Brown, Kline capture FreshBurst Run titles
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Darryl Brown had a good reason for showing up late at the FreshBurst Run’s awards ceremony last Saturday.
The men’s champion was enjoying a cold bottle of chocolate milk.
"There’s not too many races you go to where they give out chocolate milk," Brown laughed. "It beats having to stop at the grocery store on the way home for it."
There was no certainly no stopping
Brown as he and 301 other runners got underway from Johnson & Johnson in the five-mile run, on Lincoln Avenue in Lititz. The 31-year-old Exton runner pulled away during the first mile and never looked back, crossing the finish line in hot, humid conditions in a time of 25:30, which was 41 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Marcini (26:11), of York. Lititz’s Daryl Weaver took third place in 26:26.
Quarryville 35-year-old Laura Kline won the women’s title in 30:02, beating out Lynn Knothe (32:44) by nearly three minutes. Combined with 55 competitors in the 5K Walk, this year’s FreshBurst had 357 total finishers.
At the front of the pack, of course, was Brown, who was also captured top honors at the FreshBurst in 2011 in a time of 25:20.
"Today was 10 seconds slower," Brown said, "but the weather was a lot cooler two years ago than it was today. And I think this year, I’ve been battling some injuries. But overall I felt pretty good."
Brown wasn’t showing any sign of injury as he made a surge at the half-mile point to put some distance between himself and the next closest runners. At the one-mile mark on Penn Valley Road, Brown clocked in with a split of 5:04, with Marcini and Weaver eight seconds off the pace.
"At the half mile mark, (Darryl) made a surge and I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’ And he didn’t come back," Marcini said. "He won pretty solid. He was running real aggressive from the start. I was like, ‘Either he’s going for it or he’s in really good shape or both."
"I just wanted to run my race and run my pace, really," Brown said. "I could see I was a little slower than I wanted to be, so I just picked up the pace a little about a half-mile in. I felt pretty good. I guess I just wanted to see how my legs would feel through like the first half-mile, I guess, and then when I looked down at my watch, I felt pretty good. You just go and you hope your legs have it. From the gun, I just tried to keep a nice pace."
As the rolling course progressed through the middle miles, the runners encountered some elevations, but Brown tried to capitalize where he could and was able to extend his lead.
"I watched my pace on my watch and just pushed on the downhills," Brown recalled. "You’ve just got to choose your spots where you can go, but for the most part, I felt really comfortable and relaxed the whole race."
As Brown established command at the front of the pack, Marcini and Weaver duked it out for second-place honors. It was Marcini who prevailed, proving to be a little bit stronger over the second half of the race.
"I’m happy with that (my time)," Marcini said. "That’s a decent time, but when it’s humid like this, it’s not ideal conditions. I’ll take it. I’ll take it … It’s a good race. I did it maybe like 12 years ago and it was a good race and I haven’t had a chance to get back for one reason or the other. It’s one of those races that has a good reputation, so I always like doing it when I can."
"I was sticking with (Matt) for awhile, but the second half he was just pulling away from me a little bit and I couldn’t hold on," Weaver said.
For Weaver, who has turned his focus more toward triathlons in recent years, he was content with his time.
"My running’s been slipping a little bit, so I wanted to jump in a couple local running races to try to get back up," Weaver said. "I ran 26:09 last year, so I was a little bit faster last year, but for this year, it’s not too bad. I’m not too disappointed. I don’t mind the heat too much."
Brown, meanwhile, got a good speed workout from the FreshBurst as he prepares for the Philly Half-Marathon in September and the Philly Marathon in November.
"This is nice to get out here and kinda go for a tempo run and stuff like that," he said.
Smith runs in 5K’s more than anything else while also staying active in triathlons and duathlons. Having never competed in the FreshBurst previously, she saw it advertised on Pretzel City Sports and decided to give it a go.
"There aren’t a whole lot of five-milers around, but it’s a good distance," Smith remarked. "I liked (the FreshBurst Run) a lot."
Dealing with Saturday’s heat and humidity, Smith completed the opening mile a little slower than she might normally do, posting a split of roughly 5:45.
"I usually go out too fast, usually between 5:30, 5:45," Smith said. "Because of the humidity, it was probably a better idea for me to go out slow and just kinda hang on."
She recalled the third mile being her slowest due to the gradual climbs in the middle part of the race, but she never lost her lead. Smith placed seventh in the overall list of finishers.
"I think the third mile was probably the toughest and it was my slowest," Smith said. "I don’t remember what my split was. But I like the rolling courses because it changes up what muscles you’re using."
As the runners finished the final mile-plus on Doe Run Road/Lincoln Avenue, Smith came home strong as runners benefited from a slight downhill grade.
"I didn’t know where the second female was. But I always just kinda like to run like they’re right there and be scared and keep pushing," Smith said. "The final stretch is when I finally looked back just to see, but I didn’t see anyone back there."
More FRESHBURST, page B-6