Sunday, June 13, 2004

A marathon run, and a surprise win

Good Sports

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Any day now, a brand new NordicTrack treadmill will be delivered to Shannan Rieder's home. Rieder, 25, isn't accustomed to receiving parting gifts from her running hobby.

But it isn't every day she wins a marathon.

As the first female to finish Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon on May 31, in a course-record 3:04:44, Rieder was awarded a medal, a plaque and the promise of a brand-new running machine.

"When I crossed the finish line, it was exciting," said Rieder, who was the first of 363 females. "I thought, 'If this isn't the nicest thing, I don't know what is.' "

Shannan Rieder with her father Terry.
(Mike Simons photo)
Long ago, she decided kickball was never very nice. Volleyball wasn't much fun. And basketball? No way. Rieder said she was so uncoordinated at "any sport involving a ball," she turned to the sport she'd seen her father, Terry, participate in since her childhood: running.

"She started running with me when she was in the seventh grade. Even then I could see she was catching me, and someday she was going to pass me," he said.

That she did. By age 14.

"My dad was my initial inspiration because he ran a great deal when I was younger, and it seemed like he thoroughly enjoyed it," Shannan said. "I admired him a lot anyway, so I tried to keep up with him for distance and speed."

The Mount Notre Dame grad attended Earlham College on scholarship and ran track and cross country. Rieder won the 5,000-meter run and 10,000-meter run at the North Coast Athletic Conference outdoor track meet as a sophomore, junior and senior. She is the only female to win both events in three consecutive years.

She recently was named to the conference's all-decade team in track, having previously earned the honor in cross country.

"She really enjoys running, but she has this drive. She's not one to give up," Terry said.

Shannan and her father teamed up to run the Flying Pig Marathon in 2002, but a knee injury since has sidelined Terry. He and his wife, Kathy, are devoted race watchers of Shannan.

Shannan, who works with autistic children and is working on a master's degree, runs 5 to 10 miles daily. She was 10th overall among women in the 2002 Pig and was second in last year's Louisville Marathon.

She entered the Lakeshore Marathon on a whim because of its scenic course.

Though she has no plans for running other marathons soon, Shannan is basking in her first marathon victory. And her dad couldn't be prouder.

"I could spot her in her pink shirt and white hat. It was exhilarating to see her come around the corner," he said. "She's just worked so hard. To see it all come together was just fantastic."

Jim Ray/Western Hills

Jim Ray said the exercise adventure bug bites him about every decade. When he turned 40, he trained and competed in an Ironman Triathlon - and won his age group in the debut. Ray, who's about to turn 50, was looking for bigger and better out of the five-decade milestone.

"I wanted something physically and mentally challenging," Ray said. "Then I thought, 'As long as I'm doing this, why not do it for charity as well?' "

Ray, Xavier University's director of recreational sports, chose to bicycle from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla., in 24 days to raise funds for the Hamilton County Special Olympics. With his new wife, Donna, driving behind him, Ray began his journey May 1 and biked 2,522 miles through downpours, desert heat and mountains.

The sojourn was fun, but it wasn't easy, Ray said. He rode through 110-degree weather in Arizona, biked uphill for four hours on Emory Pass in New Mexico (to altitudes of 8,828 feet) and weathered disgruntled drivers. He rode an average of 105 miles daily and emerged relatively unscathed, with six flat tires, zero health problems and nearly $10,000 for the Special Olympics.

Donna and Jim's first wedding anniversary arrived when they were on the road May 9. "I'm not sure what we did that day. I think I fell asleep," Jim Ray said, laughing.

Though the ride has ended, donations still can be sent to Hamilton County Special Olympics, In care of: Jim Ray's Ride, 4777 Red Bank Expressway, Suite #19, Cincinnati, OH 45227.

Cincinnati Men's Lacrosse Club

In the eighth annual meeting, Cincinnati Men's Lacrosse Club claimed bragging rights with a 14-4 thrashing of Mt. Adams Lacrosse at Mariemont High School on June 4. "Everyone was yelling - it was a great atmosphere," said Tom McDonald, Mt. Adams chairman of the attendance committee.

It was the third consecutive win for Cincinnati Lacrosse, which leads the series 6-2.

"It's always a good rivalry. Sometimes the score doesn't show it," said Dan Fisher, president of Cincinnati Lacrosse. "For 80 minutes, all the guys were going full-go."

Cincinnati Lacrosse (6-3) plays this weekend in the Midwest Cities Lacrosse Conference playoffs in Detroit. Cincinnati Lacrosse began in the 1970s and Mt. Adams branched off in 1996 because of a rift within the team.

Both teams have active rosters of about 30 post-college men who played in high school or college. Neither team has regular practices, but both are always seeking players with college experience. Visit Cincinnati Lacrosse's Web site ( or Mt. Adams' ( .

Thumbs up

Dave Andreychuk

Whether you are a hockey fan or not, there are certain classic sports moments. Andreychuk raising the Stanley Cup for the first time in 22 years, after his 1,759th game, was one of them.


The network announced that, with its broadcast partners, it will televise 1,210 hours of coverage of the summer Olympics. Awesome - badminton as far as the eye can see.

Tony Williams

The Bengals defensive lineman spouted off last week over the Bengals' pursuit of Daryl Gardener. Admit it: It was an oddly refreshing twist in the new touchy-feely world of Bengaldom these days.

Joe Nuxhall

It was the 60th anniversary last week of his becoming the youngest player in major-league history. Anyone know of any 15-year-old aces around town to help this year's Reds?

Thumbs down

The Lakers

They imported a couple of Hall of Famers in Karl Malone and Gary Payton and were supposed to win the NBA title - easily. Who knew it wasn't a return to Showtime, but Slowtime.

Jim O'Brien

The Ohio State basketball coach was, by all accounts, a wonderful guy. But, boy, the circumstances surrounding his firing look as if they'll only get uglier.

Bowl Championship Series

So we have a fifth "Championship game" bowl. Right. It's just another avenue to get millions more without committing to a playoff.

Sports Illustrated

Thanks a lot. Go ahead and announce Junior will be on the cover. Minutes later, the Oakland debacle - times three.

---Mike Ball


Do you follow the progress of the Reds' minor-league teams and players?

A: Yes. I go out of my way to find information out about them.

B: Somewhat. If I find information about them, I pay attention to it.

C: Not really. I know a few names of Triple-A players, but that's about it.

D: No, not at all.

Go to Cincinnati.Com, Keyword: Sports poll, to vote; results will be published next Sunday on this page.

LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: Should Barry Larkin be on the All-Star team?


YES 79.91 percent

NO 20.09 percent



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Do you follow the progress of the Reds minor league teams and players?