Monday, November 30, 2009

Shameless Bragging

On Sunday my son ran his first marathon... and won! Below is a story from the local paper in Cocoa Florida where the race took place and a video of him being interviewed on the local news.

First time's a charm for marathoner

Georgian, a rookie to marathons, wins 26.2-miler; local woman takes half

COCOA — Matthew May came into Sunday's Space Coast Marathon having never run a full 26.2-mile event. But he knew one thing about himself.

 "The longer I go, the better I get," the 25-year-old from Athens, Ga., said.

That certainly proved to be the case, as May easily outdistanced the field, crossing the finish line at Cocoa Village's Riverfront Park in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 58 seconds.
Renae Cicchinelli, who was worried that she had set too fast a pace for herself in the early portion of the race, took the women's title in 2:59:01.

Boca Raton's Jon Volpi won the men's half-marathon in 1:10:45, while Beth Whalen of Melbourne was the top woman with a time of 1:26:05. Meredith Van Veen, also of Melbourne, was second in 1:28:47.

The 38th annual event drew 2,484 competitors -- including a man on stilts -- and was run under near-perfect conditions. The temperature was about 50 degrees at the 6 a.m. start, and the wind was minimal.

"Last year, it was really hot and windy," Volpi said. "This year, I actually ran alone the entire race all the way, and my time was actually better this year. I think everyone's time will be better this year because it was cooler. It was actually a perfect day."

Volpi, the only one of Sunday's four winners who had run the race before, was trying to complete some unfinished business.

"I was second last year," the 26-year-old said. "I was back for more. Mission accomplished."
The 23-year-old Whalen, who moved to Melbourne from Bettendorf, Iowa, in July, has been making a name for herself on the local running scene. Sunday's win added to that fact.

"I ran a 15K about three weeks ago and tore up my feet pretty bad because I ran in flats that I probably shouldn't have run in," she said. "So I was nervous for today. I didn't how my feet were going to feel. I've been taking it easy, cross training and pretty much nursing it.

Cicchinelli, 29, had been planning to run the Palm Beaches Marathon next weekend but decided to push up her race schedule because of a hamstring issue that has been bothering her for the past year.

"Somebody told me this was a really good (race) -- and it is," the Haines City resident said.
Taking control halfway through the race, she finished well ahead of second-place Maite Moscoso of Longwood, who had a time of 3:06:09. However, Cicchinelli was worried early that she was setting too fast a pace for herself.

"The last six miles, my times started slowing," she said. "I think I took the first half a little too fast. I even had a 6:11 mile, which is way too fast. But it was pretty steady after mile 17."

May, who had previously only run half-marathons, started training six months ago to run 26.2 miles. He decided to run the Space Coast event because he has relatives in the area and, like Cicchinelli, had heard good things about the race.

He took the lead at the 10-mile mark and finished nearly seven minutes ahead of second-place Lee Rietsma of Tampa.

"I felt good until about mile 23, and that's when it hit me that . . . this is the real deal," May said. "(I told myself), 'Three miles to go. You run 5Ks all the time.' "

Merritt Island's Thaddeus Austin was the top local finisher in the men's marathon, finishing in 2:58:41, which was good enough for second in the 30 to 39 age group.

Melbourne's Cheng Ten was the first local woman to cross the line in the marathon. Her time was 3:20:56, which was second in the 35 to 39 age group.

Melbourne's John Davis was the top local men's finisher in the half-marathon, finishing fourth overall in 1:20:17 and winning his age group (30 to 34). Steve Chin of Satellite Beach won the Men's Masters Division in 1:21:31.

Orlando's Rory Helzer, who was attempting to break several world records for running a marathon on stilts, did not complete the race.

The mood of the day was perhaps best summed up by a little girl who ran alongside her father as he labored toward the finish line nearly six hours after the race started. "Daddy," she said, "I'm so proud of you."

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