Joel Stansloski and Kip Chemirmir ran stride-for-stride for about 5 miles, the finish line at Noble Stadium just one more mile away.


Joel Stansloski and Kip Chemirmir ran stride-for-stride for about 5 miles, the finish line at Noble Stadium just one more mile away.

That’s when Stansloski turned it on and made Ardmore running history.

The former University of Tulsa track and cross country athlete passed native Kenyan Chemirmir and dashed to the marathon victory in the inaugural Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy on Sunday. Stansloski finished in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 23 seconds, beating Chemirmir by 1 minute, 33 seconds.

“It’s awesome since it’s the inaugural one,” Stansloski, a five-time All-Conference USA selection, said of winning the race. “I didn’t know what to expect, but winning it is such an honor.”

For most of the 26.2-mile run, it seemed Chemirmir would be the winner, but stomach problems would get the best of the 26-year-old current Flower Mound, Texas, resident. He was almost 3 minutes ahead of Stansloski, 24, through 9 miles and was the only runner to run under 50 minutes at that point (49:04). By mile 23, both runners clocked in at 2:12:40.

“I stopped four times from 5 miles on,” Chemirmir said, adding he suspected he was battling a stomach virus. “The last mile, I had to let him go.”

Chemirmir, who almost beat his personal best of 2:33:24, was seeking his first marathon victory this year. Instead, Stansloski — who grew up in Wooster, Ohio, and now makes his home in Tulsa — got his first win since the Cleveland Marathon last May.

“I think something is wrong with my diet, so I’ll have to fix it before the Oklahoma City (Memorial) marathon (next month),” Chemirmir said.

Speaking of Oklahoma City, one of its residents won the women’s marathon Sunday. Katie Kramer, 30, made her 34th career marathon a victorious one. She finished in 3:12:13, more than 18 minutes ahead of runner-up Lori Davis of Tulsa.

“It’s so awesome to run the first whatever and win it,” said the fourth-grade teacher, who ran at Luther College in her native Iowa. “The wind was going in the right direction.”

Winds were blowing hard from the north at 9 mph, with gusts at 16 mph, much to the pleasure of the top finishers.

“The whole course, the wind was behind my back,” half-marathon winner Jerry Faulkner of Edmond said. “It was a good first day for A2A.”

Faulkner was the first winner of the day, running the half-marathon in 1:12:36. He said he was using the race as practice for the Chicago Marathon, set for Oct. 10.

Jazz Carreon of Oklahoma City was second at 1:14:52. He’s run against Faulkner before, recalling his victory in the 2007 OKC Memorial half-marathon.

“I’m not in as much shape as I was back then,” Carreon said.

Oklahoma City went 1-2 in the women’s half-marathon with Leslie Buford (1:32:25) and Leah Bayne (1:33:47). Lacey Smith and Becky Willoughby, both of Ardmore, took the next two spots.
The men’s and women’s 5K races were dotted with Ardmoreites and other south-central Oklahomans. But a Pushmataha County resident, Bryan Miller, 53, won the men’s field with a time of 18:59, almost a full minute ahead of Ardmore’s Adrian Castaneda, 24.

“This was one of the better-directed races out of the last 20 I’ve run,” said Miller, who lives in the community of Jumbo. “That’s great for a first race.”

Castaneda, a native of Puebla, Mexico, said it was a perfect day to run with the wind. He has four 5K victories under his belt in the past year.

Another Ardmoreite, Plainview Middle School athlete Jackson Daube, was fourth.
Colleen Casey of Grapevine won the women’s 5K with a time of 19:30.. The next five finishers all are from Ardmore: Catherine McMurry, Chelsi Norris, Kristie Chaney, Christi Daube and Sarah Beth Hanna. McMurry’s time was 22:34.

Norris, a Plainview High sophomore, wasn’t yet a full day removed from running the 400 and 800 meters in the Lake Country Conference meet.

“I was excited to do it today since this is the first time Ardmore’s had something like this,” she said. “So, it gave me a little extra boost.”

I.C. Murrell

See complete results here