Two course records broken at Ice-aholics 8K – Daily Press
A day of perfect weather at Saturday’s eighth annual Ice-aholics World Class Gymnastics 8K led to two course records, two all-time Colonial Road Runners 8K records by age group or step, and a multitude of remarkably fast times and high age notes.
The 8K, complete with a fun 5K and 1-mile run, started and ended at Lois Hornsby Middle School, and went to adjacent Freedom Park, and back. There were 115 finishers in the 8K and 5K combined, and 45 finishers in the mile.
The race weather was in the “Goldilocks Zone”, just right. Until last weekend, all CRR Grand Prix summer races were usually too hot, too humid or with the threat of thunderstorms. Last Saturday started with temperatures in the lower 50s, reaching the upper 50s during race time, and into the 60s awaiting race rewards and plenty of door prizes, plus a gymnastics demonstration by the world class gymnastics team.
This weekend saw the worst of the weather gods, with Hurricane Ian and its remnants canceling the occasion for the arts in Williamsburg, as well as the Crawlin’ Crab and 5K half marathon in Hampton, and the Arc 5K at Williamsburg Landing (this final event now postponed to November 5).
Taking advantage of these ideal conditions, race winners Roger Hopper and Emily Honeycutt, both multiple CRR Grand Prix champions en route to additional titles in 2022. Hopper had two goals, to break the course record (25:18 by the former New Kent High standout Andrew Carlin, 21, of Quinton in 2019), and to better his personal best (PR) of 25:21 (achieved twice, first at Toano Icy 8K 2020, and again by winning the Freedom Run 8K 2021).
He succeeded with a time of 25:12. In CRR racing history, only the CRR 8K all-time record of 23:58 by former William & Mary All-American Ed Moran, 30, of Williamsburg, at the 2011 Icelandic Seafood Fest 8K at Lee Hall , is faster.
Hopper, 31, of Chesapeake, emailed: “Mile intervals were about 4:58, 5:08 [including a steep uphill stretch]5:03, 5:07 and 4:56 for the last .97 [mile]. Weather was near perfect, high 50s and almost no wind, couldn’t ask for better PR conditions. The course record of 25:18 was my goal, with a target to break 25. The hills took me more than I thought, and the sub-25s weren’t in the cards at my physical condition current, but maybe on a faster, flatter course, I can do it.
Chasing Hopper early, as he has done all year, was Isaac Lamprecht of New Kent (his 16th birthday was six days before the 8K), whose second time of 26:46 bettered the previous Freedom race by 39 seconds. Run 8K men 15- 19 record of 27:25 by Luke Henkel, 18, of Virginia Beach last year.
Henkel, after making a redshirt at W&M last year with a number of CRR road races in the fall, is now one of W&M’s leading cross-country racers, placing fifth for the team in the from the recent CNU Cross Country Invitational at Lee Hall, and with an 8K time of 25:27. Lamprecht, a junior, has goals at New Kent High to break school distance records currently held by Carlin, Class of 2016 for New Kent, who later competed for George Mason University.
The only men’s 15-19 CRR 8K performance faster than Lamprecht’s 26:46 is the CRR 15-19 all-time record of 25:29, set by former Jamestown High superstar Bryce Ruiz, 19, of Williamsburg at Ford’s Colony 8K 2002. .
The next five to cross the finish line were Jonathan Torres, 32, of Newport News (29:40, close to his PR of 26:26 from last fall), Pete Gibson, 66, of Murfreesboro, NC (31:14), Kyle Aulenbach, 45, of Yorktown (32:04), Jason Miller, 45, of Williamsburg (33:51, pushing his son Bryce in a racing stroller) and Steve Menzies, 58, of Williamsburg (33:59).
Gibson put in the performance of the day, beating his previous all-time CRR 8K record for men 65-69 by nearly two minutes with a time of 31:14. The previous age group mark, set during June’s FURever Homes 8K on the Greensprings Trail, was 33:04. Although the Freedom Run 8K course is not USATF certified (it is, however, an accurate 8K), therefore not eligible for Virginia State Records, Gibson’s time was only seven seconds off the current Virginia state record on the 8K road for men 65-69, 31:07 by John Hosner of Blacksburg in 1990.
The previous month, Gibson broke state records in the 10K for men ages 65-69 at the Democracy Dash 10K on Jamestown Island (40:26), then a week later at the Elizabeth River Run 10 km (40:13). There’s a good chance Gibson will capture that 8k state record at a CRR race next year, but he probably won’t approach the 65-69 men’s 5k state record of Steve Chantry of 6:46 p.m., set at the 2021 Run the DOG Street 5K. .
Gibson had by far the highest age class of the day, at 87.35%, followed by Hopper at 83.20%. The only age class best all year at CRR races was Adam Otstot’s 87.42% of April’s Run the DOG Street 5K with a time of 15:22 at 39. Since then, Otstot has broken all-time CRR records for men 40-44 in 5K, 8K and 10K.
