Congratulations to my friend and former coworker Aileen Hoak on finishing yesterday's Buffalo Marathon in under three hours. This was Hoak's first marathon and she finished fourth overall among women in this international race.
Previously, she was known for competing in road racing (5K and 10K races). Marathons require a significantly different style of training and not all road racers make the transition easily. Unlike many serious runners, Hoak is not quirky, either. Some are so obsessed with their times, it becomes a part of their personality. Congratulations to Hoak as well as third place finisher Meaghan Hayes of Grand Island on being the top local women finishers. Their times are even more impressive when you consider that running is a part time hobby and not their primary occupation. Hoak, for example, works three jobs and runs in her spare time. The runners who come here from other countries are often professional runners in search of prize money. Not to take anything away from their accomplishments, but they have more time to train (and rest) than our local competitors. Although, you would never hear athletes like Hoak or Hayes use this as an excuse.
Speaking of quirky, how about this quote from 1st place Russian runner Veronika Lopatina, when asked about her time?...
When asked if she was happy about her time, she said, "Not so happy, but it's OK."
Next time, she hopes to break the speed of light.She made up for it, though by stating her true purpose in coming to the event...
When the race was over, Lopatina set out on the true purpose of her visit.
"I came here to see Niagara Falls," she said. "It's very close, so I decided to run the marathon and then see the Falls."
Can you really blame her? I'm sure she saw enough abandoned grain elevators during the race.
This might be the funniest clip I've put on this site in a long time. Rosie Ruiz, came out of the crowd to finish "first" among women in the 1980 Boston Marathon. After the race, she was interviewed and failed to answer basic questions about running, that even the most novice runners would know. It quickly became apparent that she was a scam artist who snuck into the race. The best part about the interview might be the constant sneezing. I think they call that a "tell" in poker. It was revealed that a few months earlier, Ruiz took a subway to finish the New York City Marathon. Hey, it's quicker than running...