Category Archives: Marathons

Vicky Jasparro breaks 3 hours

Holy Toledo – Sub 3!

Vicky Jasparro

A week and a half ago I had never heard of the ‘Glass City Toledo Marathon’. And until I decided to avoid the oven-like temperatures of Boston, I had never heard the expression ‘Holy Toledo’. However it certainly applies to my w/e of success in the Mid West.
Desperate not to throw away my months of training, a couple days before the 2012 Boston Inferno, I went online to and looked for a backup race. My criteria were a fast flat course and a location where the long range forecast called for cool temps on Sunday 22nd April. It quickly became apparent that Toledo was my only choice. So I rallied to arrange last minute plane tickets and a hotel room, change vacation dates at work and add in a side trip to visit my mom in Cleveland. Then I sat and worried. Would I really be able to deliver on my training? Or would this all be an expensive stress filled waste of time? What if the weather forecast changed? Or the course wasn’t all that it was chalked up to be?
Apart from forgetting my checked bag at the airport in Cleveland (yeah – with all my running gear inside! Thank God I realized and went back), my travel to Toledo went off without a hitch. I arrived on Friday night so had plenty of time on the Saturday to visit the expo (tiny – quite the opposite of Boston) and drive the course to check out all its quirks and myriad of turns. I also went for a short jog to explore the last mile of the race so I would know exactly where it went and just how short it would feel the next day.
The Toledo Marathon is not large – close to 1000 runners, but there is also a half marathon and many relay teams which makes it feel like a bigger race. More importantly, as I found out, the course really is ‘Mid West flat’. It starts and finishes on University of Toledo campus, and winds its way through various beautiful neighborhoods and a metro park, as well as along two different sections of a bike path. All surfaces are paved and beautifully smooth. The only possible downside to the course is that the main roads are not closed to traffic and so runners are restricted to running in a coned off lane rather than being able to freely run the tangents as the course was measured.
Sunday April 22 was cold and overcast as promised, and slightly breezy. Temps were in the high 30s at the start of the marathon and while I was running never got above the mid 40s. My goal was sub 3, and my plan was to run a 6.50 pace in order to give myself a little bit of cushion. Other than a bad patch between miles 19 and 21, and the inevitable tiredness in the closing miles, I felt pretty good and strong most of the race and was able to just follow my plan. That said, I was anxious and constantly running scared, never really sure that I could or would meet my goal until the very end. During the race I went back and forth a few times with the ‘local running celebrity’ – “Tina” – who had friends on every corner and a running buddy to join her every few miles. However she opened a gap on me during my bad patch and so I just tried to keep her in my sights and use her to help me achieve my goal. The strategy paid off as in the last few miles along the bike path I managed to run in the 6.40s. I then pulled off my very last mile in 6.36 to cross the 50 yard finish line on the Toledo University football field in 2.59.14. This earned me 4th place female, a small cash prize and a jacket. Holy Toledo I did it! Sub 3! Boston here I come next year.

3/31/12 to 4/16/12 Results


Bob Jackman and Dave Principe @ Gansett

Run the Reservoir 15k and 5k
North Scituate, RI, March 31, 2012
1st – Dave Schaad – 19:23

Jamestown Bridge 10K Road Race
North Kingstown, RI, April 7, 2012
8th – Robert Corsi – 39:18.09
578th – Pali Frazier – 1:06:05.71

Great Bay Half Marathon / 5K
Newmarket, NH, April 7, 2012
88th – LAWRENCE WALKER – 1:33:47.4
East Bridgewater High School Parents Viking Sports 5k
E Bridgewater, MA, April 7, 2012
2nd – 18:34 – Dave Schaad

Bunny Hop 5K
Warwick, RI, April 14, 2012
10th – DAVE SCHAAD – 18:56.0 – 6:05/M

Merrimack River 10 mile Trail Race – 21st annual
Andover, MA April 14, 2012
11th – Justin Costa – 1:06:10
80th – Joseph Reddy – 1:26:55

2012 Gansett Marathon
Narragansett, RI, April 14, 2012
3rd – David Principe – 2:42:11

Nutrition Fuels Fitness 5k (RIDA 5k)
Warwick, RI, April 15, 2012
3rd – ALAN BERNIER         16:45 – 5:24
5th – MARTIN TIGHE               17:16 – 5:34
11th – Dave Schaad          19:09 – 6:10
17th – Daniel Sevigny             20:26 – 6:35
28th – George Ross                21:51 – 7:02

