Emerson Whitney

Virginia Ultrarunner Wins MDI Marathon

Emerson Whitney
The top three finishers of the MDI Marathon accept their awards Sunday afternoon: Michael Wardian, center, of Arlington, Va. came in first, followed by David Herr, right, of Canaan, Vt., and Mathew Frongillo, left, of Seal Harbor.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Throngs of supporters hoisted handmade signs, blasted jock jams, hula hooped, and roller skated – there was even some accordion playing – in celebration of the Mount Desert Island marathon along the 26.2-mile course Sunday.

Michael Wardian of Arlington, Va., crossed the finish line first, in 2:32:36. Wardian, 37, is an American marathoner and ultrarunner who qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn. in June with a personal best time of 2:17:49.

In the MDI Marathon, he finished 5 minutes ahead of David Herr of Canaan, Vt., who completed the race in 2:37:55. The first area resident to finish was Mathew Frongillo of Seal Harbor in third, who ran the course in 2:48:56. Frongillo placed fourth in the 2010 MDI Marathon. The race’s first female finisher, in eighth-place overall, was 35-year-old Leah Jabbour from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who came in at 3:01:22.

“What a great day for such a great event,” said Jabbour. “It’s a really unique run — so many people are cheering along the course, playing music and dancing. It’s great to see such a community turnout. This was the perfect race.” Three cheerleaders – two wearing wigs and faux mustaches and the third hula hooping while roller skating along the course – helped make the finish line festive. “We’re just trying to bring a little light to it,” said Emma Thieme of Winterport, who was supporting a friend in the race. “Barefoot Steve” was another character at the finish line; Steve Cartwright of Waldoboro ran the entire race barefoot and shirtless. “Some people think I’m crazy, but it feels great. I have more contact with the road and get a much more tactile running experience,” said Cartwright, smiling. “Today was fantastic.”

Physician’s assistant Gerry Keenan of the Mount Desert Island Hospital was obviously watching Cartwright closely as he came across the line. Keenan volunteered with the hospital to provide triage services at the race. “We’re trying to be vigilant and watch for any runner who is showing signs of injury or fatigue, like that man” he said, pointing to Cartwright. “We’re trying to act early to prevent serious consequences of the extreme sport. And it’s not just competitors we’re looking out for. We’re paying attention to everybody at the event, all the volunteers and fans.” According to Keenan, the hospital volunteers treated a number of individuals for minor things during the race. Several people were treated with intravenous drip and warming blankets. “Hydration and replenishment of nutrition is hugely important after a race like this,” he said. “Also not to forget the musculoskeletal system, keeping a range of motion going even during recovery from the marathon is important. It’s not good for the body to go from this much strain to nothing.”

Sarah Wooster is another volunteer in her fourth-year providing medical aid at the event. “Between the three and four-hour mark we find the sickest people,” she said. “They are often pushing themselves to a finish time past a normal pace. But I feel like regardless, all of these runners are safe to participate in their sport with all the community medical support on site.” MDI Marathon race director Gary Allen happily mingled with the race finishers, dolling out hugs and medals, and smiling. “I always imagined (the MDI Marathon) was possible,” said Allen. “And every year, I realize more and more that the reality of it is even better than the dream.”

Top 20 MDI Marathon finishers:

1.       Michael Wardian, 37, Arlington VA, 2:32:36

2.       David Herr, 46, Canaan VT, 2:37:55

3.       Mathew Frongillo, 33, Seal Harbor ME, 2:48:56

4.       Erik McCarthy, 30, Orono ME, 2:53:41

5.       Robert Shaw, 26, Boston MA, 2:53:41

6.       Andy Beardsley, 47, Surry ME, 2:53:57

7.       Eric Mauricette, 20, Owls Head ME, 2:65:54

8.       Leah Jabbour, 35, Halifax, NS 3:01:22

9.       Blaine Moore, 31, Windham ME, 3:03:02

10.     Jeremy Howard, 35, Hope ME, 3:03:31

11.     Jim Johnson, 30, Upper Kingsclear NB, 3:04:41

12.     Timothy Tunney, 36, Ellsworth ME, 3:04:53

13.     Mike Goettig, 39, Brooklyn NY, 3:07:50

14.     Thomas Greene, 44, Brooklyn NY, 3:08:01

15.     Amanda Labelle, 27, Rockland ME, 3:08:28

16.     Christopher Roussin, 39, West Roxbury MA, 3:08:34

17.     Matt Homich, 23, Ellsworth ME, 3:08:55

18.     Jeff Queen, 31, Saint John NB, 3:09:03.

19.     Kara Gaston, 27, Mariaville ME, 3:09:35

20.     Ryan Wakefield, 25, Middlebury, Vt., 3:11:21

For complete race results, please see attachments.

For more sports news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

MDI Marathon Results (PDF)
MDI Marathon Results (XLS)


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