Bucks marathoners: Chicago is their kind of town

Newtown's Tony Pereira set a personal record in last Sunday's Chicago Marathon.

There’s more to like about the city of Chicago than just the nightlife on Rush Street and the iconic skyline view from Lake Michigan.

It’s this thing called the Chicago Marathon, one of the fastest, scenic 26.2-milers on the planet and a big reason why it’s included in the world’s five “majors.’’

Runners come from far and wide – including Bucks County – to get in on the action and shoot for a personal record.

We know of at least a dozen local long distance striders who made the trek to that toddlin’ town last weekend and most didn’t come away disappointed.

For instance, Newtown’s Tony Pereira set a PR with a nifty time of 3:26 and says he had fun doing it.

“It was a great experience running through 29 different neighborhoods,’’ he said, “and being able to check out the diversity in this fabulous city.

“I want to congratulate all the members of the Bucks County Roadrunners Club who completed this magnificent event.’’

Like the New York City Marathon, live viewership of the race is nothing short of incredible. More than a million spectators line the streets of the Windy City.

“The crowd support was amazing from the start to the finish,’’ Pereira said. “The weather was perfect.  The course is very flat and perfect place to set your personal best. It was just an incredible experience.’’

Pereira plans to run the NYC Marathon next month. He’s finished four of the five majors and looks to complete his “slam’’ next March when he runs in the Tokyo Marathon.

Yardley’s Timothy Bulat led the Bucks contingent at Chicago with a 3:07.20, followed by Langhorne’s Peter Lederer in 3:08.09.

Christian Carabello of Yardley hit the finish line at 3:17.56. Dennis Beggs of BCRR ran 3:58.56. Other BCRR men who ran the race included Tyler Murphy and Anthony Antrilli.

On the women’s side, BCRR’s Cynthia Bosh and Janet Lewis both finished under the four-hour mark. Other BCRR female runners included Regina Hastings, Patricia Mahon and Eileen Mannix.

Congratulations to all on exceptional performances.

>In a rush to get rid of Russia

One more item regarding the aforementioned New York City Marathon: It seems the political fallout from the Ukraine-Russia conflict continues to have an effect on U.S. racing.

According to media reports, the Ukranian Running Club has gathered over a thousand signatures on a petition to have all Russian and Belarusian runners barred from the big event in the Big Apple.

The URC argues the atrocities committed by Russia since it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 justify the prohibition. The petition states if the marathon’s organizers, the New York Road Runners, allows Russian and Belarusian runners to compete, the organization would be “implicitly normalizing … diabolical acts” by Moscow and its allies.

The club would like to see solidarity on this issue perhaps to spotlight what is taking place on the other side of the world.

“The banning of Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition is not meant to be seen as a punishment against them,” said the petition, started by the Ukrainian Running Club’s founder Anna Shpook. “This petition should be seen as means to support Ukraine and take a collective responsibility.

“Russian and Belarusian athletes can join us in solidarity by not participating in this year’s events, for what pride would they have in representing their countries when their armed forces are causing these horrors?”

According to an article in the New York Post, the petition was started after the Ukrainian running club said in a Facebook post it failed to convince NYRR to enact a ban despite reaching out to them multiple times — and even as other races around the globe prohibited Russians from their events.

Meanwhile, the NYRR leadership insists that while it stands with Ukraine against Russia’s actions, it refuses to discriminate against runners based on their nationality or country of birth.

“New York City is one of the most multicultural cities in the world where individuals of different nationalities live together.  As part of our organization’s values, NYRR welcomes runners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities – and runners who are participating as individuals will be allowed to run in NYRR races and events,” NYRR said in a statement to The Post.

NYRR also noted it won’t allow for any official representation of Russia or Belarus at any of its races or events, including the NYC Marathon — and that “elite” Russian and Belarusian athletes haven’t been invited to or been accepted to compete in any NYRR races.

We say this is just another example of sports being used as a political forum to advance a particular cause. Neither side is completely just in its stance. In the end, the only ones who get hurt are the athletes, who really don’t have a say in what a particular government does or doesn’t do.

Russian-born athletes were allowed to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, as long as they weren’t officially performing under the name and flag of their country.

That would seem like a good compromise for New York.

Race calendar

Saturday

Slay Sarcoma 5K, 8 a.m., Langhorne. Contact www.runningintheusa.com

Sunday

Scarecrow Shuffle 8K/5K/2-Miler, 9 a.m., New Hope/Lahaska. Contact www.runningintheusa.com

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About Wayne Fish 2446 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.