TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

25 years later, Great Race race director still sees firsts

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, 5:29 p.m.
 

Mike Radley has worked 34 of 35 Great Races, and Sunday was his 25th anniversary as race director. He has seen the race grow, shrink, then grow again to a record 15,000 runners this year.

When he started out, organizers used frisbees as timing devices. Radley has seen a lot, but Sunday was the first time he saw a couple get engaged at the end of the race.

Following the announcement of the 10K and 5K winners, Dan Hains, 32, of Bloomfield popped the question to his girlfriend of two years, 27-year-old Amanda Smith, on stage.

“You don't see that every day,” Radley said. “That's just a genuine moment for us at the Great Race. It's one of the things that I think just speaks to the nature of the race. It's the people's race.”

• Only one runner was transported to an area hospital, Radley said. It was not believed to be serious.

• Former Avonworth High School and Penn State runner Lucas Zarzeczny was third in the men's 10K. It was his first race since he was a senior in college 1 12 years ago. “I had to learn how to run again essentially,” said Zarzeczny, who led until midway through Oakland. “I paid the price a little at the end, but I still got my goal, which was to finish in the top 10.” Zarzeczny won the PIAA Class AA state cross country title in 2006.

• James Hommes, 41, of Pittsburgh was the 10K men's masters winner and ninth overall in 33:02, and Cheryl Collins-Gatons, 45, of Greensburg was the women's masters winner and sixth woman overall in 36:05. Heather Melzer of Mars, who was the overall 5K winner in 2011, came in third and was the top masters woman with a time of 18:25. The top 5K masters man was Dominic Wyzomirski, 53, who finished in 17:24.

• More than a dozen area Army reservists from the 316th Expeditionary Sustainable Command in Coraopolis and the 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support participated in their own shadow Great Race, desert style, at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait at about 3:30 a.m. local time Sunday.

• A group of “Perfect Great Racers” who have participated in the event every year dropped to 24 Sunday. Tom Kennedy missed his first Great Race because of travel to China.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  2. Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
  3. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  4. McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
  5. Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
  6. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  7. Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
  8. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  9. Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
  10. Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
  11. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally