KINGSTON — With temperatures in the mid 90s, it was a good thing Thursday evening’s race at the Third Avenue Field was just a mile.
Mike Harnish and Marina Orrson ran to wins in the Susquehanna River Runners Club Mile. The race was the second of three 1-milers that make up the Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman Series.
Harnish and Orrson also won the first race in the series, the Experience Fitness Mile, which was held on the track at Misericordia University on July 27. The final race in the series is the Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair uphill race set for Aug. 24 in Laurel Run at 7 p.m.
In the race at Misericordia, Harnish outran second-place finisher, Jeff Skwierz by seven seconds. But it wasn’t so easy for Harnish on Thursday night.
The 23-year-old from Annville crossed the finish line in 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Skwierz, 33, of Forty Fort, finished 22 hundreds of a second behind.
“The heat wasn’t too bad over the first half of the race,” said Harnish, who earned All America honors twice in the indoor 800 meters at Lebanon Valley College. “But the heat really got tough over the second half of the race. I had to use a strong kick over the last 60 yards to hold off Jeff.”
Harnish said he’s looking forward to the Giants Despair uphill race.
“I heard it’s tough,” Harnish said. “And it should favor Jeff, because he’s a distance runner. But I’m looking forward to the race.”
Skwierz, won the Fastest Man Series the last two years. Two years ago, he won the series even though he only one of the three races — the Giants Despair Mile.
Things could get interesting at the uphill trek.
Orrson won the female division of the Third Avenue race, finishing fifth overall in 5:12, leading from start to finish. The 25-year-old from Shavertown has won the Fastest Woman Series the last three years. She has now won 11 straight Fastest Series races in wire-to-wire fashion.
Heidi Pollack, 40, of Mountain Top, won top female masters (40 and older) honors finishing in 6:55. She was also the top masters finisher in the first race and now has a commanding lead in the series.
Tony Korch, 56, of Nanticoke, won top male masters honors in 5:33. Bob Muscovitch, 41, of Jim Thorpe, won top male masters honors in the first race.
“I didn’t win the masters division,” said Korch after the first race. “I’ll have to work on that.”
He did. And he now leads the male masters division by just under 10 seconds.
Susquehanna River Runners Club’s
Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman Series,
Race No. 2. SRRC Mile results
Top 3 male finishers
Mike Harnish, 23, Annville, 4:30.72
Jeff Skwierz, 33, Forty Fort, 4:30.94
Kyle Suponcic, 25, Shavertown, 4:52.29
First male masters finisher: Tony Korch, 56, Nanticoke, 5:33.10
Top 3 female finishers
Marina Orrson, 25, Shavertown, 5:12.84
Kelsey Cameron, 25, Pringle, 5:44.25
Emily Bell, 33, Bear Creek Twp., 6:01.42
First female masters finisher: Heidi Pollack, 40, Mountain Top, 6:55.93
Field: 33. Official starter: Jen Heck. Results: Susquehanna River Runners Club. Race director: Chris Wadas.
Sunday: Pauly Freidman Family 5K Run/Walk at Anderson Sports and Health Center, Misericordia University, Dallas at 9:30 a.m. Info: Ruth Kemmerer, 570-823-5144, ext. 309.
Saturday, Aug. 20: Pittston Tomato Festival 5K Run at tomato festival grounds, just off Main St., Pittston at 10 a.m. Info: Jay Duffy, 570-574-0463.
Sunday, Aug. 21: Wilkes-Barre Triathlon (swim, bike, run), starting at Harveys Lake at 7:30 a.m., finishing at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Lehman Twp. Info: 570-270-4793.
Wednesday, Aug. 24: Susquehanna River Runners Club’s Valley’s Fastest Man/Woman Series, Race No. 3. (Final race): Breaker Brewing Company Giants Despair Mile, Laurel Run at 7 p.m. Info: Chris Wadas, 570-592-2820.