Posted by Sarah Barry
On Saturday morning at 6:20 a.m. the Skidmore women's tennis team assembled to join other volunteers for the Saratoga Springs Palio Half Marathon. The 13.1 mile race traveled through campus and ended with the final stretch down Broadway.
Natally Mendoza '13, the tennis team co-captain, was pleased with the turnout for the event."It was great to see the range of ages, from 12 to the oldest runner. There was a lot of determination, people were pushing each other and although it was individual, people were also supportive," she said.
The half marathon is titled the Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O'Donnell Memorial Race. It honors a local resident who spent her life volunteering. The day also included a 5K, which began just after the official start of the half marathon. The races serve to honor Melanie and the causes she supported.
"I was at the water station around the 12 mile mark, so it was an intense part of the race. Everyone was really grateful for the volunteers, and it made me feel great," said Tory Engros '12, tennis team co-captain.
Thomas O'Grady age 26, of Latham, NY won the half marathon with a time of 1:11:29, and Shaun Donegan, age 25, of Saratoga Springs won the 5K with a time of 16:30. There were 830 finishers in the half marathon and 429 in the 5K. Ages ranged from 12 to 70 for the participants of the half marathon.
"The race was well run and well organized with good fan support, but it still had a small town feel," said Ben Shanks, another half marathon runner.
"It was nice running through Skidmore and seeing my friends cheering me on - that's really important for a runner," Carly Sacks '12 said.
Saturday morning offered cool but clear weather for the race and there were many families and spectators waiting in downtown Saratoga. "It was great to see so many people out there giving it their all, and to see so many people running in teams for causes," Hannah Brechka '12 said.