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Sharkey Wins Marathon

palm marathon

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Bryan Sharkey’s most gratifying marathon win came Sunday at the 10th Palm Beaches Marathon and Run Fest.

A former middle distance star at Miami’s Gulliver Prep and Princeton, the 26-year-old Sharkey lunged for the finish line and kissed the ground as planned.

What wasn’t planned was the way he collapsed from exhaustion due to the rising morning humidity, resulting in a hour-long session at the medical tent to take two bags of fluids. He did make it back outside just in time for the Marathon awards ceremony though.

“I pushed my body to the limit,” said Starkey, who wore a Runners Depot singlet and crossed the tape in 2 hours, 43 minutes, 47 seconds, well ahead of New York City’s Carlos Abellan Ossenbach (2:45:52) and Bernd Weis of Dettingen, Germany (2:51:24).  “This is what you train to do. Luckily I won.”

Like Sharkey, Abellan was worn out by the end of the race.  In addition to the humidity, early morning winds challenged the runners, particularly those who ran the full marathon.

“Right now I don’t want to think about another marathon,” said Abellan, a 30-year-old Columbia University MBA candidate running in his first marathon. “I expected I could push a different pace. But by tomorrow I will feel better and maybe want to try again.”

Jennifer Sober, 40, of Deep Creek, Md. won her first marathon in the women’s division (3:24:03) in her third appearance in West Palm Beach.

“This was the hottest marathon I have ever done,” she said of her 17th career race. “I live in the Appalachians and I knew I would have to adjust and be conservative. But my goal was to win from the start.”

Sober easily defeated second place West Palm Beach resident Molly Ragsdale (3:29:02) and third place Robyn Miller (3:31:30) of Melbourne Beach.

“To get second on my home course is beyond a dream come true,” said Ragsdale, who ran the full marathon in this race for the first time and recorded the top finish of her 22 career marathons. “It’s so much fun, all of my neighbors, friends and clients were out. How could I fail? I loved it.”

The Palm Beaches Marathon and Run Fest presented by Publix benefitted from year two under the ownership of US Road Sports. Entries to the race surged 35 percent from 2,700 a year ago to more than 3,600 this year. The weekend’s events included the Publix Health & Fitness Expo and a Friday evening waterfront 5K/10K.

Many runners are now planning their training around the forthcoming Arizona Marathon which is sure to attract a stellar field as well as the keen weekend warrior and those who look forward to the challenge of a race in Arizona

Runners enjoyed breathtaking views of the spectacular waterfront that bordered much of the race route as they navigated through the downtown areas of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. They found a beautiful South Florida morning with temperatures in the mid-to-high 70s at the start of the Palm Beach/Treasure Coast area’s premier running event. But by the time Sharkey crossed the finish line, the temperatures had reached 80 and the humidity that came with it was wreaking havoc particularly on runners in the Marathon.

“I felt good through 22, 23 miles” said Sharkey, who was fourth in the 2010 Miami Marathon. “But then I hit the wall. My legs started giving out, and I got dizzy. It was a struggle.

“It’s a runner’s dream to do a marathon. The big thing is the marathon. But I’m happy to do it, especially in South Florida. But 26 miles is 26 miles. It gets you no matter how hard you train.”

West Palm Beach’s Mitch Guirard, 27, won the Half-Marathon for the third time. His time of 1:14:19 was five minutes faster than Stuart high schooler Tyler O’Brien (1:19:43) and more than six minutes ahead of Jupiter’s John Reback (1:20:53), who won the warm-up Waterfront 5K race on Friday.

“I knew it was going to be warm. I just wanted to make it a hard effort,” said Guirard, who won this race in both 2009 and 2010.  “It’s the hottest year. I’m really happy since it’s my hometown race, and you have a lot of people cheering you on.”

O’Brien improved from a 44th place finish a year ago to Sunday’s second place finish. The 18-year-old Martin County high school senior runs for the Tigers cross country and track & field teams.

Ingrid Lopergolo, 42, of Grasse, France was the winner of the women’s half-marathon (1:29:36) with 2012 Palm Beaches full marathon winner Charisse Winter, 31,  (1:31:16) of Altamonte Springs in second place and Jupiter’s Erica Lazarus, 34, in third (1:33:08).

A fitness coach and personal trainer who was a member of the 2012 French national marathon team, Lopergolo didn’t expect to win the event.

