Hounds Show Metal at Steel City Marathon (5/12)

Hounds Show Metal at Steel City Marathon

Kate Pendlebury

The Pharaoh Hounds produced several impressive performances at this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, May 6. Notable accomplishments include Marco Dozzi’s 11th place in the open male category, in a time of 2h28:20; James Hommes’ 14th place (second in the 40-44 age division) 2h34:20; and Laura Harnish’s (of culinary fame) 8th position in the female race, in a personal record of 2h54:39.

Dozzi was the second US finisher after 2011 winner, Jeffrey Eggleston, in a competitive field dominated by Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, and the first male Pennsylvanian. After the first few miles he ran a largely solitary race, accompanied only by a cyclist uncle. Harnish placed 50th amongst both male and female finishers. Fellow Hound, Kalin Vasilev, still recovering from the disagreeable conditions at the Boston Marathon three weeks earlier, paced Harnish for the second half of the race.

Jim Hommes finished first place American master, second master, and 14th place overall with a smoking time of 2h:34:20. Steve Strelick was close behind with an amazing marathon debut of 2:35:25.

Pioneer Hound, Jason Bodner, also returned to run a 2h36:15, placing 17th overall and third in the male 40-44 category. He was followed closely by current Hound, the zealous high-fiver, Tim Wu, whose 2h40:13 was a personal best for the course, and closely trailed the times of the top three female runners.

Mitch Dyer ran a solid 2h59:05, while Mark Hunkele’s 3h00:09 placed him 9th in his age division. Former 800m athlete, Ivan Ruchkin ran an impressive, if painful-looking 3h11:13, a minute ahead of really old Hound, Steve Garand, whose cramps in the final miles reduced what had promised to be a comfortable sub-3 hour marathon to 3h12:17.

In the women’s race, Jamie Morgenstern and Kate Pendlebury both achieved personal records of 3h12:47 and 3h18:53 respectively. Morgenstern was the first female Pittsburgh resident across the line, notwithstanding her abortive Boston effort just three weeks before and the discomforting reminder of it in the final baking miles. Pendlebury thought the weather was just perfect. Jo Rupp came across the line with a solid 3h:26 time.

Moira Davenport made a great showing in the 5K which earned her a 2nd place finish.

Cory Spidell placed 11th in the half-marathon, in a time of 1h11:30. Brandon Gillingham was fourth in the 20-24 age category, in 1h15:14, and Jessica Gangjee placed 12th amongst the female half-marathoner and third in her age division, in 1h22:41. Richard Crowley finished in 1h18:13 to finish 2nd in his age group. Thomas Stuart ran a 1h19:30 for 40th place, an amazing feat, considering he's a brand new dad and is probably getting less sleep a night than the time it took him to race. Brian Caskey ran a 1:20:39, Christina Strelick ran a 1:27: 22 and Jason Baim slogged out a finish in the half and lived to race again.

If the Hounds were slightly under-represented at our home marathon, this was the result of the recent unpleasantness in Boston and the usual round of injuries to which runners are subject. But those who didn’t compete turned up to spectate with great enthusiasm, even running across town to support Hounds as they passed through multiple points – and delighting in such novelties as the gingerbread man, who apparently completed a sub-3h30 marathon in full-body sweat-drenched regalia. Michelle Corkum and Eric Shafer provided enthusiastic support, while Charlie Ban returned to Pittsburgh to cheer the Hounds. Leslie McIntire and Dan Holland both provided moral cheer and photographed the runners (pics to follow).

At the post-marathon festivities, Hounds recounted their marathon experiences. Some found the conditions – sunny, warm, with a hint of a breeze – ideal, while the majority were reminded disagreeably of Boston. Changes in the course (including some funniness involving downtown bridges and a tight loop before Birmingham Bridge) passed unremarked. Runners’ bathroom habits, however, are an unavoidable topic of discussion at such gatherings, since a big race is almost inevitably preceded – and often interrupted – by a run on a handful of overused portapotties. While I was impressed by the provision of jons as I crossed downtown at 6:15am on Sunday morning, by 7am (both after and before several anxiety/caffeine relieving expeditions) it had become abundantly clear that many more toilet facilities were needed: or, as one runner suggested, a trough.

