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Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival

Runners break from the start at the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival in Schroon Lake on Sunday. 

SCHROON LAKE — If Scott Davis decided to retire from competitive marathon running, he’d leave with a perfect record.

Running in his first marathon ever, Davis won the 2018 Adirondack Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes, 58 seconds, beating the next closest finisher by more than 10 minutes.

“I was behind the leader, and I thought he was going to pull ahead,” Davis said. “Then around the 18 mile he started to slow down and I just got this burst of energy and decided to go for it when I passed him. I never looked back and I thought I would just keep going and if I’d hold up. Sure enough, I did.

“I had no idea what to expect, but I just turned 40 so I thought if I do not do it now then when am I ever going to be in this good of shape to do it again.”

Heather Morgan of New York City was the top female runner in the marathon in 3:13:59.

Karen Bertasso of Albany set a new women’s record in the half marathon with a time of 1:19:50. Eric Macknight was the male winner of the half marathon in 1:10:57, followed by Queensbury’s Alexander Benway in second place.

A resident of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the 40-year-old Davis has had an on-and-off relationship with distance running.

He ran for James Madison University, but injuries and pain took him away from running competitively for a while. But he is passionate about fitness, so Davis continued to train, running almost every day.

He even mixes in a swimming workout once a week.

After his 40th birthday, he decided to find a marathon. He didn’t want anything crazy. A low-key race sounded ideal. A simple Google search brought him to the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival.

Running around Schroon Lake, Davis knew he was in for a scenic experience, but the people and volunteers impressed him as much as the hills and water.

“I cannot thank the spectators out there enough. They were awesome,” Davis said. “They provided such a boost of energy that I think really helped carry me through.

“The finish line felt like it was so far away and then all of sudden it was right there around the corner. It was great seeing the clock and the finish tape, knowing I was going to be able to break it.”

After the win, Davis relaxed with a much-deserved water. He hugged his parents who drove him up to New York, allowing him to relax and keep his mind on the race.

Davis said he had not been sleeping well the past few days. Nerves had crept in as the race neared.

But all of that changed a few minutes before start time.

As Davis gathered with other runners near the starting line around 9 a.m., he looked up and saw an unexpected guest.

His sister, with her big black lab, stood next to his parents. She drove nearly 400 miles from Carlisle, Pennsylvania to Schroon Lake to surprise her brother.

“I did not expect her to come,” Davis said. “She walked up to the start line and that just gave me even more energy.

“I was very nervous and haven’t been sleeping well the past few nights so seeing her gave me that extra boost. Having that extra support here, my parents and now my sister, I felt like I was running for something bigger than myself.”

Top Finishers

Men’s Full Marathon

Runner (city) Time

1. Scott Davis (Carlisle, Pa.) 2:45:58

2. Michael Schram (Tupper Lake) 2:57:52

3. Joel Nowatchik (Lockport) 3:03:30

4. Dan Lagoe (San Jose) 3:07:09

5. Greg Palken (Australia) 3:10:27

6. Matthew Torniainen (Fultonville) 3:10:55

7. Jason Raehl (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 3:11:18

8. Luke Warpinski (Philadelphia) 3:20:59

9. David Pond (Valhalla) 3:21:09

10. Paul Graham (Canton) 3:22:40

Women’s Full Marathon

1. Heather Morgan (New York City) 3:13:59

2. Sara Winslow (Louisville, Ky.) 3:18:10

Men’s Half Marathon

1. Eric Macknight (Ballston Spa) 1:10:57

2. Alexander Benway (Queensbury) 1:12:21

3. Joshua Korn (Troy) 1:15:41

4. Thomas O’Grady (Slingerlands) 1:16:38

5. Matthew Ninneman (Albany) 1:17:55

6. Kell Griffin (Shrewsbury, Vt.) 1:18:35

7. Ryan Mitchell (Troy) 1:19:58

8. Tucker Chrapowitzky (Slingerlands) 1:22:52

9. Greg Hunt (Saratoga Springs) 1:25:15

10. John Noonan (Ballston Spa) 1:28:14

Women’s Half Marathon

1. Karen Bertasso (Albany) 1:19:50

2. Tricia Wardwell (Troy) 1:28:01

3. Lori Kingsley (Wysox, Pa.) 1:31:30

4. Erin Lopez (Saratoga Springs) 1:32:55

5. Jessica Andre (Waldwick, NJ) 1:33:22

6. Heather Bailey (Otego) 1:38:50

7. Sally Drake (Albany) 1:38:59

8. Cassandra Conety (Shushan) 1:39:02

9. Lisa Nieradka (Clifton Park) 1:39:14

10. Lauren Gim (White Plains) 1:39:37

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Follow Ellis L. Williams on Twitter @BookofEllis

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