By Sydney Stalnecker
The fifth annual Youngstown Marathon ran through the fall foliage at Mill Creek Metroparks, the streets of Youngstown State University’s campus and ended at Second Sole in Boardman on Sunday, Oct. 24.
The half and full marathons kicked off at 8 a.m. with 326 runners, and the 5K began just 15 minutes later with 169 runners.
Mark Lipinsky, the race director, was excited for the race to start after all the preparation that took place within the last year.
“For me, it’s a celebration. For a lot of the runners, it’s a celebration of all their hard work and training,” Lipinsky said. “It’s just a time to go and enjoy Mill Creek park and enjoy the company of other runners doing the same thing.”
Erik Reed, a 33-year-old from East Liverpool, won the marathon with a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 2 hours, 41 minutes, 0 seconds. His average pace was 6 minutes, 9 seconds per mile.
“I grew up watching a lot of people run these races, and I’ve ran them since I was 16. To be here now, still at 33 and able to run them and able to compete and be in Mill Creek park is just a blessing,” Reed said.
He ran for the men’s cross-country team at the University of Mount Union 10 years ago and went on to compete in many marathons.
“I did Boston three times. I’ve ran Chicago. I won Youngstown in 2018, and I’ve kind of done everything I wanted and a little bit more,” Reed said.
According to the Boston Athletic Association, men ages 18-34 must complete a marathon in three hours or less to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Though Reed qualified for the marathon, he doesn’t intend to run it.
“Each race is kind of a memory to your little puzzle piece in life,” Reed said. “I’m pretty content at this point to say that if I did Boston again, it would just be kind of for the fun of it, but I think competitively my puzzle’s kind of put together.”
The race drew in runners from many states including Florida, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware and New York — though the runners were predominantly Ohioans.
Hunter Lyder, a YSU alumna from Canfield, ran the full marathon in 4 hours, 28 minutes, 18 seconds. Her average pace was 10 minutes, 15 seconds per mile.
This was Lyder’s first marathon and she started training in May 2021. Her longest run consisted of 20 miles three weeks prior to race day.
According to Runner’s World, “most marathon training plans tend to follow a three week taper…” Tapers include gradually cutting back on weekly mileage and allowing the muscles to heal properly. This allows for the body to be as efficient as possible on race day.
“I’ve always been a runner I’d say, but just starting off running like three miles was really hard,” Lyder said. “The longest I’ve ran is 20 miles, and that was three weeks ago, but that was a big feat so I’m going to try to add another six.”
All race results are posted at youngstownmarathon.com