WADDINGTON - Although they hail from different walks of life, and different states, running is deeply ingrained in the fabric of living for Matt Russell and Katie Baloga.
Both showed the joy they feel for running and competing as the male and female medalists at Saturdays Waddington Homecoming River 5K Walk-Run.
Russell, a two-time United States National Duathalon Champion and the number two American (33 overall) in the world triathlete rankings, paced the field of 225 in 16:27 as the male 20-29 leader. Baloga of New Windsor, N.Y., a former collegiate distance standout at the University of Delaware and the wife of a high school cross country and track-field coach, led a very strong womens leaderboard in 18:54 and brought the medalist title to the 30-39 division. The second and third place lady runners: 15-19 leader and Section 10 Runner of the Year in Lisbon-Cantons Laura Pierce (20:18) and 30-39 runner-up Kristen Betrus of Potsdam placed ninth and 10th overall.
This was an excellent race and I really liked the way the course ran right along the river. And there was shade at different spots along the way which was really nice, said Baloga who was visiting relatives in the Lisbon-Waddington area with her husband Barry, who coaches cross country and track-field at North Rockland Central near West Point, and their children Jack, Michael who also ran the race and Karrie.
Russell, a Scotsdale Ari. resident who is enjoying a month-long visit to his native Lisbon, enjoyed a return to the Waddington Homecoming 5K while training for the Mount Tremblant Ironman in the Montreal area in two weeks.
I was pretty satisfied with my time and I had a nice race with the rollerbladers which made it a lot of fun, said Russell who is thoroughly enjoying his evolution as a triathlete.
One of things I like the best about Ironman is that so many things can happen. I learn a great deal with each one and in each one I learn a lot about myself.
Much of his education in the discipline of triathlon comes in the swimming where Russell has concentrated countless hours of training to improve.
My stroke has improved a great deal and now it is just a matter of getting the volume of swimming in, said Russell who has qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii for a second straight year. Following Russell in the top eight overall were: Madrid-Waddington Central athlete Austin Scott (1st 15-19 18:53) who runs for Canton Central in the indoor track-field season, Dave OLeary (1st 50-59 19:38) Dave Mayette (2nd 20-29 19:45), Mike Preston (1st 30-39 19:46), emerging Ogdensburg Free Academy distance stalwart Joe Grizzuto A(2nd 15-19 19:51), Jared Thibodeau (3rd 20-29 20:15) and Paul Pierce (2nd 50-59 20:17).
We had a great turnout with 225 participants and I really want to thank everyone who took part and help us raise money for the Waddington Fire Department, said Race Director Toby Bogart.
Continuing the tradition of rollerbladers in the race were Matt Billion (15:20), Taylor Marcellus (15:51) and Shea Putney 18:26.
Male 14 Under: John Lenney 23:19, Kevin Cronin 23:21, Richard Pandell 24:39. Women 14 Under: Jess Wangler 24:09, Ellen Miller 25:07, Gabriella Scott 27:54. Male 15-19: Austin Scott 18:53, Joey Grizzuto 19:51, Justin Mayette 22:07. Female 15-19: Laura Pierce 20:18, Lauren Orosz 21:14, Lynde Wangler 22:01. Male 20-29: Matt Russell 16:27 (overall medalist), David Mayette 19:45, Jared Thibodeau 20:15. Women 20-29: Desi Backus 22:01, Jenna Chamberlain 25:53, Chelsea Perrine 28:20. Men 30-39: Mike Preston 19:46, Chad Cassidy 23:25, Mike Matejcik 23:57, Female 30-39: Katie Baloga 18:54, Kristen Betrus 20:26, Tara Cassidy 23:06. Male 40-49: Eric Girard 20:58, Patrick Colbert 21:01, John Newman 21:17. Female 40-49: Shandel Boyden 21:63, Tracey Garcia-LaVigne 21:20, Shannon Kenny 24:33. Male 50-59: David OLeary 19:38, Paul Pierce 20:17, Joe LaBarr 21:08. Female 50-59: Carol Garvey 23:58, Kathleen Buckwell 26:02, Pam Dalton 27:12.Male 60-69: Bill Amberman 22:15, David White 26:52, Richard Hazel 29:20. Female 60-69: Vicki Garcia 30:52, Elaine Amberman 33:30, Eileen Auringer 35:46. Male 70-79: Hugh Wilson 25:21, Jack Baloga 33:25, Frank Wangler 37:53.Male 80 Over: Jean Bernaquez 26:23.
Women 80 Over - Pauline Cantwell.
Rollerbladers: Matt Billion 15:20, Taylor Marcellus 15:51, Shea Putney 18:26