For the year, Gibson and Otstot are set to battle it out for the first place age award plaque, based on the top 10 CRR age rated races for the year. In the age classification, 80% is considered national class and 90% is world class.
For women, like Hopper, Emily Honeycutt broke both the course record and also her own PR. His time of 31:17 (just three seconds behind Gibson) was more than a minute faster than the previous course record of 32:34 set by 2018 Jamestown High graduate Thorin Jean, 17, of Williamsburg in 2017.
Tabb High cross-country coach Honeycutt emailed, “My goal was to break 32 minutes (I had run 32:11 at Memorial Day 8K 2021 in Yorktown), but I was not not sure Freedom Park’s hilly course would be conducive for that. I came out hard. Pete caught up with me just before the mile post. We raced together, swapping heads a few times. At the turnaround [on the Freedom Park entrance road], he encouraged me to ride with him. I was able to accompany him on the trail. Pete had great finishing speed as we left the track and headed back to school. He finished a few seconds ahead of me, and it was a great race for both of us. I was so excited to beat 32 minutes with a PR of 54 seconds that I forgot the course record until the awards, so it was a nice surprise to cap off a good day of racing!
After Honeycutt, the next seven women were Rachel Tischler, 25, of Richmond (34:10), Sidney Sindt, 18, of Virginia Beach (34:51), Christine Fernandez, 46, of Virginia Beach (34:51 ), Marjorie Friedrichs, 55, of Williamsburg (35:24), Svetlana Goncharova, 24, of Williamsburg (35:32), Karen Grabowski, 38, of Toano (36:00) and Deelyn Robinson, 57, of Williamsburg (37:14).
Last year’s CRR phenoms were Robinson, who went from his mid-60s to over 80% in age, thanks in part to coaching Otstot, then 8-year-old Isabella Strumke of Toano. . This year’s freaks, out of nowhere, were Friedrichs, and also Marie Shay. In what was then considered a surprise, Friedrichs beat Robinson by 13 seconds at the Democracy Dash 10K, but Robinson won the next two races at both the Elizabeth River Run 10K and the All Shades 5K in Jamestown (this race of only five seconds). Friedrichs showed the Democracy Dash win was no fluke, with a decisive run at Freedom Park breaking Robinson’s 55-59 women’s age group record of 39:03 by over 3½ minutes with her 35:24. Robinson was also well below the previous mark with his 37:14.
Friedrichs was the third runner above 80% age with an 80.04% mark. She emailed, “I only learned about age rating this spring after joining CRR, and I immediately started hoping to reach 80%, so I was excited to reach that goal on last weekend. After many long races in the summer heat, this cooler weather race was enjoyable, despite all the hills (which I’m definitely not used to here in Williamsburg!). Its time only exceeds Mercedes Castillo- D’Amico on the CRR 8K all-time list for women 55-59 (Castillo-D’Amico still holds the Virginia State records at 5K and 10K for this age group).
The other newcomer to CRR elite racing is Marie Shay, 66, of Williamsburg, whose impressive time of 41:11 was 6 1/2 minutes faster than the previous women’s 65-69 race record of 47 :46 by Patricia Travis in 2018. It is also second on the CRR 8K all-time list for women 65-69.
Shay had not raced a CRR race since May, spending his summer in New Hampshire and racing the Mount Washington Road Race for the seventh time. She emailed: “We went back to New Hampshire in May, so I could train there. I lived 14 miles from the mountain. She placed second in her age group, despite briskly walking (instead of running) the race and qualified for next year’s race (there is a lottery for the public). “It’s worth it when you look down Tuckerman’s Ravine and walk the Presidential Range.” The mother of five has also run 10 Boston Marathons and five other marathons in different states. Back in Williamsburg, she has now signed up for all CRR races (five in total) through November.
After Gibson (87.35%), Hopper (83.20%) and Friedrichs (80.04%), four runners exceeded 75% by age – Lamprecht (79.89%), Shay (79.04% ), Robinson (77.93%) and Honeycutt (75.92%).
Above 70% were Menzies (74.55%), Fernandez (73.65%), Carol Hansen-Vessa, 68, of Williamsburg (46:19, 72.22%), Tony Perez, 60, of Newport News (35:47, 72.10%), Dale Abrahamson, 73, of Yorktown (40:58, 71.85%), Aulenbach (70.84%), Torres (70.73%) and Chris Abelt, 66, of Williamsburg (38:49, 70.19%).
Freedom Run age group record breakers were Lamprecht (men 15-19) Hopper (30-34), Gibson (65-69), John Munday, 82, of Chesapeake (80+, 1:07 :05), Alexey Popov, 39, of Newport News (running, 46:56), Honeycutt (women 30-34), Jessica Anderson, 40, of Williamsburg (40-44, 38:10), Fernandez (45-49), Friedrichs (55-59) and Shay (65-69).
Popov broke the CRR all-time record for men in the 8k walk, the previous mark of 48:16 by Tom Gerhardt, 61, of Chesapeake at the 2012 Christmas Town Dash 8K.
Rick Platt is president of Colonial Road Runners.