Boston Marathon
Boston, MA, April 16, 2012
2711th -Pat Meacham – 3:27:27
3616th – Issy Nielson – 3:34:13
4059th – Karen Benway – 3:37:06
6501st – “Don Henderson” – 3:50:29

Karen Benway and Issy Nielson @ Boston

Sign up for a free digital New England running magazine – Level Renner

Hi all,

In this blog entry I’d like to give a little Kudos to the folks over at Level Renner for producing a great online magazine all about running in the North-East. if you haven’t yet, I’d recommend that you sign up for a free digital copy…that’s right…it’s free

Welcome to the Underground. You’ve found the website of Level Renner, the premier journal of (new england) running for the olde school athlete. In each issue: elite athlete profiles (pics on left), performance articles, general running commentary, retro rat reissues and so much more. Run on the ground. Read the underground. Keep it on The Level.

Haile Gebrselassie has set his sights on reclaiming his world marathon record in Tokyo

Feb 24 (Reuters) – Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie has set his sights on reclaiming his world marathon record in Tokyo this weekend, five months after losing it to Kenyan Patrick Makau.

“I have come here in a good condition,” the 38-year-old dubbed the “Emperor” told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon.

Gebrselassie was scheduled to run in Tokyo last year but suffered a fall in training and pulled out with bruised knees.

His luck went from bad to worse when he pulled out of September’s Berlin Marathon with asthma as Makau raced away to set a new world best of two hours, three minutes and 38 seconds.

Gebrselassie’s previous record stood at 2:03:59.

The twice Olympic and four-times world champion in the 10,000 metres, who insists he will compete at this year’s London Games, will face a strong field in Tokyo.

Race record holder Viktor Roethlin of Switzerland, last year’s winner Hailu Mekonnen and Japanese talent Yuki Kawauchi in the field, Sunday’s race could be run at a cracking pace.

“This course is one of the fastest in the world,” said 2010 European champion Roethlin, winner of the 2008 Tokyo Marathon in 2:07:23. “I believe Haile can run very fast on this course.”

Gebrselassie insisted that the fact marathon running holds a special place in Japanese heart was not lost on him.

“The marathon in Japan is a culture, a tradition,” he said. “It’s serious.”

Roethlin spoke of the hushed awe in which the runners were treated in Japan.

“It’s not just a race, it’s a philosophy,” he said.

“The crowd is unbelievable. In Tokyo, there are more spectators than in New York but they don’t make noise like they do in New York.

“It’s more like a sound of respect and it gives you a lot of energy.”

Gebrselassie gave an insight into what made him tick.

“In a marathon you run against the distance, not the athlete,” he said. “That’s the difference between the marathon and 10,000 metres.

“I used to be a 10,000 runner and the marathon is the one you have to run perfectly. That’s why I could not run last year because I fell down in a forest three weeks before the race.

“I have been very careful over the past month not to repeat the same mistake.”

Boston Marathon announces elite fields


Photos by George Ross

Boston, USA – Reigning champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel will defend their titles at this year’s Boston Marathon, but will be challenged by the fastest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled for this IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

With 31 contenders setting their personal best time in the past two years, including eight men under 2:07 and ten women under 2:24, the race set for 16 April, will prove highly competitive.

Last year, Mutai ran an unmatched 2:03:02 on Boston’s certified course, without the aid of pacesetters, and then followed that accomplishment with a course record win in New York City. Although the course is considered aided for World record recognition, Mutai is nonetheless the fastest marathoner in history, and the only man to ever set course records at Boston and New York in the same year.

Top contenders challenging Mutai include last year’s third place finisher and 2010 New York City champion Gebre Gebremariam, 2010 Boston champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, 2011 Amsterdam and Rotterdam winner Wilson Chebet, and 2011 Chicago second and third place finishers Wesley Korir and Bernard Kipyego.

Young talent clipping their heels include 2011 Fukuoka champion Josphat Ndambiri, 2:05 marathoner Levy Matebo, 2011 Amsterdam runner-up Laban Korir, 2012 Xiamen winner Peter Kamais, 2011 Dubai champion David Barmasai, and Half Marathon specialist Mathew Kisorio.

Americans Antonio Vega and Jason Hartmann, Kenyans Frankline Chepkwony and Dickson Chumba, and Netherlander Michel Butter are also in the elite field.

