Pleasant Valley 4-Mile Results, 2017

July 20, 2017

Merkel, Gore humble hills and heat

On a hot and humid evening, 96 runners tackled the rolling Pleasant Valley course. Liuda Galinaitis handled registration and supplied Popsicles as usual, as well as being the race director. Crucial help was provided by our indomitable volunteers were Vida Callier, Ryan DuLaney, Jerry Georgiana, Jen Goffena, Barbara Guthrie, Sharon Larrimore and Karl Leodler. 


By the turnaround, a quality field in the women's race had taken shape with Run with the Knights winner Tonna Arbaugh leading the way, just ahead of Owl winner Rubie Goffena. A little way back, Samantha Merkel (nee Curry) had her nose in front of Hashawha winner Stephanie Geers. We were destined to have our fifth different winner in the series with Samantha making a strong move on the return trip, taking the victory from Tonna. Stephanie moved past Rubie to round out the podium. Paula Smith was strong for the grandmaster's title. Heidi Neske, Dellaney Georgiana, Nancy Willis, Jeanette Novak and Yvonne Aasen were the other age-group winners.


Unlike the women, the leaders of the men's race solidified their positions by the turnaround. Could Karsten Brown hold his lead from the first third of a mile? No, no he couldn't. By the turnaround, Bradley Arbaugh was running out front. However, he was not officially in the race, so his workout served as pacing for the real leaders. He was able to rabbit Sean Gore to a race win, ahead of Bradley's own brother, Ben. Only seven to nine seconds separated each of the top four, with Sean and Ben followed by Karsten and Colin Russell. Remarkably, none of them weakened in the second half despite the tough conditions and course. Purported Indian-food lover Peter Merkel (I hear he loves Curry) was next and the last runner under 25 minutes. Our other age-group winners were Charlie Ferguson, Joe Burke, James Moreland and Skip Fennell.