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Runners circle Schroon Lake

Community hosts Adirondack Distance Festival

More than 900 runners took part in the annual Adirondack Distance Festival in Schroon Lake Sept. 23. The event featured a marathon, marathon relay and half marathon.

More than 900 runners took part in the annual Adirondack Distance Festival in Schroon Lake Sept. 23. The event featured a marathon, marathon relay and half marathon.

— This year’s race included Julia Khvasechko, a brain cancer survivor who volunteered as a pacer for marathon runners in the 4:45 range. The Adirondack Marathon was the fourth marathon this month for the New York City woman.

A corporate accountant and massage therapist it was her 60th marathon as a member of Marathon Maniacs running club.

Khvasechko was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1997. She underwent surgery and radiation treatment followed by extensive physical therapy to regain the motor skills she had lost. While relearning how to walk, she promised that if she succeeded she would dedicate herself to giving back to those who had helped her and to those yet to confront her difficult journey.

She ran her first race, a 5-kilometer run, in 2005 and her first marathon later that year.

“Running has changed my life,” Khvasechko said. “Now I run to live and live to run — no terrain, weather or distance is as challenging as overcoming brain surgery or as difficult as loosing a loved one to this disease. I honestly feel that I survived to do this. Survivorship comes with responsibility. I feel it is my duty to run all over the country and wear my survivor shirt and to spread hope. Every day I get to run is a true gift.”

Khvasechko reached the Titanium Level, the highest rank, among Marathon Maniacs, in a race Sept. 16. To achieve this level, candidates must have run 30 marathons in 30 states within a 365-day time period.

Area finishers include:

Marathon

85, Chris Coyne, North Creek, 4:00:10; 90, William Thomas, Whallonsburg, 4:01:51; 136, Douglas Ferris, Willsboro, 4:29:05; 165, Jonathan Bouyea, Peru, 4:46:34; 168, Lisa Meissner, Tupper Lake, 4:47:01; 215, Fraser Stram, Diamond Point, 5:28:50; 239, Jordan Boyea, Keeseville, 6:07:54.

Half marathon

15, Dan Maisonville, Schroon Lake, 1:33:23; 18, Alexei Tumanov, Saranac Lake, 1:34:12; 48, Matt Savarie, Schroon Lake, 1:41:16; Jake Middleton, Saranac Lake, 1:44:59; 80, Jeremy Robinson, Pottersville, 1:47:41; 85, Caleb Maisonville, Schroon Lake, 1:48:16; 96, Jolene Hlavaty, Newcomb, 1:50:43; 135, Sandra Geddes, Keeseville, 1:55:40; 146, Colleen Brown, Ticonderoga, 1:57:07; 171, Billie Brown, Minerva, 2:00:39; 172, Matthew Jabaut, Plattsburgh, 2:00:57; 173, Julie Reidy, Plattsburgh, 2:00:57;

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