Endale, Dionne win Hartford Marathon
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 23:10
ING’s 19th Annual Hartford Marathon and Half-Marathon kicked off Saturday.
The temperature was a chilly 28 degrees Fahrenheit when the gunshot to start the race was fired, but that did not deter the record 2,526 finishers for the marathon and 5,972 finishers in the half-marathon.
The marathon winners for both the men and women broke their own personal times. Abiyot Endale finished in 2:15:35, a race record by almost a minute. For the women, Hilary Dionne beat her personal best by eight minutes, finishing in 2:40:34.
“I’ve gone out too hard before; I’ve tended to run my first half better than my second half,” Dionne said.
The half-marathon winners were Philemon Terer and Stephanie Reilly. Terer, of Kenya, beat his training partner and best friend Benard Langat, also of Kenya, to win the half-marathon in 1:05:42. Langat was seven seconds back. Reilly, an Irish Olympic steeplechaser who coaches cross country and track at Bryant University, took advantage of a rare weekend off to win the women’s half-marathon in 1:15:40
Reasons that participants run in the event included crossing off a bullet on their “bucket list,” raising money for a charity or simply enjoying the run.
UConn 5th-semester student Rebecca Witkowski, who has run four half-marathons, decided this year to train for her first full marathon event.
“Honestly it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done, just pushing your body for four hours. The last six miles are mind over matter for you and you just have to get over the pain. I kept going and was so motivated that I was actually running a marathon, finishing was such an accomplishment. Running is what I love, and running a marathon made me love running just so much more,” Witkowski said.
Witkowski’s account was one of many motivational stories that took shape at the 2012 ING Hartford Marathon and Half-Marathon.