GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich’s Tara Allen wasn’t going to let her New York City Marathon training go to waste.
On Sunday, she won the masters division at the Harrisburg Marathon in Pennsylvania, running a personal best time of 3:10:52.
“This was my replacement race,’’ said Allen, 40, a Spanish teacher at Darien High School. “It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Once the race was canceled in New York, within an hour I was registered for Harrisburg.”
Allen finished 122nd overall in a field of more than 1,500 runners, and won her age group by more than 2 minutes. She shaved 12 minutes off of her previous personal best.
“I just wanted to get my goal time,’’ Allen said. “In the marathon, the place is exciting, but it’s really a race against the clock. I looked at the times from last year and thought I may have a chance to do something, but there were a lot more runners than last year. A lot of runners who missed New York went there, so it was bigger than year’s past. I was focused on running my race.”
Allen attributes her dramatic drop in time to working with running coach Julio German. She met German by happenstance while running at the Greenwich High School track during the summer. “He had me do a lot more speed work and strength workouts,’’ Allen said.
She said German trained her to run a 3:10-3:15 marathon, so she was not surprised at the time. “I was confident,’’ said Allen, the mother of two young children. “It didn’t come naturally. I worked really hard this time around.”
Allen was not the only Fairfield County runner to earn success in Harrisburg. Stamford’s Tina Frey finished second in the 30- to 34-year-old women’s age group in 3:09:24.