Three age-group records for the Warhill 5K course were broken at last Saturday's Mad Dash 5K Run, by Thorin Jean and Steve Chantry of Williamsburg, and by Emily Honeycutt of Newport News. Each was among the leading finishers.
Although this is the fourth year that the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix event has been organized by the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex, in conjunction with the annual WISC Family Festival, the 5K race at Warhill has a history dating back to 2004, with a variety of organizers/beneficiaries, including Kids Club (also located inside WISC) at one time, and more recently the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club.
The current version of the race benefits Child Development Resources, supporting Maddox Marmon, the daughter of David and Britta Marmon, the owners of Marmon Muscle, the CrossFit Williamsburg fitness center located inside WISC. The race director is Jen Berberich of WISC. The race name "Mad Dash" comes from the shortened version of Maddox Marmon's name.
The 5K starts and finishes at WISC, and is a tour of the Warhill Sports Complex. After a three-quarters loop of the soccer field service road and grassy field itself, the 5K goes down the Warhill bike path to Longhill Road and back, entering the Warhill Nature Trail for the final mile. There were 105 finishers in the 5K, and an additional 24 finishers in the one-mile fun run/walk (held entirely on the asphalt bike path).
Thorin Jean, 16, Jamestown High's leading distance runner, won the women's overall title in 20:12, breaking the previous women's 15-19 age group record of 20:46, set last year by Walsingham Academy's leading distance runner, Delaney Riggs. This year's runner-up, Emily Honeycutt, 26, of Newport News ran 21:25 to break by five seconds the women's 25-29 age group record of 21:30 (by Amber Lewis of Williamsburg in 2010).
Last year the Riggs family went 1-2-3 in the women's division at the Mad Dash, the first family sweep of the top three overall in CRR history, with mother Jessica winning in 20:25, Delaney second, and younger sister Frankie third in 21:36. This year the Jean family had two out of the top three women, with younger sister Sorenna Jean, 15, third overall in 23:10. As the Meat Loaf song from 1977 goes, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."
With her win, Thorin Jean extended her lead in the women overall category of the 2017 CRR Grand Prix, after 11-of-21 races, 54 points to 47, over Honeycutt, although both Thorin (as a runner at Jamestown) and Honeycutt (as an assistant coach at Tabb), will be limited in their races during the upcoming high school cross country season.
Honeycutt in 2017 has been running her best races in years, twice breaking 21 minutes in the past month, a 20:58 at a July 4 race in Reston, and a 20:59 at the Coast Guard Day 5K on July 29. She also ran a 34:45 at the Memorial Day 8K in Yorktown, and a 44:10 at the Monument Avenue 10K in April. Her 5K PR is 20:31, years ago from the DOG Street 5K.
In the men's division, five runners were under 20 minutes for the challenging 5K, which includes five major hills, four in the final mile on the nature trail. Ryan Doupe, 31, of Newport News won in 18:37, his third CRR race win of the year (Kingswood and Bacon Street were the others, both in June, while 2017 Grand Prix leader Roger Hopper was honeymooning in Hawaii).
Next was Rob Allen, 51, of Pt. Mugu, CA in 19:10, at the end of his summer visit to Williamsburg, where his parents live. Third was Greg Dawson, 51, of Williamsburg in 19:20, followed by Steve Chantry, 62, of Williamsburg in 19:39 (the race record for men 60-64, the previous best 20:24 from 2007), and Logan St. John, 23, of Williamsburg in 19:45.
Chantry had not run a CRR race in three months, his previous race an outstanding 18:08 at the Virginia Regional Ballet 5K at First Colony on May 6, where he broke by 16 seconds his own all-time CRR 5K record for men 60-64, from this year's Queens Lake 5K.
During that hiatus, he took a "vacation" trip to France, arriving May 29 in Nice, and flying home from Paris on June 23. During that time, with three national-class distance running friends, he did 1,044 road miles on the ElliptiGo (an exercise machine combining an elliptical trainer and a bicycle).
The four traveled down the coast of the French Riviera, went inland, then to the Atlantic coast and up to LaRochelle. They did 60-80 miles per day, with a low of 42 and a high of 101.
"A great trip and physically very demanding," Chantry emailed. "We carried all our clothes with us. After returning I went to my beach house for a couple of weeks. No track meets or other races."
Usually Chantry hits the national Masters track circuit during the summer. "I had no real expectations last weekend, just wanted to get a chance to workout and run fairly hard," he said. "Still hoping to be under 18 this year, and the fitness and leg strength from my ElliptiGo trip (and continued use of it) gives me confidence that I can achieve that goal."
Despite his break from racing, Chantry still led the way in the age-graded standings, as compiled by CRR statistician Jim Gullo, as he was the only one over the national-class level of 80percent, with his 82.61 percent. Eight runners exceeded the regional class level of 70 percent, including Rob Allen (77.57 percent), Dawson (76.90 percent), Will Murray, 61, of Williamsburg (21:09, 76.12 percent), Thorin Jean (75.50 percent), Ken Alberg, 56, of Suffolk (20:33, 75.18 percent), Isaac Lamprecht, 10, of New Kent (21:18, 72.93 percent), Paul Pelletier, 52, of Williamsburg (21:16, 70.45 percent) and Doupe (70.01 percent).