929 run in Valley’s ‘jewel’ of a race

By Greg Gulas



Youngstown Mayor Jamael “Tito” Brown served as official starter for Sunday’s second annual Youngstown Marathon.

He watched as 929 runners took their marks in front of Boardman’s Second Sole shoe and apparel store, readying them for the marathon, half-marathon and 5K races.

“This is the Youngstown Marathon, and it gives me an opportunity to be involved with this great event,” Brown said. “The race showcases Boardman, Mill Creek Park, YSU, our fine city and is a jewel of the Mahoning Valley.”

Erik Reed of East Liverpool, who finished second in the marathon last year, won going away this year as he finished the reconfigured, 26.2-mile course in 2:45.03 and 11 minutes and 31 seconds faster than second-place finisher Jonathan “Scooby Doo” Bolha (2:56.35) of Canfield.

Anna Leskov (3:31.08), a native of Moscow, Russia and Beachwood resident, was the top woman finisher and 15th overall.

In the half-marathon, Jonathan Hutnyan of Canfield was tops with a time of 1:15.52, Warren’s John Schmalzried finished second while Jenny Krueger of Wampum was the first female and fifth overall to cross the finish line in a time of 1:27.23.

Mack Mettille of Canfield, last year’s runner-up, captured the 5K event in 16:18.88, finishing 25.95 seconds better than runner-up Justin Maroni (16:44.83) of Boardman.

The top two female finishers included Sarah Bashinsky (22:57) of Youngstown, who was 28th and Paris FierkeLepp (23:21) of Alborn, Minn., 29th overall.

Jack Solak made the trip from Fort Myers, Fla., to take part in the half-marathon.

“I spent many hours and walked many miles in Mill Creek Park while growing up, and credit my aunt and uncle, Marilyn and Bill Scheetz for that experience,” Solak said.

“I love the course. Plus, it’s great to be back visiting family and to help support the local economy and many causes supported by the Youngstown Marathon.”

Boardman’s Tim Powers, who is a Youngstown Roadrunner hall of fame honoree, has run three marathons (New York City, Canton and Youngstown last year) and over 100, 5K’s. He took part in the 5K event.

“We run every Wednesday night from Second Sole, and I average about 30 competitions a year,” he added. “I’m cutting back, but looked forward to this event for some time.”

Holly Haddle, an eighth-grade U.S. History teacher at Howland Middle School and 1998 graduate of Mathews High School, had a good reason for being absent from last year’s inaugural 5K race.

“I missed last year’s race to get married, but am glad to be back and taking part in this year’s 5K competition,” she said.

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