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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Like many mammals, humans tend to be creatures of habit.
We could have 15 ways to drive home, but we'll usually stick to one route. Maybe two if we're particularly adventurous.
I hope many of you have gotten into the habit of checking the sports section of The Roanoke Times, or the Outdoors portal on roanoke.com, on Fridays for the weekly Outdoors page.
Now I'm going to ask you to change your habits.
The page is moving to Sunday.
When I recently mentioned this move to a friend, he said, "Oh, back to the way Bill Cochran did it."
To be honest, when I started here in early fall of 1998, I can't remember what the logic was behind putting the Outdoors page on a Friday.
Sunday would have been preferable, as it's our most-read edition. But I was OK with Friday.
My thinking was that there was practical justification for having the page on Friday.
Readers, theoretically, would be planning their weekend adventures, and my hope was that the news-you-can-use approach to the page's content might inspire folks to get out there.
I still had Sunday presence, in the form of a column.
The transition won't be exactly back to the days when Cochran, whose work still appears weekly on roanoke.com, was penning his rich prose for Sunday features.
The page is moving to a different section.
Instead of appearing in Sports, the page will be on the back of the Sunday Ticker business section.
Outdoors and business?
Well, we know that the two are related.
But Outdoors isn't becoming business content. It just so happens that the powers that be wanted to beef up the Sunday paper as a whole with even more local content (and I strive to keep the outdoors content as local as possible).
There isn't really room in the Sports section, but there is room on the back of the Ticker section.
So, there you have it.
You're reading this, so you'll know. For those who don't see this column, we'll be running regular promo ads regarding the shift.
Readers aren't the only ones who will need to change habits.
My column will now run, in Sports, on Fridays. This will take some getting used to for me.
I am used to writing the Sunday column on Friday or Saturday. Thursdays are often my days for getting out there to do what I like to call field research.
I guess Fridays will become my primary field research days now.
Thanks for sticking with me no matter where the content runs. Feel free to share feedback and I'll pass it along.
More on the marathon
Whether it was injuries, illness or a fear of what loomed ahead, plenty of the roughly 1,600 folks registered for the Blue Ridge Marathon and its half-distance sibling were no shows on Saturday.
Still, the races combined to attract a best-ever 1,219 individual competitors, along with dozens of relay runners.
The marathon featured 424 starters. Amazingly, all but five finished.
Of the 795 half marathoners, only two didn't complete the 13.1 miles.
The youngest competitor on the day was 9-year-old Bryson Oliver of Blue Ridge. Bryson finished in 2:34 flat.
The oldest runner of the day was 76-year-old Maurice Earles of Goodview. He crossed the line in 4:07:49.
The oldest marathon finisher was 72-year-old Les Martin of San Francisco. He covered the grueling course in 5:26.11.
The youngest marathon finisher was 17-year-old Anna Reavis of Woodlawn. She got through the race in 6:50:32.
In the marathon, the most represented age groups were on the men's side. The 35-39 and 40-44 age groups both had 42 finishers.
In the half marathon, the most represented age group was for women 35-39.
One of the 73 finishers in that age group was Roanoke's Sarah Glenn, who won the overall women's title for the third consecutive year.
The two previous years Glenn's margin of victory was in the 6-minute range, meaning the runner-up still had roughly a mile to go when Glenn was crossing the line.
Glenn, whose legs are still recovering from a recent marathon win in North Carolina, had to work harder this year.
"I was trying to not get hurt so I was very conservative on the mountain," said Glenn, who was in third place at the race's midpoint.
Running through the South Roanoke neighborhood she passed her husband, who helped inspire her.
"He was like, 'Go get them,' " said Glenn, who did just that.
She caught eventual third place finisher Rachel Taylor of Murfreesboro, Tenn., just before the 9-mile point.
Glenn didn't catch runner-up Gretchen McDonough of Lewisburg, W.Va., until they were inside the final mile.
Glenn's final time of 1:29:17, a course record, was just 19 seconds clear of McDonough.
In the men's half, the margin was a just a little larger for Knoxville's Bradley Adams, who finished in a course record 1:20:06.
At the 7.7-mile point, Adams had just a 16-second cushion over Roanoke's Ed Dickenson, but was able to extend the lead to 39 seconds by the finish line.
The gap between the 49-year-old Dickenson - yes, 49 - to third place finisher Kevin Lutz of Astoria, N.Y., was a massive five minutes.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us