Written by USATF MUT Council vice-chairperson Howard Nippert. Photos by Howard Nippert.
The 2017 Edition of the North Coast 24 Hr Endurance Run held in a newly renovated and breathtakingly beautiful Edgewater Park in Cleveland, Ohio this past Saturday and Sunday didn’t disappoint in competition across the age groups and genders. With a 12:00 noon start on Saturday, the temperatures were in the mid-80’s with sun bright and little breeze on the 0.88 mile course along the shore of Lake Erie. The field was a mix of veterans and newcomers, all feeling each other out early and seemingly being conservative for perhaps a cooler day, but ultimately aggressive for the conditions this day. The early lead was assumed by Amos Desjardins, with Steve Spiers and women’s champion, Tara Langdon and men’s eventual champion, Harvey Lewis in tow.
As the race progressed, Serge Arbona, Steve Spiers, Nick Accardo, Harvey Lewis and Adrian Stanciu battled and with cooling temperatures thru the dark hours, the pace quickened. Tara Langdon remained in the top 5 overall thru the entire race and as the men reshuffled and leaders came and went, Tara never varied in her stride or determination. The men began to thin out as the early heat and late escalated pace took its toll on Arbona, Accardo, and Stanciu. Steve Spiers, a citizen of the United Kingdom kept the pace honest but was never able to shake the veteran chess-master, Harvey Lewis. As the sun arose again, Spiers and Lewis continued the battle, with Lewis eventually winning out. The temperatures of the second day took their toll on the entire field, with many packing it in and many others walking as the thermometer read near-80 again for the second time this race.
When the smoke settled, Langdon had not only won her first National Championship, but was the lone athlete who had achieved the qualifying mark for the 2019 U.S. National 24 Hr Team, of greater than 130 miles with her 131.448 mile total. Lewis added another 24 Hr National Championship notch on his belt with 142.034 miles with Spiers a close 140.47.
The women’s top-3 was completed by Jasmine Chiramonte (119.197 Miles) and Connie Gardner (110.375 Miles).
The age-group fight of the day was in the 70-74 age category where Ed Rousseau (83.809 Miles) edged out Jimmie Barnes (80.38 Miles) and Newton Baker (78.516 Miles).
Results can be found on the race website: http://verticalrunnerrm.com/north-coast-24-hour-home-page.html