After winning Saturday’s Mill Race Marathon, Bryan Morseman couldn’t help but feel a little sense of redemption.
The Bath, New York, resident felt he should have won the inaugural race two years ago, but took a wrong turn and ended up running a couple extra miles.
So he was nothing less than thrilled as he waved his arms to pump up the crowd while sprinting to the finish line on Washington Street.
“I thought I should have won that in 2013,” Morseman said. “I knew where I was at, and I saw the leaders go. It’s over with. It’s in the past. The race (officials) made up the compensation I should have gotten.”
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This year, there was no question Morseman was the top runner. After running with defending champion Geoffrey Kiprotich for 22 miles, Morseman hammered a sub-5 minute 23rd mile and went on to finish the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 41 seconds, to Kiprotich’s 2:29:30.
“I just took off,” Morseman said. “I really started to pick it up that last five or six miles. I knew I had something in the tank to keep on chugging for home.”
Morseman said he did about 80 percent of the work blocking the wind while he and Kiprotich were running together.
“It was a cat-and-mouse game,” Morseman said. “I was like ‘I better win if I’m doing all this work and not let it come down to where I’m getting outkicked because that’s what I thought it was going to come down to.”
Morseman wanted to come back to Columbus last year, but ended up entering a race closer to home instead.
He has run 2:19:57 for a marathon, and his time Saturday was close to what he ran for about 28½ miles in the 2013 Mill Race Marathon.
“Today’s course was much better than the 2013 course,” Morseman said. “You weren’t going to get lost this year. They did a good job by having a cop on a bike, and at the same time, there were three or four officials on a bike. I knew the first couple miles when I had two or three guys right next to me on the bikes basically saying, ‘Right, left.’
“It was a 99.9 percent upgrade from the first year they had it,” he said. “It was great. The water stops were nice because some people had the smaller cups, and some people had the bigger cups, so it was perfect.”
Meanwhile, Mexico-native Gisela Lamke of Nashville, Tennessee, won the women’s marathon, despite having a baby only six months ago.
“I’m trying to lose the pregnancy weight,” Lamke said. “This is a little slow, but I’m just trying to get back in shape after my baby, so I’m happy with that.”
Lamke, who was running in Columbus for the first time, ran with two other women for about 10 miles before pulling away to win in 2:46:06.
“In the small cities like Indianapolis and Nashville or in Kentucky, you run by yourself in a marathon because there are few elite athletes that you can run with,” Lamke said.
The marathon win was the third for Lamke. She ran a personal-best 2:35 in winning one in Birmingham, Alabama, and also won a marathon last year in Green Bay.
North Vernon native Lynn Marsh, who now lives in Zionsville, finished second among women in 2:58:12.
Marsh played soccer at Jennings County and Calvin College, then switched to cross-country at Calvin and ran a year of cross-country at Purdue while in grad school there.
“I know Columbus,” Marsh said. “I grew up around here, so it’s really fun. The people are so friendly. The bikers cheered you on. The locals passed out water. It was a really nice race.”
Defending women’s champion Sarah Overpeck of Indianapolis finished third among females in 2:59:54.