Becky Heuer and Bob Carroll were weighted down with hardware last Sunday on their trip back to Forestville from the Linda Yalem Run, as the Buffalo News Runner of the Year series was hitting the home stretch.
It was probably the first time a boyfriend and girlfriend have won a major road race in Buffalo.
Carroll, a master's runner over 40, outran the youngsters to win the 5K run in 15 minutes and 22 seconds. That's an average 4:55 mile.
Heuer, the leader in the News' 35-39 division and last year's overall runner of the year, averaged 5:40 miles to win the women's division in 17:36.
Both are running coaches and obviously possess natural talent, but they also may be the two hardest-working runners in the area. Their track workouts are tiring just to watch.
When they played host to their running club, Checker's Nike A.C., for a recent group run in the country, everyone came back to Carroll's house for refreshments.
"We tried to count all of their trophies," the most recent issue of the club's newsletter recounts, "but got tired and went home."
Heuer concentrated on the track this season and will concede her overall News title to Kristen Schiesswohl of Amherst, who may have been the most consistent winner yet in The News series.
Carroll is still technically in the running for the men's title, but with current leader Paul Hulme now in California, Rochester's Scott Peiser probably has a lock on the series.
Another related pair at the Yalem run was Derek White of Amherst and his younger brother Trevor, from Clarence. Derek came across the finish in fifth place in 15:56. Two seconds later came Trevor.
A second pair of brothers shows up in The News standings. Richard Sullivan may be the No. 1 Sullivan in the running community by virtue of his being the founder of Belle Watlings, but brother Ted Sullivan has bragging rights in the 65-69 age group. Neither, however, will catch David Willet.
The 45-49-year-old women continued their fierce battle at the Yalem run. Diane Walos-Sardes eked out a win over Kathleen Pernick, 19:22 to 19:20, with Carolyn DeWitt third in 20:35. It's too late for Walos-Sardes to overcome Pernick's lead in the age group, but look out for this one next year.
Two races remain in The News series. Today's Thundering Herd Half Marathon and the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.
If you're headed to Ellicottville to run Nickel City's Ellicottville Fall Festival Run Saturday, don't expect a 5-kilometer race, as mentioned in the schedule last week. Race director Sal Teresi said the distance remains 5 miles.
Buffalo's best marathon time, that 2:11:55 run by Buffalo's Mark Finucane in the 1984 Houston Marathon, turns out to the 50th fastest marathon run by an American.
Three others in the top 50 were run during the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials that started at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and ended across the river in Niagara Falls.
Tony Sandoval (2:10:19) and Kyle Heffner (2:10:55) did it during the 1980 trials for what turned out to be the canceled Olympic Games in Moscow. And Pete Pfitzinger ran his 2:11:43 during the 1984 trials, when he outsprinted Alberto Salazar.
Salazar would have been the only American in the top 50 world-best marathon times had the 1981 New York City Marathon course not proved to be 148 meters short. His 2:08:13 didn't stand. The top American time, Bob Kempainen's 2:08:47 in the 1994 Boston Marathon, is one second out of the world's top 50.
Ever wondered how President Clinton could run all those miles and still have those huge thighs? Hal Higdon, the Runner's World columnist who writes an advice column for America Online, says blame his parents.
"Despite the cover lines on magazines such as Men's Health and Self, there is no way to selectively reduce parts of your body, except through surgery -- which I don't recommend," Higdon writes to a guy with Clintonesque thighs. "The only way to melt fat off your thighs is to lose weight all over your body and eventually, some will melt from your thighs.
"If you do have an excess of body fat, gradually lose it and the thighs may shrink -- some. But we are all victims of our genetic makeup."
Ralph Zimmerman is a little on the slight side to play Santa Claus, so he's doing it by holding the first Dash For Toys Run, a 2-miler set for Nov. 15 in Kenmore. Admission is a new toy worth $10. Call him at 875-8577.
Thundering Herd Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, (Buffalo News Runner of the Year race) downtown Buffalo, 9 a.m., today, 893-6269; Little Valley Rotary 5K, 9 a.m., today, 938-6160 or 938-6936; Cole's Oktoberfest Run, 10K, 11 a.m., Sat., 692-7576; Brown's Berry Patch, Apple & Pumpkin Harvest Festival 5K, Waterport, 9:30 a.m., Sat., 682-5569; Holland Boys and Girls Club 5K, 9 a.m., Sat., 537-2264; Nickel City Ellicottville Fall Festival 5-miler, 10 a.m., Sat., 834-9028.