We like to keep everyone updated on what our Retail Racing Teams are doing. We recently received this update of sisterhood and racing from Team Ohio. Team Ohio runs out of one of many Fleet Feet Partners, Fleet Feet Cleveland. Thank you Fleet Feet Cleveland and Team Ohio for building a strong Oiselle presence in your community this year. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish during the spring racing season. For now it is time to Rumble!
To say that the goals set forth by the Team Ohio-Oiselle women this winter were ambitious would be an understatement. Everyone had set their sights on achieving personal records in the half-marathon and marathon distances. I spent most every Thursday night and Sunday morning on a bike, after having to undergo surgery for a torn labrum, riding next to the women as they met for group runs at the Lock 29 Towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From the beginning I could see that high intentions were met equally with a determination in their training. The evidence was in plain sight, on strained faces at the end of twenty-two mile marathon-pace long runs and in the celebratory exchanges on cool downs following a surprisingly fast tempo run. I grew more excited to watch them race and soar to reach their goals as the days became shorter and the weather turned into the crispness of Fall marathon season.
The month of September started off right with strong finishes at the Akron Marathon events. The challenge of a course change from previous years with several additional hills was met with fortitude. The women’s marathon relay team consisting of Beth Benesh, Amanda Fire, Tina Oprean, Lauren Buser, and Lindsey Fascione went on to defend their winning team title from the previous season, breaking three hours. Tina and Beth having just returned after taking a break with running were proud of their finishes and how their fitness was progressing. Ro Morgan ran a personal record for the half-marathon of 1:21.55, her initial race since giving birth to her first child and taking on a new job as a high school chemistry teacher. In the marathon, Tracy Meder finished in 3:14 and used the hilly terrain as a training run for her fourth USATF National Road 50K Championships this winter, in which previous years she had top-three finishes.
Rosalie Franek at Akron Marathon
Flying into the month of October, Lindsey Fascione competed in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, and ran a personal record of 3:12, breaking her previous time by six minutes. Lindsey, a nursing student at Chamberlain College of Nursing, balances her marathon training and clinical hours with a sense of humor. Her motto while training for the marathon was, “the more miles you run, the more cookies you get to eat,” and she attributes her marathon success strictly to the consumption of Reese’s Pieces after workouts. At the competitive Youngstown Peace Race 10K at the end of October, Ro Morgan once again finished with a fast time of 37:48, and placed Top-5 American. Amanda Fire also competed and used the race as a tune-up before attempting a personal record in the marathon.
The season finished in November as strong as it had started. Amanda Fire and Ro Morgan both competed in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Amanda, after battling stomach cramps at her first attempt at a record time at the Chicago Marathon, returned to the challenge, running a smart race from the start and pacing herself to a three minute PR of 3:12. Amanda, a seven-time Boston Marathon qualifier, and regional representative for a running shoe brand, initially sought to better her previous time of 3:15 this season. The effort that she placed into her training, especially the multiple twenty-two mile long runs, are a testament to the dedication she put into achieving her goals this season. Ro completed her first marathon and finished in 3:23 after an ambitious start that had her on pace to run a 2:48. Ro, like Amanda, was not discouraged by the adversity she faced during the later part of the race, and there is no doubt that she will be back soaring to her goal marathon time in the Spring.
Lindsey Fascione at Akron Marathon
As I watched this season unfold from the sidelines, the personal and athletic accomplishments of these women truly amazed me. As new mothers, students, accomplished professionals, and talented runners these women define what it means to be successful in every sense of the word. They handle the adversities in life just like in their running with grace and a toughness that inspires me. I am proud to be a part of such a team of women who are not just good runners but good people as well, and I am anxious to get back out and join them on the trails as they fly towards their next set of goals with heads up and wings out.
- Marissa Baranauskas