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Merrihew defends half marathon title

May 21, 2012
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - Joe Merrihew is 2-for-2.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old Saranac Lake resident successfully defended his half-marathon title in the second running of the Tupper Lake Marathon/Half-Marathon.

The event, which started and ended at the Tupper Lake Municipal Park along the shore of Raquette Pond, saw a total of 143 runners cross the finish line, with the overwhelming majority competing at the half-marathon distance. Only 20 runners posted finish times in the race's marthon distance.

Article Photos

Joe Merrihew runs along state Route 3 Sunday on the way to successfully defending his half-marathon title in the Tupper Lake Marathon/Half-Marathon.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Merrihew, who helps coach the Red Storm track team, easily outdistanced the half-marathon field, winning in 1 hour, 25 minutes and 43 seconds. Running on a hot Sunday in May that saw the temperature reach as high as 87 degrees, Merrihew's finish time was a little more than minute slower than his winning result from a year ago.

After running the marathon's 26.2-mile distance a year ago, Amy Farrell of Tupper Lake opted to take on the shorter run this time around and easily won the overall women's title, finishing in 1:29.25, which was also good enough for second place overall. Farrell and Merrihew were the only two runners who turned in sub-hour-and-a-half finish times.

"I haven't been training or doing anything really formal, so I was really happy with my run," Farrell said. "It's so impressive to see the running movement growing in Tupper Lake. They weren't just running a 5k, this was a half-marathon and that's a big deal."

20 racers crossed the finish line in the marathon, with Boonville's Erica Ready claiming both the overall and women's title. The 24-year-old finished in 3:27:33. Stanley Hatch, a 50-year-old runner from Cadyville, won the men's overall title in 3:35:35.

Sunday's race featured a wide range of runners ranging in age from 11 to 71, with the oldest and youngest competitors both hailing from Tupper Lake. The youngest was Sophia Martin and she had a strong outing, placing 46th overall in a field of 113 runners who completed the half marathon. She crossed the finish line in 2:16:15.

A contingent of senior Tupper Lake runners brought up the rear in the half marathon, including the final two finishers of the day, who crossed the finish line together in 4:18:18. They were 70-year-old Jeanne Kavanagh and 71-year-old Brenda Strack. Finishing just one second ahead of the pair was Tupper Lake's Lisa Reed, who is 69.



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