Permar age-group win leads Bucks run of success at Philly Half

Larry Waldman (right) decided to end his streak of Philadelphia half-marathons at 41.

Terry Permar has run marathons as far south as Alabama but he says he never felt hot, steamy conditions in a race like he did in last Sunday’s Philadelphia Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon.

While the temperature wasn’t all that high at the starting line, the sky was clear and the humidity made it feel a lot warmer than your usual September morning.

Permar somehow made it through and wound up winning his age group (65-69), completing the 13.1-mile course in a brisk 1:37.15.

The 1972 Council Rock High School graduate, who’s been coaching the Pennridge High School boys’ cross country team for the past 24 years, was put to the test in this one.

All that said, he won the age group by a whopping seven minutes.

Besides Permar, a bunch of Bucks County runners did well in their age groups but more on that later.

After nearly 50 years of competitive running, the Perkasie resident still gets a kick out of another challenge.

And this was one for the books.

“Oh my gosh I’m so happy I finished, that I kept going,’’ Permar gushed during a telephone conversation.

“I actually stopped at the (Philadelphia) Art Museum at the four-mile mark, I felt so bad. I said, ‘this is crazy.’ My legs were so bad, it’s so hot out here.’’

Every runner goes through a moment of crisis or two in a long distance race, but usually not this early.

Permar was thinking about cashing it in when who should appear on his shoulder but former Archbishop Wood High School running great Rick McGarry.

“I felt like I was jogging,’’ Permar said. “It was like ‘what am I doing here?’ I saw Rick go by and it didn’t look like he was moving that fast. But he was moving.

“I thought ‘at least he’s moving.’ So I ran with him. Just seeing him, something clicked. It really helped.’’

Permar wasn’t the only one from Bucks County who came away with excellent times.

In Permar’s age group, Phil Davies of Doylestown placed sixth in a time of 1:50.37.

In the 70-74 bracket, Francis Gundy of Jamison took 13th in 2:24.29.

Also on the men’s side, Newtown’s Gabe Franc finished 28th in the 25-29 bracket in 1:13.36; Morrisville’s Andrei Lioshyn took 10th in the 50-54 division in 1:34.50; Quakertown’s Rob Gallagher was 14th in the 50-54 group with 1:37.50 and Warrington’s Luogang Wei was 12th in the 60-64 bracket in 1:41.11.

In the women’s competition, there were a number of outstanding finishes.

Yardley’s Stephanie Young placed sixth in the 50-54 division with a 1:42.16. Warrington’s Virginia Scarborough took home sixth in the 55-59 set with a 2:06.14. And Doylestown’s Vlatka Moll garnered fourth in the 65-69 bracket with a 2:26.54.

Also on the women’s side, Mary Pat Ezzo of Richboro ran in her 42nd straight Philly Half in a time of 2:46.04.

Betty Bluvshtein was 22nd in the 30-34 with a 1:29.33; Cathy Whelan was 33rd in the 30-34 in 1:37.36; Melissa Palmermo was 29th in the 35-39 in 1:41.19 and Christen Baglieri was 30th in the 40-44 in 1:46.08.

Chalfont’s Alisa Drelick placed 15th in the 50-54 in 1:49.32 and Richboro’s Tina Walters was 25th in the 50-54 with a 1:54.50.

Congratulations to all.


>Waldman ends 41-year streak


And a special note of congratulations goes out to Newtown’s Larry Waldman, who, like Mark Fite, decided to end his streak of running the Philly Half at 41 this year.

Waldman has been injured, which cut into his training time. Plus, the warm, humid conditions weren’t conducive to a “just trying to finish’’ effort.

“Do I feel sad about the ‘streak being over? Of course,’’ Waldman wrote in an email to training partners and friends. “You’re always sad about something good ending.

“But I’m also happy; happy that I accomplished something I never thought or knew I would or could do. And that so few others have done. Did I shed a tear? Absolutely. (But) I also feel relieved.  Relieved from getting prepared to run the ‘race’ again. Mary Pat (Ezzo) and I would joke after the race that we had 10 months off until we get ready for the next one.’’

Great accomplishment, Larry.


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About Wayne Fish 2452 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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