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Marathon winner racing around country

By Staff | Oct 6, 2017

Journal photo by Ron Agnir James Pearce, of Rockville, Maryland, won the men’s marathon during last Saturday’s Freedom’s Run event.

James Pearce hit No. 28 in the Freedom’s Run marathon on Saturday morning.

The resident of Rockville, Maryland, also won the longest of four races that are contested annually.

“I’m trying to run a marathon in under three hours in every state,” Pearce said. “This is my first West Virginia marathon, even though part of it sneaks into Maryland.”

The 37-year-old completed the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 47 minutes, 36 seconds, winning by nearly three minutes over 34-year-old Micah Mohler, of Sammamish, Washington.

“I ran with him for about three or four miles,” Pearce said.

The victory in Freedom’s Run was Pearce’s fifth title.

“I’m a mid (runner), not elite,” Pearce said.

He ran the mile and half-mile in college before becoming a marathoner in 2008.

Pearce has spent time in the Sudan and returned to running as a way to relax from the stress of his job. After returning to the states, he went to law school and found himself competing in a benefit marathon in Richmond, Virginia. Although he wasn’t completely pleased with his time of 2:59 – “I went out too fast” – he was hooked by the long-distance running and a goal of going under three hours was set.

Greg Horning, of Laurel, Maryland, finished third in 3:01:13.

There were 268 marathon finishers in all.

Women’s marathon winner Vivian Ruiz, of Charles Town, came in 10th overall in 3:17:47.

The 23-year-old Ruiz won by some 10 minutes over the female runner-up Natalie Wanger, 36, of Woodbridge, Virginia.

A total of 95 women ran the marathon.

More than half of the 631 finishers in the half-marathon were women – 325 – and a female finished second overall.

Thirty-nine-year-old Kristen Stolipher finished in 1:26:29, just four seconds behind overall winner Edwin Scheilter, of Davidson, North Carolina.

Schleilter’s time was 1:22:26.

Adam Kradel, of Media, Pennsylvania, came in 1:27:12 for third place.

In the 10K, the age range of the top 10 ranged from 9 to 52 years old among the 236 finishers.

Harry Toney, 24, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, won the 10K in 33:06, seven minutes ahead of 17-year-old Dylan Stamper, of Shepherdstown. He finished in 40:31. Stamper finished third in the 5K a year ago.

Sebastian Esteve, 52, of Reston, Virginia, ran third in 50:01.

Carla Chorley, 48, of Boonsboro, Maryland, came in as the first female in 52:38.

Nine-year-old Lalit Boyapati, of Ashburn, Virginia, ran 55:57 to place sixth.

The 5K drew a field of 574 and was won by Andrew Spangenberg, of Frederick, Maryland. He competed the 3.1 miles in 17:47 and beat out Jake Baroner, of Clear Spring, Maryland. He finished in 17:56.

Charles Walters, of Martinsburg, finished third in 18:40, and Jack Conant, of Shepherdstown, came in fourth in 18:50. Conant won the 5K in 2016.

Female winner Andrea Stone, of Boonsboro, Maryland, came in seventh overall in 19:50.