McManus Wins Sarasota Marathon


It was supposed to be a training run and mental break from the grind of logging miles in sub freezing Massachusetts weather, but the Sarasota Marathon turned out to be a chance to Barbara McManus to not only win the Sarasota Marathon women's race, but also speed past all but two of the men.

McManus, who is focusing her training towards the Poconos Marathon this May, has been logging miles and workouts in some brutal conditions this winter, and felt that she needed to get a mental reprieve from battling windchills below zero and icy roads. She decided that a trip to Florida would help her get through the winter, and the marathon that was being held in Sarasota could provide a good quality long run effort in the middle of her training cycle of preparing for the Poconos Marathon this spring. The plan was to use this as a workout, and run the first 20 miles easy and then pick it up and run fast the last 10K. It turned out to be a quick pace from the gun and one of her fastest marathons to date.

When the gun went off, McManus got caught running with the eventual second place male finisher for the first five to six miles, and had gotten that far before realizing that she was running near personal best marathon pace. She intentionally slowed the pace and allowed her fellow competitor to continue on the pace. She ended up running fairly even splits of 1:27 for the first half and 1:28 for the second half to finish in 2:55.

Despite running faster than planned, McManus told her coach (Lowell Ladd) that it was a controlled effort and that she never felt like she was strained at all. Less than a week after the race, she is back in the throes of full training and says that she is feeling fully recovered and is ready for a half marathon that should provide a good gauge of whether she is fully recovered from the 26.2 mile effort in Florida.