On the women’s side, the historic race in Boston has been decided over the past four years by three seconds or less. Last year Caroline Kilel turned in another close race as she traded the lead with American Desiree Davila several times down the finishing stretch of Boylston Street. Kilel ultimately triumphed by two seconds over Davila for the 2:22:36 win, before collapsing in exhaustion.

Chasing Kilel are Kenyan teammates Sharon Cherop and Caroline Rotich. Cherop and Rotich ran with Kilel through the final miles last year in Boston before finishing third and fourth respectively. They eagerly await the rematch.

A strong Ethiopian contingent will also seek the crown. Last year’s New York City winner Firehiwot Dado and runner up Buzunesh Deba team up again and joining the pair is Aselefech Mergia, the Dubai winner and newly crowned 2:19:31 national record holder. Also in the mix will be the talented Mamitu Daska, who won Frankfurt last year, setting a new course record.

The Boston-New York and Kenyan-Ethiopian rivalries should prove exciting, but working to break up the leaders will be a top Russian team: Galina Bogomolova, Alevtina Biktimirova, Nadezdha Leonteva and 2010 Boston runner-up Tatyana Pushkareva will work together to return the coveted title to Russia.

Additional talent includes 2006 Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, Ashu Kasim, Agnes Kiprop, Georgina Rono, Diana Sigei, and Genet Getaneh.
Organisers for the IAAF

2012 Elite Boston Marathon Field:


Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya, 2:03:02 (Boston, 2011) CR, WB

Gebre Gebremariam, Ethiopia, 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)

Levy Matebo, Kenya, 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011)

Wilson Chebet, Kenya, 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, Kenya, 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010)

Laban Korir, Kenya, 2:06:05 (Amsterdam, 2011)

Wesley Korir, Kenya, 2:06:15 (Chicago, 2011)

Bernard Kipyego, Kenya, 2:06:29 (Chicago, 2011)

David Barmasai, Kenya, 2:07:18 (Dubai, 2011)

Dickson Chumba, Kenya, 2:07:23 (Frankfurt, 2011)

Josphat Ndambiri, Kenya, 2:07:36 (Fukuoka, 2011)

Peter Kamais, Kenya, 2:07:37 (Xiamen, 2012) CR

Mathew Kisorio, Kenya, 2:10:58 (New York, 2011)

Frankline Chepkwony, Kenya, 2:10:59 (Nairobi, 2011)

Jason Hartmann, USA, 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010)

Michel Butter, Netherlands, 2:12:59 (Amsterdam, 2011)

Antonio Vega, USA, 2:13:47 (Boston, 2010)

Aselefech Mergia, Ethiopia, 2:19:31 (Dubai, 2012) CR, NR

Galina Bogomolova, Russia, 2:20:47 (Chicago, 2006)

Mamitu Daska, Ethiopia, 2:21:59 (Frankfurt, 2011) CR

Caroline Kilel, Kenya, 2:22:36 (Boston, 2011)

Sharon Cherop, Kenya, 2:22:42 (Boston, 2011)

Ashu Kasim , Ethiopia, 2:23:09 (Xiamen, 2012)

Firehiwot Dado, Ethiopia, 2:23:15 (New York City, 2011)

Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia, 2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)

Rita Jeptoo, Kenya, 2:23:38 (Boston, 2006)

Agnes Kiprop, Kenya, 2:23:54 (Frankfurt, 2011)

Caroline Rotich, Kenya, 2:24:26 (Boston, 2011)

Georgina Rono, Kenya, 2:24:33 (Eindhoven, 2011) CR

Alevtina Biktimirova, Russia, 2:25:12 (Frankfurt, 2005)

Genet Getaneh, Ethiopia, 2:25:57 (Amsterdam, 2011)

Tatyana Pushkareva, Russia, 2:26:14 (Boston, 2010)

Diana Sigei, Kenya, 2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011)

Nadezdha Leonteva, Russia, 2:31:57 (Moscow, 2011)
CR = Course Record

WB = World Best

NR = National Record

Tuesday Night Turtles Top Gansett Marathon Registration List

Top Seeds

Both Bob and Jacki Jackman have registered for the 2012 Gansett Marathon and have each taken over the #1 seed position in both the male and female division, as of 12/23/2012.  It should also be noted that Dave Principe is currently seeded # 3.


Bob and Dave train together so it should be quite the race…no quarter will be asked, nor given!

About the Gansett Marathon

Race date: Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Gansett Marathon, the only marathon in the USA, outside of the Olympic marathon Trials, where qualification is the ONLY means of entry