October 14, 2006
44.8 Miles on the W&OD Bike Path
The 12th Andiamo 45 mile run of the W&OD bike path saw great weather, a new course record for women, and a gathering of (old) eagles. Overall, it was a great day.
The big story was the shattering of the women's course record by Amanda Stickel. Amanda, who recently moved to Leesburg from Ohio, had an amazing performance. At the first aid station (~6 miles), she was already four minutes ahead of her pursuers. At the second, and last, aid station at about 11 miles, she was only two minutes ahead. Between there and the finish, she gained over an hour on the competition.
Amanda's achievement needs to be viewed in light of prior men's performances on the course. [All Time List] She now has the eighth best time on the course. Her time would have won six of the 12 Andiamos. Had she run a minute faster, she would have passed Roger Allison's 1993 winning performance. Too bad the two could not have raced. The Roger we knew and loved would never have given in willingly, but Amanda was focussed and determined. We can only imagine what the result would have been had the mythical match up occurred. [By the way, here is another flashback to 1993.
|Andiamo Women's Course Record
Amanda received crew support from her father, who was accompanying her on a bike. That is, he was accompanying her when he could keep up. Somewhere around 20 miles, she dropped him and went on alone. With the help of the downhill sections after Vienna, he was able to catch up just in time to see his daughter win the race. We expect to hear a lot more from Amanda in the future.
The men, all of whom were "chicked," had a competition for second place. Jon Norris started slowly but kept moving for a sub-eight hour win of the men's division. Perhaps the hottest competition was in the Old Fart division. Four runners battled it out with Jim Cavanaugh winning and Paul Blackman second. Paul had run the first Andiamo in 1990. For the 2006 edition of the event he dragged out the same shirt he wore in 1990.
This was certainly the "AARP Andiamo." With a couple of exceptions, the runners were all in their 50s and 60s. Why is that? Is it "smart" to do Andiamo and the older and wiser do so, or is it crazy to do so and these old farts have lost all of their marbles?
In any event, Andiamo is, as we have said several times, a small event, but there are those who love it (with apologies to Daniel Webster in the Dartmouth College case: "It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And, yet there are those who love it!"). It is an amazing experience to start in rural, horse country and end up in Shirlington. Unfortunately, "rural horse country" is being overrun with development. But it is still beautiful. The effort of running end-to-end provokes interesting responses from the others around the bike path.
Becky Hartley, Paul Ammann's wife reported on a discussion she had with the Herndon police as she distributing aid at the town center. She said: "One of the officers asked me what I was doing, so I explained that my husband and some number of his friends were running the trail today. 'How much of the trail,' she inquired. 'All of it,' I replied. She said, 'Oh. That's incredible. I think I saw some of those guys come through, but I just thought they were really bad runners. I didn't realize they had already run 25 miles.'"
Andiamo is very low key. After the first two aid stations, which come when you don't really need aid stations, there is no official support the rest of the way. You are supposed to fend for yourself. But as in prior years, the runners received help from many. Several runners had crews, all of whom were willing to help the runners around their runner. Also, in addition to Becky's aid station in Herndon, John Anderson set an aid station up in his backyard near Gallows Road that the runners appreciated very much. Finally, a big "thank you" to Brenda for helping ferry runners to the start.
Be sure to check out the photos on Flickr. And look out for the next Andiamo in a year or two.
Anstr Davidson, RD
|10||Bob Coyne||Silver Spring||MD||59||M||10:06:20|
|11||Joe Malinowski||Lake Ridge||VA||58||M||10:40:59|
|! New Women's Course Record|
|All Time Andiamo Performances
Sub 7 Hour plus other Winning
|* Non Winning Performance|