COLUMBIA STATION — Heat and humidity took their toll on the runners in the ninth annual Columbia Station Half Marathon and Inline Skate on Sunday.
One look at the times showed that.
Chesterland masters runner Mark Ruppe, age 41, was the class of the men’s field as he outdistanced Bucyrus’ Marshall Pfahler, 19, by more than 1½ minutes. Ruppe clocked one hour, 31 minutes and 55.31 seconds. Pfahler’s time was 1:33:38.02.
Haley Van Voorhis, 18, also of Bucyrus, took home the women’s title, winning by more than five minutes in 1:49:51.22. Westlake High juniors Robyn Hageman, 16, (1:54:51.26) and Michelle Appel, 15, (1:55:39.18) grabbed the next two spots.
Ruppe’s winning time was nearly three minutes slower than his previous half-marathon effort of 1:28:59 three weeks ago in Willoughby Hills.
“I bonked the last three miles,” Ruppe said. “It was tough. I ran alone nearly the entire way. I just stay focused on the road, the scenery and finishing.
It seemed like there was more downhill at the beginning. It all caught up to me between mile markers No. 8 and 9.”
The former Walsh Jesuit High runner took 18 years off from running before taking it up again three years ago. He has 10 marathons to his credit, including the Cleveland Trail Marathon in the North Chagrin Reservation on May 10. He finished 16th there in 4:34:04.
Pfahler and Van Voorhis, an Ohio University boyfriend and girlfriend combo, made their half-marathon debuts. Pfahler is a sophomore and Van Voorhis a freshman.
“We wanted to run a half marathon together some time this summer,” Pfahler said. “This race fit our schedule the best.
“I started the race today midpack and moved up into second place for the last two-thirds of the race. I had (Ruppe) in sight most of the time but he was usually about a half-mile ahead. I was hoping I might catch up towards the end but it never materialized. I probably didn’t drink enough during the race.”
How much difference did Sunday’s heat make? Last year, the first seven runners were faster than Ruppe’s time. Voorhis’ winning effort was four minutes slower than the winning women’s time a year ago.
“My goal was to be under two hours,” Van Voorhis said. “I think I went out way too fast. … I thought there was a chance I might get caught from behind so I turned around once to check. Today’s race was quite a different experience. My longest previous race was five miles.”
Hageman and Appel ran together until the last half-mile before Hagerman took off and broke away from her training partner. Third in last year’s race in 1:56:58.85, Hageman was nearly two minutes faster in the heat.
“The heat and the hills really caught up to us,” Hageman said. “The hills the last three miles were very hard. There were just enough water stops and some kids along the course were nice enough to blast us with their water guns at mile No. 7.”
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Mark Ruppe, age 41 (Chesterland), 1:31:55.31; 2. Marshall Pfahler, 19 (Bucyrus), 1:33:38.67; 3. Jim O’Connor, 52 (Valley City), 1:38:38.02; 4. Mark Gibson, 47 (Columbia Station), 1:40.00.69; 5. Roy Salazar, 36 (Medina), 1:49:04.65; 6. Dave Fisher, 53 (Bellevue), 1:51:51.47; 7. Andrew Jones, 39 (Brecksville), 1:52:21.41; 8. Tom Kilcourse, 61 (Avon Lake), 1:52:49.60; 9. Allen Potter, 41 (Brunswick), 1:56:13.89; 10. Perry Rhodes, 39 (Mantua), 1:59:00.72.
1. Haley Van Voorhis, 18 (Bucyrus), 1:49:22.52; 2. Robyn Hageman, 16 (Westlake), 1:54:51.26; 3. Michelle Appel, 15 (Westlake), 1:55:39.18; 4. Tiffany Gibson, 47 (Columbia Station), 2:01:39.24; 5. Toni Medvetz, 51 (Loxahatchee, Fla.), 2:02:59.59; 6. Christie Mihalick, 47 (Madison), 2:03:53.83; 7. Karen Hofer, 49 (Strongsville), 2:10:31.56; 8. Abigail Smith, 19 (Brecksville), 2:13:17.58; 9. Susan Hicks, 51 (North Canton), 2:15:56.22; 10. Allison Hicks, 23 (North Canton), 2:15:57.70.
1. Bill Numerick, 35 (Centerville), 35:34.40; 2. Alexander von Dayne, 35 (Farmington Hills, MI), 40:02.12; 3. Alan Marcossen, 63 (Cleveland), 40:06.23.