Monday, February 8, 2010

Charlottean wins 1/2 marathon despite pit stop

Last month, Christopher Lamperski gave us a lesson in preparation, providing several tips on how to prepare for your first sprint triathlon. Last weekend, the speedy 28-year-old competed in the Critz Tybee Run Half Marathon -- and encountered an issue he wasn't prepared for at all.

Here's an excerpt from a Savannah Morning News story about the race that was published in Sunday's editions:
When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Christopher Lamperski visited a portable toilet -- during the race -- and still won the Critz Tybee Run Half-Marathon.

Lamperski, who turned 28 on Saturday, finished the 13.1-mile course on Tybee Island in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 4 seconds. Wes Hutcherson, 26, of Atlanta, finished second in 1:14:31.

"At Mile 4, I didn't feel so great," said Lamperski, of Charlotte, N.C. "At Mile 8, I knew I didn't feel good at all. And at (Mile) 11, I said, 'I have to stop.' I told the course people in front of me that I had to stop very, very soon."

Race officials directed Lamperski, who was leading the race, to the nearest portable toilet.

"I looked back and I didn't really see anybody behind me," Lamperski said. "He said I had a minute-and-a-half lead, so I went ahead and stopped. That's never happened before. I've never had to stop in a race. I trained to run the race at a faster pace, so I had a good lead."

When Lamperski returned to the race, he was unable to break the 1:11:30 mark that he set as his goal. He also failed to break his personal-best 1:12:40.

But as word spread of the situation Lamperski overcame to win the race, people were in awe.

"That's never happened here before. That is a first," said race director Robert Espinoza, smiling as he shook his head in disbelief.

Espinoza said Lamperski's "pit stop" was within the race's rules.

"Absolutely, it's within the rules," Espinoza said. "We actually had a spotter on a bike watching him ... well, not watching him literally, but making sure that he didn't take a shortcut or anything like that."

Yeah, it's within the rules. He took a bathroom break and that's fine. He had a big enough lead, and he still looked fresh when he finished."

Lamperski traveled to Tybee Island with five runners, all members of a team named TrySports. He wore a red headband that read "Pain Train" and a shirt that read "Believe. Achieve."

"We always say, 'Come jump on the Pain Train,' so my buddies got that (printed) on there," he said. "We wear that, and our motto is 'Grind to shine.'"

You can also watch an interview with Chris and see him flying to the finish line in this clip courtesy of, the newspaper's Web site (the portion featuring him runs from 1:20-2:14).

In an e-mail to me Sunday night, he added:

"The race weather was perfect as far as temperature, but it was extremely windy unfortunately. ... I ran solo for about 12.25 miles so it wasn't a whole lot of fun for me because I just kept my eye on the cars and moped in front leading. My watch time with stopping was 1:12:18, but I think that I had a few extra seconds in there because I didn't start and stop it immediately. I am debating on whether or not to give another half marathon a shot with a more competitive field. I have a sub-1:11 in the tank, but I just need to figure out if I can schedule it in after Cupid's Cup."

A total of 1,236 runners ran the Tybee half on Saturday, including several other locals who performed extremely well. Among them: Billy Shue of Charlotte (1:18:01), Michael Heafner of Belmont (1:20:21), Mike Moran of Denver (1:22:48), Robert Mooring of Gastonia (1:32:55), and Laura Carpenter of Charlotte (1:38:19), and Cheryl Todd of Davidson (1:40:04). And Glenn Carroll of Charlotte finished 12th out of 1,256 runners in the 5K, with a time of 19:18.

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