As if marathon running wasn’t enough, Steve Hallman decided he needed a change – and go even farther in the process.
The Langhorne native, who recorded a brilliant time of 2:22 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018, did less racing than usual during the pandemic but came back with a flourish this year.
At last Sunday’s Ironman Maryland competition, Hallman took on triathlon’s greatest challenge for the first time and completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in just over 10 hours at the Cambridge, Md. course.
That placed him 24th out of 124 in his age group and 100th out of 1,033 male entrants.
Not too shabby for a rookie.
True, Hallman dipped his toe in the triathlon pool as a way of changing his demanding training routine.
But there was also an ulterior motive.
Hallman’s outstanding performance in Germany fell just a few minutes short of the qualifying standard for the United States men’s Olympic Marathon Trials.
At 34, he wants to give it another (and possibly last) try at making the trials.
He’s always had the speed. And now, with Ironman training in his program, endurance shouldn’t be a problem either.
The plan is to run the Austin, Texas marathon in February. If all goes well, he might be in the hunt for the 2:18 he needs to go to the trials, which hasn’t announced a location or date yet (the favorites are Chattanooga, Tenn. and Orlando, Fla. in February, 2024).
“I’m still trying to hit that qualifying time,’’ Hallman said in a telephone interview. “The training (for Ironman) should help. At least I know I’m aerobically fit. At this point it’s just about keeping it going and hopefully I improve.’’
The Ironman was a bit of starting from scratch for Hallman, who owns a plumbing business in Philadelphia. He disclosed he just bought his first road bike in May.
“I just wanted to try something different,’’ he said. “Ironman training was actually less demanding on the body. It was a break from constant running all the time.
“Honestly, I was aiming for under 10 hours. I think I could have done that but about three weeks ago I developed a shin splint. So I really didn’t run those last three weeks leading up to the race.’’
For someone who hasn’t had much experience with swimming, Hallman did just fine. He was shooting for 70 minutes and only missed that target by a minute.
On the bike, he did achieve his goal, which was five hours, 30 minutes. He needed only 5:19 to get the job done.
The marathon, his specialty, probably would have been handled in the three-hour range if not for the shin splint.
“It hurt so bad,’’ he said. “I had to walk a couple times. It’s just a sharp, shooting pain down your leg.’’
As for his future with the Ironman, he said this was probably a one-shot thing.
“I wanted to see what I could do before I aged-out,’’ he said with a laugh.
No matter. If he gets that 2:18, he can hang the certificates from Texas and Maryland side-by-side.
>Phila. Distance dandies
The Philadelphia Distance Run, now in the second year of its rebirth, continued to show progress this past Sunday as nearly 3,000 runners took part in the popular, venerable half-marathon.
As always, Bucks County was well represented by a hearty contingent of striders, a number of whom either set or came close to personal bests.
Doylestown’s Josh Izewski, 32, led the locals’ parade by finishing fifth overall. He completed the 13.1-mile course in just 1:03.16.
On the women’s side, Doylestown’s Natalie Johnston, 38, was the first Bucks female to hit the tape in 1:29.27.
Here’s a list of other Bucks County women and men who recorded a time of less than two hours:
(Name, age, hometown, finish time)
Meredith Twomey, 24, Yardley, 1:33.07; Lori Wade, 42, Richboro, 1:36.10; Ailsa Drelick, 53, Chalfont, 1:38.50; Sara Gebre, 26, Furlong, 1:41.38; Tara Hank, 28, Doylestown, 1:42.04; Christen Baglieri, 43, Yardley, 1:42.31; Lauren Trinsey, 35, Feasterville, 1:42.43; Abigail Wick, 24, Morrisville, 1:46.32; Jennifer Steen, 39, Richboro, 1:49.07; Sarah Coyne, 26, Newtown, 1:50.51; Katarzyna Zajdel, 23, Morrisville, 1:40.39; Anne Kathryn Bromm, 52, Furlong, 1:57.53; Hilary Wesney, 55, Doylestown, 1:59.52; Courtney Holliday, 27, Morrisville, 1:58.57.
Alex Carideo, 24, Morrisville, 1:14.46; Robby Lloyd, 19, Newtown, 1:20.27; Joe Holton, 37, Furlong, 1:23.19; Christian Carabello, 52, Yardley, 1:28.13; Pete Lederer, 55, Langhorne, 1:28.46; Joe Haughey, 61, Richboro, 1:32.29; Tim Bulat, 40, Yardley, 1:33.17; Johnny King-Marino, 61, Doylestown, 1:34.20; Joe Tully, 62, Newtown, 1:34.28; Vincent Garanski, 34, Newtown, 1:35.28; Dan Kiley, 43, Yardley, 1:35.38; Peter Carideo, 62, Yardley, 1:37:09; Andrei Lioshyn, 53, Morrisville, 1:42:59; Joe Boyce, 61, Levittown, 1:43.35; Michael Sock, 42, Jamison, 1:43.35; Chris Thompson, 42, Langhorne, 1:45.03; Jay Ricco, 62, Holland, 1:45.59; Anix Vyas, 41, New Hope, 1:48.59; John Boles, 51, Warrington, 1:50.36; Bill Schaffling, 68, Yardley, 1:53.13; Steve Cohen, 52, Yardley, 1:53.35; Thomas Pellechio, 67, Doylestown, 1:58.14; Mark Moldavsky, 34, Warminster, 1:58.03; Rob Lightfoot, 44, Bensalem, 1:58.33.
>Ezzo completes 45th straight PDR
Richboro’s Mary-Pat Ezzo ran (virtually) in her 45th straight Philadelphia Distance Run on Sunday and now stands as the only female runner to hold that distinction.
Congratulations for this amazing accomplishment.
Jack-O-Lantern 10K/5K, 7:30 a.m., Quakertown. Contact www.runningintheusa.com