“I didn’t feel good, still feeling the jet lag and I didn’t get much sleep,” she said. “I had a lot of problems with the weather. This is much more humid.”

“She (Lopergolo) took off at the beginning and was a quarter mile ahead of me the whole way,” said Winter, who works for a digital advertising agency in Orlando. “It was hotter this year. It was like a heat wave came through.”

The half-marathon field included 66-year-old former Olympic great Bill Rodgers, once the American record holder in the event.

“It’s good to sit down,” joked Rodgers, who finished the half-marathon ‘and more’ due to a bad turn. “I swung left and I guess I wasn’t listening.

“It was a hard day out there, but if you are from here you can handle the heat more. But it is a very pretty course. A lot of runners were sticking together out there.”

Pensacola’s David Mayo, 50, won the marathon in the handcycle division for disabled athletes, recording his first win in a major race. Mayo, who works fulltime for the Christian Television network, was paralyzed from a mountain climbing fall as a 16-year-old in 1978.

Other top finishers for Achilles in the marathon included Justin Meaders of Keller, Texas and Jupiter’s Jacqui Kapinowski in the in the pushrim division;  and Karin Korb of North Lauderdale in the women’s handcycle.

James Johnson, 58, of Jonesboro, Ga. earned a win in his first half marathon in the Achilles hand-cycle division. A member of the Freedom Team of wounded war veterans, Johnson was recently invited to join Achilles.

“Achilles is the greatest thing since sliced bread,” he beamed. “Next time I’m going to do the full marathon.”

Frances Alvarez of North Miami Beach won the women’s hand-cycling half-marathon division while Aline Santos Roha was first in the pushrim division.

10th Palm Beach Marathon

Palm Beach, FL, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

1 Bryan Sharkey Miami FL 26 2:43:47
2 Carlos Abellan Oss enbach New York NY 30 2:45:52
3 Bernd Weis Dettingen AR 45 2:51:24
4 Jeff Dowling Lake Worth FL 37 2:55:02
5 Paul O’Hora Scranton PA 41 2:59:53
6 Skyler Bakker Palm Beach Gardens FL 20 3:00:20
7 Ed Turrentine West Palm Beach FL 39 3:03:02
8 Todd Alfuth West Palm Beach FL 36 3:04:53
9 Grant Maughan Dudley NSW 49 3:05:01
10 Eric Kalina Boca Raton FL 43 3:07:25

1 Jennifer Sober Deep Creek Lake MD 40 3:24:03
2 Molly Ragsdale West Palm Beach FL 50 3:29:02
3 Robyn Miller Melbourne Beach FL 34 3:31:30
4 Pamela Simon Riverview FL 29 3:34:55
5 Dr. April Flynn Jupiter FL 44 3:38:35
6 Jessica Keener Delray Beach FL 25 3:39:43
7 Emily Colthart Pinehurst NC 29 3:39:55
8 Caryn Lubetsky Miami Shores FL 42 3:39:55
9 Kacie Herrick West Palm Beach FL 28 3:42:22
10 Janine Grinage Wellington FL 48 3:44:02


1 Jennifer Sober Deep Creek Lake MD 40 3:24:03
2 Molly Ragsdale West Palm Beach FL 50 3:29:02
3 Robyn Miller Melbourne Beach FL 34 3:31:30
4 Pamela Simon Riverview FL 29 3:34:55
5 Dr. April Flynn Jupiter FL 44 3:38:35
6 Jessica Keener Delray Beach FL 25 3:39:43
7 Emily Colthart Pinehurst NC 29 3:39:55
8 Caryn Lubetsky Miami Shores FL 42 3:39:55
9 Kacie Herrick West Palm Beach FL 28 3:42:22
10 Janine Grinage Wellington FL 48 3:44:02


1 Mitch Guirard West Palm Beach FL 27 1:14:19
2 Tyler Obrien Stuart FL 18 1:19:43
3 John Reback Jupiter FL 44 1:20:53
4 Robert Dabrowski Jupiter FL 32 1:20:53
5 Eric Larson West Palm Beach FL 24 1:23:06
6 Trevor Sununu Boynton Beach FL 18 1:23:42
7 Alan Stob Delray Beach FL 26 1:24:36
8 Jesse Sund Evergreen CO 38 1:24:58
9 Jason Richter Boca Raton FL 27 1:25:00
10 Sergio Torres Parkland FL 49 1:26:17

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