SACKETS HARBOR — Runners from across the area pushed through heavy winds, humidity and rain early Sunday for the 18.12 Challenge and Half Marathon.
Race director Leslie Robare said the wet conditions actually helped racers deal with the high humidity, which also affected last year’s race.
“Some of the runners came up to me after the race and told me the rain came at the right time,” Robare said. “About half the field was already finished before the heavy rains came.”
According to Robare, there were concerns that event would have to be cancelled because of thunder and lightning.
“I was so nervous about the weather,” said Robare, who did report there was some thunder a little after the 7 a.m. start time. “I didn’t sleep the night before.”
Event organizers were also unsure on how the volunteers manning the 14 water stations would handle the elements, but said they’d like to return next year.
The event, in its third year, drew about 800 people representing 29 states and Canada. Robare said the race has more than doubled in size and had a record number of Canadian participants since its inception in 2012.
Entrants could race either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or the 18.12 Challenge (18.12 miles), stretching from Immaculate Heart Central High School on Ives Street, Watertown, to the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. Robare said the location has helped the event grow.
“The finish line is right along the water in Sackets Harbor and ends at the 1812 battlefield,” Robare said. “There’s nothing like it.”
In the half marathon, Nick Webster of Albany finished first with a time of one hour, 17 minutes and 31 seconds. Rounding out the top 10 are Richard Cohen, Randy Demar, Jack Tarpey, Steve Doe, Toby Woodard, Brigid Heenan, Jim Allott, P.J. Banazek and Bill Street.
In the 18.12 challenge, Sam Morse, of Camden, won with a time of one hour, 39 minutes and nine seconds. He was followed by Joe Whelan, Lawrence Joseph Franks Jr., Dan Szilagyi, John Evangelista, Thaddeus Pajak, Jose Moncada, Carl Zeh, James Brennan and Jon Terpstra.
There were over 100 more entrants for the 18.12 challenge than the half marathon, which is the first time that has happened.
The run also helped serve a purpose as a training race for the late fall Corning and Empire (Syracuse) marathons.
Full results can be found at http://wdt.me/r5J5wV.