Hardcore runners often do seemingly crazy things — such as running 211 continuous laps around the 200-meter indoor track at Hagerstown Community College.
The first Hawk Indoor Marathon, which started Monday at 10 a.m., had 16 entrants, 14 starters and 13 finishers. The 211 laps added up to 26.2 miles, the standard marathon distance.
The bizarre nature of the event made it seemingly fitting for New Year’s Eve.
“This was too crazy for me, and I’m a crazy person,” Kathleen Luzier said with a laugh. “I knew it was stupid as soon as I signed up.”
Luzier, 44, of Boonsboro, finished fifth overall and second among females in 3 hours, 25 minutes and 22 seconds.
“It was ... I don’t know ... a lot of laps,” said Matt McDonald, 43, of Hagerstown, who was the overall winner in 3:16:24.
“That was mind-boggling,” said Laurie Dymond, 47, of Chambersburg, Pa., who was the women’s champion and second overall finisher in 3:20:23. “It was tough, but I liked it. I can cross it off my bucket list — indoor marathon.”
The event was a fundraiser for the HCC track and cross country programs.
The idea for the indoor marathon sprung from a conversation between HCC coach Nick Snyder, JFK 50 Mile director Mike Spinnler and local track official Wayne Kretzer at a JFK 50 Mile postrace party six weeks ago.
“I thought it was a great idea,” said Snyder, who directed the event. “I thought, ‘We have the facility, and if there’s an interest, why not try to put it on?’”
Bryan Seifarth, 28, of Hagerstown, who finished third overall in 3:21:13, said, “It was too unique to pass up. How often does an indoor marathon come along, and a local marathon at that?”
Not only was it the first indoor marathon in Washington County, it was the county’s first 26.2-mile race since the now-defunct Hagerstown Run for Fun Club held a marathon on the C&O Canal towpath in 1976.
Snyder was assisted Monday by Kretzer, who was the referee and chief lap scorer, as well as by several HCC athletes, who helped count laps and hand out water and Gatorade to the runners.
Snyder said he plans to hold a second annual Hawk Indoor Marathon on Dec. 31, 2013.
“For the first year, this was a success. We put the whole thing together in a month,” he said. “Next year, we’ll have more time to plan things and advertise. I think it has a ton of potential to grow.”