Great weekend for women named Mary Beth
Mary Beth Ellis, 35, and Mary Beth Evans, 46, are two different athletes. Both are fit women, both are dedicated to their sports, both have Rehoboth Beach ties and both recently won overall titles. Amazingly though, many people who have never met one or the other athlete still overlook the fact that Ellis and Evans are not the same person. More than 20 years ago, I worked with Ellis as she worked out with the Seashore Striders and won several Rehoboth Biathlon titles, while now I work with Evans as she competes in my races and is involved in several events including the popular Rehoboth Marathon in December.
About their wins: Ellis competed in the Aquadraat Sports Ironman US Championship, which began with a time trial 2.4-mile point-to-point swim in the Hudson River. The 112-mile bike course spanned the cliffs of Palisades Parkway, followed by a 26.2-mile running course over the George Washington Bridge, finishing at 81st Street in the heart of the city.
Evans competed in the fifth Run for the Paws 5K for the SPCA, which began on Dagsworthy Avenue in Dewey Beach and followed an out-and-back course by the popular Bottle & Cork landmark before heading out to the back bay neighborhood, turning around on Dodd Avenue.
About their race: Ellis, a pro triathlete out of Superior, Colo., finished as the first woman and 17th overall in the field of 2,739 participants in a time of 9:02:48. Ellis averaged 1:02 per 100 meters for the 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, averaged 22.10 mph on the bike, and averaged 7:25 for the 26.2-mile marathon.
Evans, a pro running shoe saleswoman out of Rehoboth Beach, was the first woman and 22nd overall in the field of 300 participants in a time of 21:36. Evans averaged a 6:56 pace for the 3.1-mile race, which ironically is the same pace Ellis averaged for her first 3.9 miles of the marathon.
About their training: According to her website, Ellis, who lives part time outside Lausanne, Switzerland, said she prepared for this Ironman by riding her bicycle 180 miles from her Swiss home to Alpe d’Huez, the Alpine climb frequently featured in the Tour de France. She won a half-ironman distance triathlon on Alpe d’Huez July 8, then rode the 180 miles back home.
According to her own Twitter blog, Evans recently started her day with a 70- minute hot yoga class, sweating out her 1 percent body fat, followed by a pool workout, then a light run testing the feel of her new pink attire, and closed her day with a Chi weight workout that tested her arm strength.
About their race strategy: Ellis really tries to focus on being the best she can be and going as fast as she can she going into her races. The toughest part is the final hour, and she just tries to get to the finish as quickly as she can by putting one foot in front of the other.
Evans uses interesting tactics to keep her going in her races as she counts the number of runners she passes in the race, which motivates her to pass as many as possible to the finish. Evans also is usually a front-runner and one of those racers who goes out hard and hangs on, but this past win, she found herself being a follower to the race leader. With a half mile to go, she made her move, added one to her count, and dashed to the finish for the win.
The Paws 5K attracted 300 and was won by 16-year old Darian Sorouri in 18:26 in Dewey Beach. Christopher Stanley won the male masters, while Helen Capparell won the female masters. Pat Beebe completed Ironman Mt. Trembiant in Canada in 10:50:55 for 62nd in his age group, while Chris Rambo was 70th in 10:55:45. Rambo had an incredible bike of 5:11:30, which ranked him 12th in his age group and 80th overall in the race. Dave Johnson finished in 11:45:43, placing 118th in his age group. Doc Masser won the 70 & over age group in the Preston, Md. 11.98K - and why, you may ask, was it not the advertised 12K? While I was marking the course one hour before the start, the Choptank River decided to throw a surprise at me and put nearly three feet of water across the road just past three miles. It was either shorten it a 10th or have mad runners with blisters chasing me back to Lewes. I was not sure if Doc could swim, so the race was shortened and I asked the field after explaining before the start, “Who races 12K anyway?” See you Sunday in costume…Over & out!
8 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, 5th Ed Dean Memorial 4 M/7K Trail Run, Magnolia’s Restaurant, Ocean View.
7:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 26, 3rd Sundance 5K Run/1M Walk or Sashay, CAMP Rehoboth, Rehoboth Beach.
7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, Shadow Series Blue Moon 5K/10K, Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes.
7:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, 22nd Last Blast Prediction 5K, Grove Park, Rehoboth Beach.