| One For The Ages
The final Snowstorm Classic of the season proved to be one for the ages, demonstrating one
of the unique qualities of our sport. A trio of veterans took center stage with their
remarkable running feats.
start with the youngest, 63 year old Bruce Kurtz, who completed his third consecutive
Snowstorm Classic season without missing a race. The reliable SMACer has now completed
forty straight Snowstorm Classics, a record that will not be easily challenged.
Add a decade more of experience and determination and youve got one Douglas
Blanchard. The 74 year old Harrier had a total of twenty-one age records at the beginning
of the season, including a string of eleven consecutive age records on the 5K
course. Unfortunately the Champ also had a broken foot, and was scheduled to be in a
cast for at least three months. No problem. Although the cast came off only days
earlier, Doug cruised over the five thousand meters in 27:50, not his fastest time by any
means, but perhaps his most remarkable as he eclipsed the 30:35 standard set by Robert
Knowlton in 1993. Make that twelve consecutive age records, and twenty-two total.
Inspired by that feat of daring do, Mr. Knowlton, who was down from the Berkshire Hills
for his annual trek around the Forest Park course, recorded a 31:32, and once again became
the oldest person to finish a Snowstorm Classic, this time at age 81. Bob now has
seven consecutive age records himself.
The speedy youngsters of today will have some impressive shoes to fill in another half
century or so. Meanwhile they are indeed speedy. Like Paul Fratini who notched his
fourth win this year with a 17:06 clocking, outracing Timothy Sharac (17:08) to the finish
line. Matt Brach was third in 18:28.
Race director Mary Misiaszek completed another banner series by winning the womens
blue ribbon in 23:59, followed by Krishna Longanecker (24:12) and Ellen Bellicchi (24:20).