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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Midsouth Championship Marathon / Half Marathon

Wynne, AR -- November 2, 2013 (Results @ Stearns Race Timing: Marathon:
Half Marathon:

Several members of the Cape Girardeau running community ventured down to Wynne, Arkansas for the 15th annual Mid South Championships Marathon/Half Marathon.  I had heard from several people that this was a good race which, in addition to being certified, also had great course support and post-race amenities.  The price of this HM and full marathon are also a fraction of the price of most of the larger events in the Midwest which is also a big plus.

We were greeted by a nice 49 degree 8:00 a.m starting time temperature with a light wind.  Approximately 450 people toed the line for the two races which were ran simultaneously.  This is an interesting race due to the fact that everyone starts together as well as it being an out-and-back course for both distances.  At the respective turn-around points each competitor can see exactly how the race is shaking out both in front and behind of them.

The leader went out at 6:10 for the first mile then settled back into a more comfortable pace as he was running the full marathon.  Hammes and Brandon Shemonia were hanging back several seconds behind the leader until the mile mark then Shemonia, who was making his HM debut, decided to start pushing the pace a little more.  He was running his first 13.1 mile on feel as his garmin had decided not to work.  This would make his race a little more interesting.

Shemonia hit the 6.5 mile turnaround in a little over 36 minutes and chatted with the "old man" on his way back.  Hammes hit the turnaround point several minutes later and, when turning around, saw a familiar face about 25 seconds behind him.  Leah Torvillson, Arkansas native and multiple time Olympic qualifier at the marathon distance was rolling toward the HM turnaround point.  I looked back after running for 25 seconds to see if Torvillson was going to keep running past the HM turnaround or if she would be blowing by me in the near future.  She continued on and ended up being the overall marathon winner with a time of 2:43:xx and looked like she was out for an easy jog as she finished her last 200m in the high school stadium.  She is an incredible distance runner.

Brandon Shemonia ended up leading the HM group to the finish line despite taking a slight detour toward the end of the route and running an extra 3 blocks.  Brandon's 1:15:32 finish time was impressive based on his current training and he is already looking forward to the day when he can again compete at the HM distance.

Andy Johnson and Chellie Jannin, two of SE Missouri's elite marathoners, both finished strong races in windy conditions and took home 2nd place OA plaques.  It was a good day for many of the SE Missouri runners and this is a quality race which is very well run with fantastic course support.  It also features one of the best post-race meals I have ever been treated to.  Kudos to all those who made this race an enjoyable experience. 

SEMO "Men's Team" -- Kevin Hammes (2nd Overall HM), Andy Johnson (2nd OA Marathon),
and Brandon Shemonia (Overall HM Winner).  (Photo by Beverly Johnson)

Chellie Jannin: 2nd Overall Female in Marathon.  (Photo by Beverly Johnson)

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