But actually, Doman had never raced in a half marathon. In fact, the resident of Bucks County, Pa. is just 12 years old.
Doman was the hero of the day in the 41st running of the Lake Placid Marathon after being the first female across the finish line and turning in the ninth-fastest overall time in the race. In front of family and friends gathered at the North Elba Show Grounds, the young runner wanted to finish in an hour-and-a-half. She broke the tape in 1:30:08.13.
“It feels really good. I’m happy getting the win,” said Doman, who looked like she had quite a bit left in the tank after the race. “I wouldn’t say it was easy, but the course wasn’t as hilly as I expected. It was moderate.”
Early in the race, Doman was running with her father Shannon, but ultimately left him well behind while putting down a pace of under seven minutes a mile. Her mother, Velrina Salamun, was wearing a big smile when she described the conversation the daughter and father had in the early going.
“They started the race together, but Sophie told her dad ‘You’re going to hold me back.’ Then she took off,” explained Salamun. “We’re really proud of Sophie. Obviously, she has a great deal of potential. The next few years will tell. The important thing is that she stays healthy.”
The next race the young runner is eyeing is the Broad Street 10K being held next May in Philadelphia. In addition to being an ambitious runner, Doman has already conquered more than 30 of the Adirondacks highest peaks and hopes to be a 46er as a 13-year-old.
This year, 140 runners participated in the Lake Placid Half Marathon, which just a few years ago was drawing between 400 and 500 competitors.
“There’s so much going on these days,” said race director Butch Martin. “If you just look around here right now, there’s a skeleton push championship over there, there’s youth socce, and there’s a race on Whiteface Mountain. Participation is down, but we’re still going strong. Hopefully, our numbers will get back up there.”
After finishing as runner-up last year, Saranac’s Tony Casey captured the men’s and the overall title this time around, crossing the finish line in 1:12:27.50. Casey, a 2004 graduate of Saranac Central and a past Section VII high jump champion, entered the race looking to beat his finish time from a year ago. As it turned out, he bettered his mark by three minutes en route to the victory. Casey’s nearest rival this year, Justin Bishop of Albany, placed second in 1:15:51.82.
“When I got here, I saw Justin and I knew he might be my closest competition,” Casey said. “My primary goal was just to beat my time from last year. I’m thrilled. Justin gave me a real battle for the first couple of miles, but then I just pulled away and was keeping track of where I was looking at my splits.
“I run every day, at least 10 miles,” added Casey, who ran at a 5:31 per-mile pace. “I’m running next weekend in the Montreal Marathon, and I should be able to recover in time. This was sort of another training day for me. It was a nice run.”
Lake Placid’s Marc Galvin finished third overall running on his home course that began at the show grounds and then made a round-trip path along Riverside Drive. Galvin finished in 1:20:27.43.
“This is a fun race, especially because there are a lot of local runners who come out for it,” Galvin said. “This year was really fun for me because my wife Sarah was running it for the first time. She looked really good when I saw her out on the course.
“This is a great time of year for this event,” Galvin continued. “Everybody has had the entire summer to run, and this is kind of a culmination of their efforts. This is a race that’s run and held by all my friends in Lake Placid.”
Brian Wilson of Cadyville placed fourth overall in 1:21:40.61 and Joseph Sullivan of Schenectady rounded out the overall top five with a 1:22:08.37 finish time. Lake Placid’s Heather Caristo was the second female finisher across the line, breaking the tape in 1:39:26.59. Hamilton’s Kara Rush rounded out the women’s top three, placing third in 1:43.40.18.
Complete results from the 41st annual Lake Placid Half Marathon can be found at www.auyertiming.com.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Sophie Doman closes in on the finish line on her way to taking the women’s overall title in the 41st annual Lake Placid Half Marathon.