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Monday, June 3, 2013
Two Sunday morning events exemplified the diversity of the region's offerings for endurance athletes.
In Salem, roughly 200 athletes hurried their way through the YMCA's Salem Sprint Triathlon, while about 5 miles away 249 runners competed in the lung- and leg-busting Conquer the Cove trail marathon and 25K.
Conditions were pretty tough for both races, especially for the distance runners.
Not only did they have to tackle difficult courses with ridiculous amounts of elevation change, but the heat and humidity made the race extra tough.
Despite the challenging conditions, the marathon winners - husband and wife Jake and Dacia Reed of Lynchburg - both broke the course records.
Jake Reed, 25, finished in 3:01:12. Dacia Reed, 24, won the women's race in 3:55:58.
The couple were both runners at Liberty University.
The day's other record came from Amy Gallagher, who won the Masters division in the 25K in 2:33:13. Gallagher, 45, lives in Lynchburg.
Roanoke's Ed Dickenson, 49, won the 25K in 1:55:15. Dickenson finished a little more than five minutes clear of runner-up H.T. Page, 53, of Wirtz. Joey Tuner, 43, was third to solidify a podium sweep for the 40-plus crew.
In the women's 25K, Rebekah Ricksecker, a 26-year-old from Lynchburg, won in 2:05:45.
Nineteen-year-old Chelsea Page of Yorktown was second in 2:06:55, while Roanoke's Megan Hall, 27, was third in 2:09:50.
Forty-four-year-old Ben Thomas was the men's Masters winner in the 25K in 2:11:57.
Rounding out the overall podium in the men's marathon were Ian Robinson, a 24-year-old from Roanoke (3:26:55), and 20-year-old Matthew Bigman (3:32:50).
On the women's side, 27-year-old Heather Fisher-Clark was second in 3:57:29, while Emma Betz, 22, was third in 4:00:19.
The Masters winners were 42-year-old Rachel Edwards in 4:52:20 and Roanoke's John Robinson, whose 3:41:41 was good for fifth overall, just three spots behind his son, Ian.
Over in Salem, 164 individuals and 13 relay teams participated in the third annual Salem Sprint triathlon, which started with a 300-yard swim, and then took entrants on a 15K bike ride and 5K run on Salem's roads and paths.
The fastest triathlete was 24-year-old Austin Ellis, who covered the course in 47:50.
Andres Marte-Grau, a 38-year-old from Roanoke, was second in 50:12, while Blacksburg's Jim McGehee, 50, was third in 50:57.
Twenty-year-old Blacksburg native Kate Buss, a member of the cross country team at Brown University, won the women's race in 51:04.
Grace Obando, a 14-year-old from Herndon, was second in 51:41 while Blacksburg's Cortney Martin, 46, was third in 53:25.
With McGehee and Martin on the overall podium, the top Masters awards went to athletes with familiar names.
Kate Buss' mom, Janet, 49, won the women's award with a time of 57:52.
The men's winner was 51-year-old Jose Obando, whose time of 50:57 was not even a minute ahead of his daughter's.
The top family relay team was If it Ain't Broke Don't Fitchett, a squad of Lori, Tom and Tommy Fitchett from Roanoke. (Eleven-year-old Jordan Fitchett did the entire race on her own.) The Fitchetts finished in 57:34.
The top open relay team was a CACAPE, a squad of senior athletes from Hidden Valley High School.
With Cameron Vaughn swimming, Peter D'Ortenzio biking and Carolyn Bethel running the day after completing her sweep of the three distance events at the Group AA state track meet, the team finished in 49:28.
Public comments focus on deer hunting rules
The public comment period for proposed changes to the state's hunting and trapping regulations ended last week.
The board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will vote on the package at its next meeting, on June 13.
The agency hosted 10 public meetings to hear feedback on the proposals, and also accepted written feedback at the meetings, through the mail and through an Internet interface.
A total of 173 people attended the meetings, with attendance ranging from 10 to 38 people.
The department received 408 forms with comments, and another 613 through the Internet as of May 28.
As usual, most of the suggested changes relate to deer hunting. Many of the proposals have more to do with rule formats and housekeeping rather than with major changes.
Generally speaking, however, there is a trend toward tightening up on days when hunters may kill deer of either sex in many counties.
Roanoke County, however, would see a liberalization of deer hunting regulations because the DGIF staff is proposing increasing the daily deer bag from one to two.
Another interesting proposal in the region is to implement antler restrictions for a hunter's second buck in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge counties.
The rule, matching one already in place in Shenandoah and Rockingham counties, would require a second buck to have at least four points on at least one side of its rack.
Another interesting proposal would allow holders of an apprentice hunting license to participate in designated youth-only hunting days.
The entire document listing the proposals on the June 13 agenda can be found in the "Meeting Materials" section for the meeting listing under public meetings listing on the agency's web site (www.huntfishva.com).
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