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Masters Athletes Take On Fast Virginia Beach Course for 2019 USATF 8 km Championships


VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia —The Road Race portion of the 2019 USATF Masters Grand Prix kicks off with its 8K Championships as part of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend. Their Towne Bank 8K will be hosting some of the fastest long distance runners in the country.  The weather forecast is for 48 degree temperatures at the 7:30 AM race time, with winds at 10-11 mph.


Roberta Groner, who finished 12th overall and 6th American at the 2018 New York City Marathon is the heavy favorite to take the Overall Masters title here. Marisa Sutera Strange, who just took the Overall Masters title at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, is the defending Champion. David Angell goes for a three-peat performance as the Overall winner of this Masters 8K race. Mike Cole, from Indiana, and Garden State teammates, Sam Teigen and Jonathan Frieder, will try to deny him that honor.


Roger Sayre, who came within 5 seconds of the Men’s 60-64 American Record of 28:07 last year, is back to try again. Nat Larson, who set the current American Record for Men 55-59 last year at 26:19, is also entered. Marisa Sutera Strange, who was only 30 seconds slower than the Women’s 55-59 American Record last year and just won the Overall Masters title at the Women’s race at the USATF Cross Country Championships, also has a chance at bringing home a record.


Age-grading is the top prize awarded for the best performances relative to age across all Masters Age Divisions. Among those returning for the Men’s  Age-Grading contest, Larson, 56, ran 26:51 last year too top the age-grading tables at 92.90%. Sayre, 61, was just behind; his 28:12 garnered a 92.45%. Strange and Groner are likely to battle for that title as well. Strange, 56, ran 30:40 last year for a 92.57% while Groner ran a 16:35 5K last year at age 40 that age graded at 91.46%.


In the team competitions the Garden State Track Club is the favorite to repeat as Men’s 40 and up Champions, although they will be pressed by the Atlanta Track Club and the Roanoke Valley Elite. The Greater Springfield Harriers should repeat as  50 and up Champions, while the Atlanta Track Club and the Ann Arbor Track Club are favored to take the Men’s 60 and up and Men’s 70 and up titles respectively. On the Women’s side, the Impala Racing Team will try to hold off the Colonial Road Runners in the 40 and up contest. The defending 50 and up Champions, the Athena Track Club, does not have a complete team; the Clifton Road Runners, who finished 2nd last year, are the favorites. As with the Men, the Atlanta Track Club should take the 60 and up title.


Favorites for the 8K Age Division championships  include:  40-44 David Angell/Roberta Groner 45-49 Jonathan Frieder/Michelle Brangan 50-54 Kent Lemme/Amy Fakterowitz 55-59 Nat Larson/Marisa Sutera Strange 60-64 Roger Sayre/Patrice Combs 65-69 Tom Bernhard/Katheen Allen 70-74 Lloyd Hansen/Barbara LoPiccolo 75-79 Doug Goodhue/Madeline Bost 80-84 Tami Graf/John Elliott 90-94 Richard Soller. Most of those will face determined challenges from rivals with many outcomes uncertain until the final 700 meter straightaway to the finish—another exciting day of championship races!


Submitted by

Paul Carlin

Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

Running Professor, LLC/

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