Continuing the tradition, the Finger Lakes Runners Club organized the 55th annual Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile at Cornell University’s Barton Hall on January 13, 2024, playing host to 67 local and elite masters runners from the Ithaca area, the Northeast, and throughout the US and Canada. Six heats of the mile were contested, with fast times, thrilling finishes, and a W85 American record-breaking run from 89-year-old Edna Hyer.
We have full results on the FLRC site with age-grade percentages and times. Leone Timing’s results are also worth a look for their split times and position changes. Don’t miss the fabulous race photos and race videos! (You can also click the header links below to watch the associated videos.)
Combined Women & Men: In our leadoff race, the first two runners—43-year-old Maria Tabatabaei (8:08) and 46-year-old Gerald McKinley (8:26)—brought the average age of the heat down to 68. But the second man was 69-year-old Steven Clark in 8:35, and 76-year-old Deb Bliss was the second woman across the line in 9:44. The real star of the show, though, was 89-year-old Edna Hyer, who ran 14:02.99 to best Tami Graf’s previous W85 American record for the indoor mile of 14:18.28 by 15 seconds.
Men Section 2: Although top seed 71-year-old Spider Rossiter controlled the pace for the first lap, the race quickly turned into a battle between 62-year-old Steven Hoover and 53-year-old Chris Cox . At the bell, however, Hoover threw down a blistering kick that went unchallenged and cruised in for the win in 6:11. And Cox ended up third after hard-kicking Gary Williams (59), who snuck past him at the line to take second in 6:14.43 by 0.10 seconds. Rossiter ended up fourth in 6:26, which was still good enough for the 70–74 age group win.
Men Section 1: Talk about a race! Last year’s winner of this heat, 51-year-old Mike Middendorf, took control of the race from the gun, opening up a 30-meter lead within a few laps. But a four-man pack gradually reeled him in, with newly minted master Patrick Boyle starting his kick from 300m out, taking the lead at the bell, and fighting off a ferocious kick from 64-year-old veteran miler Casey Carlstrom to win by 0.28 seconds in 5:34.52. 48-year-old James Kinton crossed less than a second later in 5:35.18, with Middendorf fourth in 5:36.15 and 49-year-old Damian Clemons fifth in 5:36.26. That’s five finishers across the line in 1.74 seconds!
Men Elite 2: Although the eventual first and second runners tucked into those positions behind rabbit Patrick Milano for the first three laps, 50-year-old Terrance Shea took the lead at the halfway point and looked like he might be able to hold on for the race. But at the bell, 49-year-old Roger Moseley found another gear that gave him a 34-second last lap to Shea’s 40-second lap to win handily in 5:06. Sharing that gear was 47-year-old Tristan Lambert, whose last lap was even slightly faster than Moseley’s, enabling him to overtake Shea for second in 5:10, with Shea coming through in 5:12.
Women Elite: With the return of four-time Hartshorne champion and W45 American record-holder Sascha Scott, who has never been beaten in this race, the top spot was never in question. The 48-year-old Scott hadn’t raced a mile for two years before this but tracked rabbit Bella Burda closely for five laps before cruising in for an uncontested win in 5:16. Had 58-year-old Michelle Rohl been in the kind of shape she was last year, when she broke the W55 American record with a 5:16.70, Scott might have had a race on her hands. Instead, Rohl ended up in a three-woman pack with 45-year-old Carly Shea and sub-master Donna Langerfeld for the middle of the race before blasting the final three laps to take second in 5:37, with Shea following her in 5:41. Rohl’s time was still good for the top age-grade percentage of the day, at 91.59%, with Scott second age-graded for the women with an 89.90%.
46-year-old Alison Schwalm outran Langerfeld in the last lap for fourth in 5:45, with Langerfeld fifth in 5:49. 50-year-old Heather Webster trotted in next at 5:53, followed by 41-year-old Liz Hartman in 5:58, and 43-year-old Erin Dewalt in 6:08. Ninth place went to 62-year-old Lorraine Jasper, who held off a kicking 44-year-old Jade Barth to cross in 6:18 to Barth’s 6:19. Then, just a few seconds later, 47-year-old Debra Vertoske overtook 60-year-old Louise Kelley in the home stretch for eleventh place in 6:21 to Kelley’s 6:22. Jasper, Kelley, and Webster took home the remaining age-graded prize money with Jasper hitting 84.84%, Kelley 82.23%, and Webster 81.65%.
Men Elite 1: In the final race of the day, rabbit Adam Pacheck took top seed Sam Morse out at the requested 33-second pace, and the 40-year-old Morse stuck with him for five laps before taking off on his own to race in for the win in 4:31. Last year’s winner, 42-year-old Jaret Herter, dogged Morse for the entire race but was never able to close the gap and finished second in 4:35. 51-year-old Mark Williams, a three-time Hartshorne champion, maintained third place for most of the race but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging William Hoyne, age 41, who closed with the fastest lap of the day to nip Williams at the line 4:39.31 to 4:39.94. Nonetheless, Williams’s time converted to a 90.74 age-grade percentage to take home the top age-graded prize.
Last year’s surprise second-place runner, 42-year-old George Young, bested last year’s time by 2 seconds, running 4:46.54 for fifth and holding off 41-year-old Chuck Terry in 4:46.79. 40-year-old Samuel Mackenzie was seventh in 4:47, crossing ahead of 44-year-old Mark Walchinsky in 4:48 and Mackenzie’s high school coach, 51-year-old Scott Weeks, who finished in 4:51. Filling in the final two spots were 44-year-old Jordan Varano in 4:59 and 58-year-old Benoit Hogue in 5:04. Hogue may have been last in the heat, but his time was good for second place in the age-graded prize money with a 88.29%. Weeks was third with 87.20%, Herter fourth with 86.39%, and Morse fifth with 86.38%.
Hartshorne requires a significant volunteer effort, starting with race director Adam Engst and assistant race directors Charlie Fay and Tom Hartshorne . Jim Miner, Bob Swizdor, and Bob Talda arrived early to help set up. Jim Miner and John Whitman managed the registration table until Jim had to warm up for his race and John moved to help Charlie with race operations, after which Rebecca Lambert took over registration. Shana Snyder sang the national anthem, Bruce Roebal served as clerk of course this year, and Dan Hurley once again started all the races. Tonya Engst coordinated volunteers. Laura Helmerick and Bob Talda counted laps and rang the bell, David Rossiter read lap splits to runners, and Rich Bernstein monitored the finish line. Megan and Erica Powers helped runners take photos in front of our photo banner, and Aaron Proujansky, Kim Jackson, and Jesse Koennecke helped keep bystanders off the track during the races. Finally, Marte Reps coordinated the award luncheon. Thanks to you all!
Finally, we’d like to thank the sponsors who made this year’s Hartshorne possible. It takes a lot of money to put on a national-level meet like this, with rabbits, an announcer, extensive race photos, video of all the races, a post-race banquet, and cash prizes to attract some of the top talent in the US and Canada. The race’s 2024 sponsors include Sean Nicholson, Joe Daley, the Hartshorne Family, Javier Martinez, Cayuga Health, and Bangs Ambulance. The masters running community is tremendously appreciative of their support. Just because we’re not so young anymore doesn’t mean we don’t take our racing seriously!
See you next year!