsville led his age group and finished 13th overall in the Celtic Solstice 5-Miler in in Baltimore Saturday. His father, David Tikiob, was the top age-54 finisher in the field of 2,010. Will ran 28:15 and was first among 47 in his age group. David ran 35:40 and placed fifth among 126 in 50-54.
Lydia Johnson of Street was the top age-64 finisher among women. She placed fourth among 65 women in 60-64 in 42:29.
Zach Kaminski, 21, of Elkton, finished second in 26:06 behind men's winner Evan Hardy of Towson (25:50). Julia Roman-Duvall of Columbia repeated as winner of the women’s race in 28:07.
Upcoming local races
Dec. 22 - Reindeer Run 5K, Aberdeen Festival Park, 8 a.m., bluecheetahtiming.com .
Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day Perk Up Run 5 Miler, Fallston Park & Ride, Route 152 and 147, 11 a.m. runharford.com.