Deren, White Lead Runners at Rocket City Marathon

12/13/2017 - 09:36

deren.jpgHuntsville, AL – It was a chilly morning for runners at the 41st annual Rocket City Marathon on Dec. 9, but the snow that blanketed much of the south did not fall in Huntsville. Nearly 900 runners finished the race that starts in downtown Huntsville and features an inside finish at the Von Braun Center. The race was part of the Running Journal Grand Prix and is the only marathon on the series.

Mike Deren, 30, of Louisville, KY, led the field with a winning time of 2:25:15. He was followed more than eight minutes later by Arturs Bareikis, 31, of Crestwood, IL (2:32:23), with Jason Bumb, 32, of New Reigel, OH, third in 2:34:08. Renowned marathoner and ultramarathoner, Michael Wardian, 43, of Arlington, VA, was fourth in 2:41:34. Wardian was also the guest speaker for the pre-race dinner the night before the marathon. Adam Benefield, 22, of Haleyville rounded out the top five in 2:42:12.

Shawanna White, 37, of Columbia, SC, was the women's winner, running 2:49:26, only six seconds ahead of Stephanie Place, 30, of Bristol, VA. White was last season's female open champion on the Running Journal Grand Prix. Malin Terry, 46, of Birmingham was third (2:58:57) and Kelsey Moser, 25, of Huntsville, fourth (3:01:03). Alice Anderson, 35, of Marion, IA, finished fifth in 3:06:45.

Michael Wardian, fourth overall, also led the male masters division with Chris Schulten, 45, of Middlefield, CT, second (2:42:26) and Orinthal Striggles, 41, of Columbia, SC, third (2:44:51). Striggles was last year's winner of the open male division and masters champion on the RJ Grand Prix.

white.jpgMalin Terry, third overall, also won the women's masters race. Meredith Smith, 46, of Ashland City, TN, was second (3:24:20) and Jenn Forkenbrock, 42, of Lawrence, KS, was third (3:26:16).

The marathon course gave runners a chance to run beneath the rockets at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The race was conducted by the Huntsville Track Club and directed by Dink and Suzanne Taylor, owners of the local Fleet Feet running store.

Full results:

Photos: Race winners Mike Deren & Shawanna White

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