Sea Isle City, NJ
The team usually has only one or two athletes run the late Summer Sea Isle City 10 Miler – a race assured to be a good gut check, with soft sand and strong winds abound. This year, PRTC had its most members ever toe the line, and the results of the gut check were positive. Perhaps the biggest gut check was for Steve Gourley, running his first serious race after a 15 month layoff. Steve noted afterwards that the race “really hurt.” Yet Steve perservered and finished 11th overall!
Steve’s 11th place finish is even more impressive when it is noted that this year was clearly the fastest and deepest edition of the ten miler ever. From the gun, Briton Ben Noad (by way of Providence) shot to the lead. Joined by a runner from Haverford, the two passed the mile mark in the 4:50 range. Ted and Tom pursued behind in a shade under 5 minutes. On the Strathmere end of the race, the positions changed several times. By the time the men found themselves back on the promenade though, very fit John Garton of Breakneck TC had fallen off the pace, and newly crowned A10 1500m record holder Mike Didio (by way of St. Joes) and Yuot Macharia (multiple Division III champion, by way of Widener) had placed themselves high up in the order.
The entire field fought the tough winds and soft sand all the way down to the Avalon turnaround. Macharia made his push in front of Noad. Didio ran in third. Tennessee Volunteer Chris Platt (by way of Haddonfield H.S.) placed himself in the four spot. Ted and Tom held the five and six positions at the Avalon turnaround. Tim followed closely behind. Meanwhile, Steve and Shannon Klick were running solid races, placing themselves high up in the pecking order.
By the time the race ended, the course record mark had fallen. And there were multiple runners finishing quickly. One needs look no further than Tom’s sub 54 minute clocking on this tough course, which still only secured a ninth place finish to understand this was a great race to watch. PRTC placed all four of its men in the top eleven, and Shannon Klick duplicated Tom’s finish in the nine spot.