Running: Racheal Marchand rings in win after quick recovery
By Anthony D. Alonzo Post-Tribune correspondent April 10, 2013 9:48PM
Updated: May 12, 2013 2:20PM
For the running of the 19th annual Valparaiso Family YMCA Ringing in Spring race, event coordinators had made some course corrections, while a local favorite on the women’s side hoped her knee was mended enough to keep pace.
Runners who showed up early Saturday morning to participate in the race were greeted by changes to the route that altered what was essentially a 5K-repeater course at the 10K’s inaugural running last year.
Starting at the small roundabout behind the city’s Kmart and the YMCA, the 10K course featured more flat terrain extending down Valparaiso St. in the northwest portion of the city.
Race director Mike Jones visited the area about 2.5 miles in, where the 5 and 10K courses part ways. He said runners seemed pretty happy about the way that option was engineered.
“The (5 and 10K event) went real well,” said Jones. “By next year we probably won’t be making any changes to it.”
Jones said in addition to the chip tracking of runners’ times by T&H Timing, this year’s participants were able to have their final results texted to their cell phones upon crossing the finish line.
Valparaiso resident Racheal Marchand was the first female runner to be sent such a text as she completed the 5K run in 17:26.1. She defended her 2012 title, though she tacked on approximately 35 seconds to last year’s time.
Marchand hadn’t participated in a race since she suffered a partial tear in her meniscus in January. The painful knee injury was corrected at the Cleveland Clinic.
“I really (applaud) them for getting me up back on my feet in a short amount of time,” said the former Valparaiso High School standout runner and former All-American at the University of Iowa. “They were wonderful.”
Against the wind, 15-year-old Ben Savage, a Morgan Township freshman, managed to shave 2.6 seconds off his score from the 2012 5K — where he took second place — to claim the overall win. He made it past the finish line at 16:44.9, 3.8 seconds ahead of runner Adam Piaskowy.
Hometown hero Karen Nagel repeated her 2012 10K title among women and was presented her ninth victory bell by Jones. She completed the event at the 40:10.4 mark, just above 30 seconds slower than last year’s less wind-influenced time.
Hebron’s Jeff Mescal led all runners with a 36:41.3 time. At the last Ringing, Chicago runner Todd Ptacek clocked a 32:01.8 first-place finish.
Complete Ringing in Spring times are available in PDF form at thtiming.com, under 2013 race results.