A runner, who prefers to remain unnamed, but who’s name rhymes with Eve and starts with an S, informed us that he had made use of the side of a dumpster, where “there were no lines.”

RESULTS (By Brandon Gillingham):

Overall Male Marathon

11. Marco Dozzi-2:28:20

14. Jim Hommes 2:34:20- 2nd overall Master

15. Steve Strelick 2:35:25- Marathon Debut

17. Jason Bodnar 2:36:15- 3 Master

20. Tim Wu 2:40:13

59. Mitch Dyer 2:58:55

63. Mark Hunkele 3:00:09

124. Ivan Ruchkin 3:11: 13

127. Steve Garand 3:12: 17

Overall Female Marathon

8. Laura Harnish 2:54:34- 4 minute PR

15. Jamie Morgenstern 3:12: 47

24. Kate Pendelberry 3:18: 53

37. Jo Rupp- 3:26:01

Overall Male Half Marathon Results

11. Cory Spidell 1:11:30

18. Brandon Gillingham 1:15:14

24. Richard Crowley 1:18:13

33. Tom Stuart 1:19:30

37. Brian Caskey 1:20:39

832. Jason Baim 1:47:42

Overall Female Half Marathon

12. Jessica Gangjee 1:22:41

19. Christina Strelick 1:27: 22

Female 5K

2. Moira Davenport 21:01

Historical Perspective (By Joel Tetreault):

Great job on the race this weekend. I thought I'd put the stacked Hounds time (4 men under 2:40) in historical perspective. The last time I am aware of that we did this on the same day was Marine Corps in 2008. It should be noted that this year's Pitt top 4 were faster overall, despite the fact the course is hillier (to be fair, MCM was really hot that year), so I'd say this year's showing trumps 2008. Probably the fastest Hounds marathon was Steamtown in 2003 where we put 4 under 2:40, and 3 under 2:30. Below is the email I sent to the team after the MCM race which includes the stats.

Btw - great run by Jim - he bested his time from 08 four years later. That is some consistency! Great to see you running so well Jim!!


Hounds Coach 2005-2007

Previous Best Hounds Marathons (By Joel Tetreault):

Hi guys, I just got back to my parents place in Baltimore from the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a great day for the Hounds, four guys under 2:40, and several PRs:


Below are all the gun times from the website, some are going to be minutes faster because some of the guys got waylaid at the start):

Eric Shafer - 2:31:35

Jim Hommes - 2:35:13

Greg Byrnes - 2:44:31 gun time (chip time was 2:35, he got to the line late because the metro he was supposed to take shut down)

Tim Wu - 2:39:13 PR

Chris Jones - 2:46:26 PR

Charlie Ban - 2:49:18 debut

Dan Holland - 3:02:08

Leslie McIntire - 3:14?

The places for everyone doesn't seem to be up yet but since the top 5 times were:

1 ANDREW DUMM 02:22:42 5:26

2 C. FRED JOSLYN 02:23:52 5:29

3 COREY DUQUETTE 02:24:38 5:30

4 JARON HAWKINS 02:25:17 5:32

5 BRIAN DUMM 02:25:58 5:34

I figure Eric must be at least in the top 15 and Jim/Chris in the top 30. We'll see...

This is our best marathon race (for men) since Steamtown in '03:

2:22:35 - Jason Bodnar - SteamTown2:28:43 - Jim Hommes - SteamTown2:29:41 - Eric Shafer - SteamTown2:39:24 - Ryan Erdely - SteamTown

2:44:23 - Dan Holland - SteamTown

The weather was pretty good - cool enough that people wore extra disposal shirts at the start, and the last few miles were a little warm. Unfortunately my digital camera didn't have batteries so no pictures this time save for the few I tried to take with my film camera.

Anyway, it was great to see you guys this morning and hopefully I will catch more of you at Philly. I'll leave the detailed report of the race to the guys who actually ran it, I was just excited to report these results to everyone this afternoon.

Go Hounds!