The sweltering heat and humidity (not to mention hilly course) took a toll on just about every runner at Sunday’s ODDyssey Half Marathon. Just about everyone except SPS’s Heather Hoechst. Attributing her comfort in the conditions to her Georgia upbringing, Heather blistered through the course in a personal half marathon best of 1 hour 28 minutes and 26 seconds to finish second out of over 1,400 other females at ODDyssey. She was just 15 seconds from the top spot. Congrats to Heather for yet another terrific performance.
It started on a Tuesday morning run as a discussion about a friendly competition between Heather Hoechst and Hunter Proctor. Heather has put up some fantastic results in marathons and ultramarathons, while Hunter has been in great form for shorter races and triathlons. So who truly is faster?
The wager was set. The distance: 10 miles. The forum: May 3rd, Broad Street Run. And, to up the stakes, the loser would have to pony up money towards Women Against Abuse, the SPS charity for Mayor’s Cup.
But wouldn’t it be more fun if everyone got a piece of the action as well? Soon, folks were invited to wager on who would win. If your horse lost, you have to donate to Women Against Abuse for every second the other person was ahead (capped at whatever amount).
The race started with both jockeying for position but staying close. Then, around the turn at City Hall, Heather upped the pace, daring Hunter to keep up. And down the stretch, just like American Pharoah at the Kentucky Derby, Heather pulled further ahead and won with a phenomenal 1 hour 5 minutes and 5 seconds. Hunter also put up a very impressive 1 hour 6 minutes and 19 seconds, but the gap was 74 seconds.
In the end, there are no losers, and the big winner is Women Against Abuse. For those interested in donating to this worthy cause, here’s the link and select South Philly Striders Support Women Against Abuse.