BY GEORGE HANCOCK
Jonathan Strayer was an incredible Johnstown Marathon competitor.
Strayer, a Beaverdale resident, won Johnstown in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, and in 2002. Many believed Strayer’s record was insurmountable. Then Justin Gillette entered the picture.
The 29-year-old Gillette won the 2012 Johnstown Marathon in 2:35:12. This victory was Gillette’s sixth Johnstown win.
The Goshen, Indiana, resident is now one win away from tying Strayer’s impressive record. But Gillette is not happy with simply matching that record. Gillette wants to own the Johnstown Marathon win record.
Moments after winning his sixth Johnstown Marathon, Gillette sat down on a folding chair a few yards away from the finish line. He waved to his fellow runners and the numerous race volunteers.
“I don’t have a real job so I have to race,” Gillette said.
He is a shrewd, intelligent runner and admitted he knows his body. He trains well and studies this marathon sport and his competitors.
Gillette’s 2012 running resume is astounding. He plans on running 28 marathons this year.
“September was a good month for me,” the Indiana runner said. “I ran five marathons and won four.”
The Johnstown race was marathon No. 20. Gillette won 16 of those 20 marathons. He has won 54 marathons in his running career and his marathon exploits were featured in the April 2012 Runner’s World magazine.
Gillette smiled and laughed when asked if running numerous marathons possibly slowed his finishing times.
“One week after winning the 2011 Johnstown Marathon, I set my marathon PR (personal record),” he said. “I won that marathon in 2:25 and two weeks later ran a 2:27.”
Justin Cole from Hagerstown, Md. placed second in 2:38:22. Cole, a member of the Williamsport Running Club, stated Johnstown was his first marathon. Cole is no stranger to the Johnstown events. He ran the 2009 Johnstown 10K.
“Johnstown is the perfect small marathon,” Cole said. “There’s no pressure here. Today’s weather was perfect for my first marathon.”
Indiana Road Runners Club veteran Tom Lipsie placed third in 2:46:26. Lipsie won the Johnstown Marathon in 2003 and 2004. Lipsie was pleased with his marathon effort.
“I felt great today. I ran well,” said Lipsie, who was bothered by nagging injuries most of this year.
The smile on his face at the finish line indicated those injuries are now distant memories.
Johnstown native 29-year-old Lindsay Mock was the first female finisher across the line, winning in 3:25:40. Mock is a 2001 Westmont graduate and standout runner and is currently a health and physical education teacher living in Fredericksburg, Va.
She said the 2012 Johnstown race was her 17th marathon and first win.
“I did not feel well today,” said Mock, who said she would run the marathon again. “I had some hamstring leg issues running down the St. Clair Road.”
Leanne Dellibovi was the second female finisher. The 30-year old crossed the finish line in 3:39:08.
Fifty-year old Mary Jean Bujdos from the Indiana Road Runners Club was the third female finisher in 3:53:03.
Anthony Clement, 32, won the half-marathon run in 1:10:25 and 32-year old Amy Moody was the first female half-marathon finisher in 1:35:11.
The 10K run was won by 42-year old Mark Mallozzi in 41:42. Catherine Muchesko, 29, was the overall female 10K winner. Muchesko was third overall in 45:02.
Ron Mock, 58, won the 5K in 21:55. Lawra Stuart, 37, was the first female 5K runner in 24:10.
A total of 83 runners and walkers completed the 5K course and 46 runners finished the 10K run.
There were 98 finishers in the half-marathon run and the 2012 Johnstown Marathon had 55 finishers.
Notes: Seven runners finished the Sunday marathon under three hours. ...A half-marathon runner was taken to Memorial Medical Center after being struck by a car on Iron Street at 10:38 a.m., Cambria 911 officials said. ... Thirty-nine-year old Greensburg resident Anne McClain finished the marathon in 4:27:21. Her doctors told her in 1988 that she would never walk again after a serious car accident. McClain continues to prove them wrong. ...Mel Cowgill, age 75, has run every Johnstown Marathon. He finished his race in 4:59:52.
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