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Saturday, September 16, 2000 -- Cadiz, OH
The 18th Annual Ultimate Road Test
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Race Start
Leaving Cadiz on a 14.9-mile journey
If anyone ever told you that Ohio was flat, they have obviously never raced in the Ultimate Road Test. The Test is a 14.9 mile run through scenic Eastern Ohio's Harrison County, from Cadiz to Hopedale and back, along old US 22. But, to enjoy the scenery, one must conquer a course that "provides a challenging assortment of hills, with some (but not quite enough) recovery areas."

The great crowd of runners that came out to run the event, now in its 18th year, were joined for the first time by walkers. At 8am, with the temperature in downtown Cadiz reading 49 degrees, the walkers were sent out to start their adventure. An hour later the runners were sent out to attack the same hills.

While the cool and breezy air may have been a little chilly for spectators, the runners and walkers could only rave about the ideal racing conditions. Still, no matter the weather, the hills quickly began to take their toll.

A beautiful day for a scenic run
The first to reach the turnaround loop in Hopedale was first time participant and walker George Macek. While watching Macek strut up yet another hill, he mentioned to me that Terry Whitecotton, who was participating in his 600th career race, may be close behind. The rest of what Macek had to say is not suitable to publish. Basically, just a long series of expletives with the word "hill" thrown in a number of times. So, I quickly reminded him of what a nice day it was as he headed up the road.

Following Macek was a steady stream of runners and walkers, most in pretty good spirits, doing their best to summon the strength for the return trip to Cadiz. At this point, runners George Axiotis and Tom Grantonic were leading the charge well ahead of the field. However, Axiotis used the quick loop through Hopedale as an opportunity to surge. He went on to pull away from Grantonic on the road back and climb the final hill to the finish for a winning time of 1:31:09. Grantonic easily held on for a second place finish in 1:32:54.

Helping out
A helping hand is always welcome at the Ultimate Road Test
Also making a strong move in Hopedale was local runner Ty Pusckarich. He reached the 7-mile mark running stride for stride with David Regoli in a battle for sixth place. But, the next three miles had Pusckarich ripping through the competition in a constant attack on the hills. By mile 10 he had moved his way up to third overall and never slowed on his way to a 1:36:07 finish.

The fastest woman in the field was Jane Thompson who passed the test with a finishing time of 1:47:52.

Meanwhile, Macek's concern for his race-walking competition kept him pacing ahead of his pursuers to post a winning time of 2:51:00. Terry Horn (2:55:32) took second overall in the walk while Whitecotton (3:00:03) grabbed third. The fastest female walker was Tina Carson (3:00:52).

With plenty of awards, drinks, pizza, etc. being distributed, everyone told their tale of how they'd had varying degrees of success in the Ultimate Road Test. As I saw Mr. Macek one more time, he continued in his rantings on how terribly tough the "@#$*%!&" hills were. So I asked, "Are you going to race again next year?" I got the response that I expected, "I sure am!" replied Macek with a huge grin from ear to ear.