Marist Athletes, Campus Shine as College Again Hosts Walkway Marathon Race Series
Dozens of Marist student athletes and alumni among top finishers as College welcomes 2,300 racers
Running Red Foxes were out in force Sunday, as Marist again hosted the Walkway Marathon race series. Thirty-six current and former Marist track and cross country student athletes, as well as dozens more students, alumni, faculty, and staff were among the more than 2,300 racers who competed in the marathon, half-marathon, and the newly-minted College to College 5K.
"It's a great showcase for the college and the local running community, Director of Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track Pete Colaizzo said of the beautiful Marist riverfront, site of the start and finish of the full and half-marathons and the finish of the 5K. "Marist College, the Walkway Over the Hudson, Dutchess County Government, and the Mid-Hudson Road Runners have all contributed to make this an awesome event. It's only the third year, but it seems like it's been around forever."
The races are able to take place almost exclusively off of active roadways thanks to the unique combination of the Marist campus, the Walkway Over the Hudson – the world's longest elevated linear park – and the Dutchess Rail Trail.
The College again provided vital support to the races through the volunteer efforts of faculty, students, and alumni from the Athletic Training Program. Director Dr. Michael Powers has extensive experience with the unique medical challenges that come with large scale, long distance athletic competitions, including taking groups of Marist Athletic Training students to Boston each spring to volunteer at the marathon there.
That experience in Boston, as well as events like the Woodstock Women's Cycling Grand Prix, the New York City Marathon and Half Marathon, and Washington, D.C.'s Marine Corps Marathon, led to Powers being part of the planning of the first Walkway Marathon in 2015.
In addition to volunteering his professional expertise, Powers said that involving his students benefits the racers and students alike. Volunteering at the marathon "allows the students to build their resumes, network with other healthcare professionals and see things they might not normally see during their typical clinical experience with interscholastic and intercollegiate sports."
The Marist team helped runners with a variety of medical issues, but of particular concern given the day's high temperatures in the low 90s was heat illness, including heat stroke, a life threatening condition.
According to Catherine Tegtmeier, a director with the Dutchess County Department of Health, the Marist team's contributions to the race were invaluable. "Sharing your expertise in our planning efforts along with the volunteer hours during the Marathon significantly helped to ensure the safety and appropriate treatment of runners and spectators," Tegtmeier said. "We couldn't be successful without Marist's support."
Returning to campus to compete in the half marathon was a special experience for alumnae track team members Christine Coughlin '15/'16 MA and Annie Gould '16, the top women Red Fox finishers in that race, who placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
"I couldn't be more proud – and I mean that with all my heart – to be wearing a Marist jersey and to be representing such an amazing place and amazing team," said Coughlin.
"Just coming through Marist was great," said Gould, "and finishing with the crowd was awesome."
Christine Coughlin '15/'16 MA (left) and Annie Gould '16, competing in the Walkway Half Marathon; Zachary Ropes '20 finishing the College to College 5K; and Michael Kennedy '19, Palmer Weimann '19, and Chris Rivas '20 approach the half marathon finish.
Among the highlights for Marist student and alumni competitors:
Spencer Johnson '17 won the marathon by nearly 20 minutes and demolished the race record in a remarkable debut performance of 2:39:32
In the College to College 5K, Stefan Morton '17 was the overall male winner and set a course record with a final time of 14:59 with former teammate Steven Rizzo '18 finishing right on his heels in second place with a time of 15:13. Zachary Ropes '20 (6th, 16:39) and Andrew Burns '19 (8th, 17:50) rounded out the top four finishers for the Red Foxes.
On the women's side, Marist finished 1-2-3, with Nicki Nesi '18 the overall winner with a final time of 18:05, Alexandra Bartolotta '20 placing second with a time of 18:36 and Jordan Casey '19 finishing third with a time of 18:38.
In the half marathon, Dietrich Mosel '18 was the top Marist finisher on the men's side, placing fourth with a time of 1:17:55, while Alex Hogue '20 finished fifth with a time of 1:18:09. Omar Perez '20 (7th, 1:18:57), Michael Kennedy '19 (9th, 1:19:27) and Palmer Weimann '19 (10th, 1:19:27) rounded out the top five finishers.
On the women's side, Coughlin and Gould were the first Red Foxes to finish, placing fourth and fifth respectively with an overall time of 1:34:16. Kelly Gould '13/'15 MA (8th, 1:40:31) and Elizabeth Peper '16 (15th, 1:45:29) rounded out the field for Marist.