Tim Young tore down Charlotte Street while most of its residents were still bleary eyed. Hardly breaking stride, he glided past spectators and addressed his own fatigue with a five-mile cooldown through Dixon Park.

 Thursday’s Heritage Festival 5–Miler afforded the Spotsylvania resident a convenient opportunity to gauge his fitness as he gears up for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in February.

 If Young’s winning time of 24 minutes, 20 seconds is any indication, his training is going just fine.

 “I would’ve liked to be a little bit quicker,” said Young, “but I’ll take it as a step in the right direction.”

Stephen Harrison, Young’s close friend and training partner, finished second with a time of 26:57. Spotsylvania resident Chris Pirch (28:26) placed third.

Fredericksburg resident Tracy Dzibela finished first overall among women, posting a mark of 32:25. An accomplished marathoner, Dzibela enjoyed the unique downtown course, which began beneath the train tracks and followed Caroline Street toward U.S. 1 before cutting onto the Canal Path.

“It’s one of my favorite races, although it would be nice if it wasn’t so hot,” she said.

Young led wire-to-wire Thursday, though he did encounter considerable congestion upon reaching the Canal Path portion of the course.

"There was a little bit of dodging and avoiding people," he said with a laugh.

The Fourth of July race inspired a colorful array of patriotic garb. Steven Konopa, an eight-year Army veteran, crossed the finish line wearing a homemade U.S.A. crop trop and American flag bandana.

“I have a lot of pride for this country,” Konopa said. “I figured this was an awesome way to show it.” 

So did James Maneval. The Stafford resident ran in Texas flag shorts that he procured on a recent business trip to the Lone Star state along with a pair of novelty red, white, and blue sunglasses.

The 40th annual race benefited the Fredericksburg Host Lions Club’s sight and hearing programs.

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Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045

jlomonaco@freelancestar.com

@joeylomonaco

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