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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hoops for Life 3

Cape Girardeau, MO -- July 14, 2012 (Results @ Cape Road Runners: (

Hoops for Life 3
Kiwanis Park sees the first signs of activity shortly after dawn as it prepares to host what may grow to the largest road race in area history. Entry numbers begin to dwarf those seen in the past. The 325 for the Hoops for Life 1 in 2009; surpassed long ago. The 562 in 2010; in the rearview mirror. Registration on race day is strong, and shortly before 8:00 a.m., as the participants take their places on the starting line, the gravity of Sahara’s star has captured a record 651 registrants from nearly 20 different states.

The assembled field is competitive and deep.  Any athletes hoping to take home an overall trophy or age group award must bring out an effort necessary to run times that have never been recorded on this demanding course.  A break in the recent heat wave, and a crystal clear July sky, give many all the opportunity needed to do just that.
Following prayer led by Brian Jannin and Emily Hagan’s crisp rendition of the National Anthem,  Shannon Aldridge gives the “start” order.  With Tyler Mullen in tow, Chris Loseman, Alex Zizzer, and Eric Schott will separate early.  The battle continues for the entire 3.1 hilly miles until Zizzer edges out the remaining duo of Loseman and Schott at the finish line.  Zizzer breaks the tape in a course recordbreaking 15:56 with Loseman second in 15:58, and Schott third at 16:02.  Mullen follows at 17:21.  With fifth place on the line, spectators are treated to another viewing of “The Matt Pfau Kick”.  Matt’s strong finish propels him through the chute in 17:50.

Early Pace Setters: Overall Winner Alex Zizzer (184), Second Overall Chris Loseman (700),
and Fourth Overall Tyler Mullen (170).

Third Overall Eric Schott. (photo by Marcy Ambler)

The "Matt Pfau Kick" in full flight: Fifth Overall Matt Pfau (right)
and Sixth Overall Kevin Hammes (left).

Stuart Calderwood, 50-54 AG American Track Recordhholder at 25K and 30K,
turns in a 81.2% National Class Age-Graded time of 18:46. (photo by Marcy Ambler)
Donning her traditional Hoops for Life #21 bib in honor of Sahara Aldridge, Ashley Schmittzehe shines in winning the female overall title.  Working with good friend Kristen Dippold, Ashley’s 20:16 blisters her own female course record by 0:53 seconds, and her personal 5K road PR by 0:11 seconds.

Ashley Schmittzehe (21) puts the final kick on her recordbreaking run with
Under 15 Age Group Winner Coleman Erwin (left). (photo by Marcy Ambler)

Dippold takes second with her 20:22.  The Hession girls are third and fourth.  Kacy Hession finishes in 20:37 and Bailey Hession in 20:49.  Breanna Conklin (20:51) rounds out the top five.  All five of the young ladies posts times faster than the previous female course record.

Second Overall Female Kristen Dippold.  (photo by Marcy Ambler)

Third Overall Female Kacy Hession.  (photo by Marcy Ambler)

Over 510 runners and walkers will finish the course.  Below is the full list of Overall and Age Group Winners:

MALE OVERALL: Alex Zizzer (15:56)

FEMALE OVERALL: Ashley Schmittzehe (20:16)

Coleman Erwin (20:15)

Hannah Shemonia (24:59)
Nate Martin (19:07)

Bailey Hession (20:49)
Chris Loseman (15:58)

Kristen Dippold (20:22)
Bradley Mueth (23:52)

Nicole Bolen (22:37)
Bryan Kelpe (17:54)

Nichole Clippard (22:05)
Andy Johnson (19:05)

Mary Evans (21:37)
Doug Ambler (20:48)

Tracy Metzger (23:40)
Kevin Hammes (17:51)

Chris Brady (25:40)
Stuart Calderwood (18:46)

Stacy Creamer (22:35)
Dan Farrar (23:46)

Renee Brown (27:54)

The daylong celebration shifts to Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus for the evening events.  Opening ceremonies get underway with an inspirational rendition of Bill Withers’ 1972 classic “Lean on Me” performed by Broderick Twiggs, Lauren Dumey, Mary Bauer, and Riley Bauer. 
They are followed by Shannon and Amy Aldridge addressing the crowd with words of passion and dedication for Sahara, Hoops for Life, and The Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program at Stanford University.  Hearing the passion and seeing the dedication leaves the audience with no doubt of the final outcome of this fight!
The packed house is on their feet the rest of the night.  Rocker Rick Springfield hits the stage and tears into the rambunctious “Who Killed Rock-N-Roll”.  Springfield continues though an electric and energetic set which includes most all of his top 40 hits, covers of Paul McCartney & Wings “Jet” and The Beatles “We Can Work it Out”, and the fitting tribute “Saint Sahara”.  The Sammy Hagar penned “I’ve Done Everything for You” is the perfect ending to a day that has seen Shannon and Amy take things to a whole new level.
In a few short days, pediatric brain tumor research will receive a substantial donation of the proceeds from today’s celebration (UPDATE Aug. 13, 2012:  Final Total = $21,110.00!!).  Months or years from now, a cure will be found and parents will not have to watch as their child is stolen by this brutal killer.  Decades from now, people will talk about Hoops for Life 3.  Sahara’s memory will live FOREVER…"Mi Ma Mi, Mi Ma Mi, Mi Ma Mi, Mi Ma Mi"…

Rocker Rick Springfield returns to Cape Girardeau.

Happy Birthday, Hoops! (photo by Natalie Manley)

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