There was too much heat and too much Too.
Weather for the 22nd annual Steamtown Marathon was downright steamy Sunday as the runners contended with unseasonably warm temperatures.
Hillary Too handled it the best.
The Kenyan runner from Morristown, New Jersey, took the lead early and stayed out front the rest of the way to win the race in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 39.38 seconds.
That was eight-plus minutes ahead of Abu Kebede Diriba, an Ethiopian runner from New York who finished in 2:31:56.02.
Trevor Van Ackeren of Bethlehem, who was running his first marathon, was third in 2:32:49.74.
Sam Kuchwara of Dickson City was the first local finisher, placing fourth in 2:37:57.0, and Daniel Martin from Arlington, Virginia, rounded out the top five in 2:41:15.56.
Lauren Liuzzo of Acton, Massachusetts, was the top female finisher (27th overall), crossing the line in 3:09:33.52, the slowest winning time in event history.
Most of it had to do with the weather.
When the starting cannon fired at 8 a.m. at Forest City Regional High School, the temperature was 70 degrees and runners had to contend with rain and humidity.
By the time they made their way down the 26.2-mile course to the Courthouse Square in Scranton, the rain had stopped, but the humidity increased and took its toll.
“It was very humid,” Too said. “I just did my best to push through it.”
Too took the lead at Mile 2 and gradually pulled away from the rest of the field. He periodically would glance over his left shoulder to see if anyone was gaining on him.
“I wanted to set the pace and push it,” Too said. “In a marathon, you can’t predict. Anything can happen.”
Steamtown is Liuzzo’s third marathon win, adding it to Tucson (December 2016) and Myrtle Beach (March 2016).
“I tried to really stick to my plan,” Liuzzo said. “I wanted to do the half in 1:28 and I came through exactly in 1:28. There were a couple of women who were about 20 seconds ahead of me, but I just tried to not to think about it and stay within my race.”
Coyle, from Philadelphia, finished in 3:10:09.04 to finish second (30th overall). Former Holy Redeemer standout Rachel Sowkiski of Mountain Top was the third female finisher (33rd overall) in 3:10:47.83.
Below is a list of local runners who completed the marathon.
Matthew Nebzydoski, of Montrose, was third in the Male 40-44 group, and Cynthia Williams, of Meshoppen, was first in the Anthracite division for women.
39-Matthew Nebzydoski, Montrose, 3:14:09; Robert Damiano, Nicholson, 3:18:23.
189-Allen Brink, Factoryville, 3:35:29; 202-Kyle Shupp, Tunkhannock, 3:36:43; 218-Stephen Merkh, Dalton, 3:38:08; 379-Fred Malloy, Montrose, 3:54:13; 382-Steve Himka, Nicholson, 3:54:28; Michael Green Sr., Dalton, 4:03:33.
559-Art Doolittle Jr., Montrose, 4:11:16; 643-Jim Cook, Nicholson, 4:17:01; 715-Roger Kidd, Tunkhannock, 4:22:59; 913-Teri Olcott, Montrose, 4:40:16; 973-Sean McVeigh, Factoryville, 4:45:25.
1015-Stefani Lyons, Susquehanna, 4:49:30; 1027-Cynthia Williams, Meshoppen, 4:50:26; 1057-Courtney Smith, Factoryville, 4:55:01; 1098-Lisa Himka, Nicholson, 4:59:46; 1187-Victor Rosa, Fleetville, 5:13:59; 1245-Jeff Falcone, Meshoppen, 5:23:46; 1252-Lynn Green, Factoryville, 5:25:07; 1331-Alayna Doolittle, Montrose, 5:42:19; 1419-Ally Tiffany, Montrose, 7:54:29.