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Brandon Lord and Julie Patterson win inaugural Collegiate Half Marathon Championships


The CRA Half Marathon Championships were held as part of the Harbor Lights Half Marathon in Norfolk, VA


Contact: Collegiate Running Association                                       


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November 22 – Norfolk, Virginia - The first-ever Collegiate Half Marathon Champions were crowned on Sunday morning in Norfolk, VA, as Brandon Lord (University of Virginia - 1:06:07) and Julie Patterson (VCU - 1:24:32) both separated from their competition over the 2nd half of the race to win by nearly identical margins. Held as part of the Blue Moon Harbor Lights Half Marathon presented by J&A Racing, collegiate runners from 20 states and dozens of colleges and universities competed for a $10,000 collegiate-only prize purse. With their victories, both Lord and Patterson claimed the first-place prize of $2,000.


Though the weather was rainy and at times windy, it certainly did not have much of a negative impact on the competition. In the men’s race, the field started at a conservative pace for first few miles as a group of six passed the 5k checkpoint together in 16:20. Brandon Lord, Colby Mehmen (Stephen F Austin University), and Ryan Hagen (Mary Baldwin College) then began to push the pace as they covered the 2nd 5k in 15:40, which put nearly 30 seconds on the next pack of men. Ultimately, Lord and Hagen (1:06:39) were able to continue the strong pace for a 1-2 finish, while Matt McKenna (University of Richmond – 1:08:12) used a terrific last 5k to work his way to a podium finish. For their finishes, Lord, Hagen, and McKenna took home $2,000, $1,000, and $500 respectively.


In the women’s race, current PharmD / PhD student Julie Patterson immediately went to the front and pushed the pace, as by 5k she had already established a nearly 30-second lead. At 10k, Patterson had a nearly 1:00 lead on eventual third-place finisher Sarahbeth Jones (VCU), while Abigail Motley (Virginia Tech) found herself 1:08 behind. Running in her first half marathon, Motley’s patient approach almost paid off as she closed on Patterson over the 2nd half of the race, eventually closing the gap to just 28 seconds at the finish. Though she was unable to catch Patterson, Motley’s time of 1:24:59 earned her $1000; Jones was able to hang on for 3rd place in 1:26:076 which netted her $500.


In addition to the Half Marathon which ran through historic downtown Norfolk and finished along the picturesque Hampton Roads Harbor, runners were treated to a weekend full of wonderful events. Thousands of runners worked their way through the race expo on Friday and Saturday, where they were treated to the first CRA Elite Athlete Runner Forum on Saturday afternoon. Nearly 30 people attended the forum, during which five elite athletes talked about their experiences, offered their advice, and answered questions from the audience. Saturday night was the 31st annual Grand Illumination Parade which attracted thousands of people, and both Saturday and Sunday had great post-race parties with live music, food and drink.


“This was a fantastic weekend of racing and fun” said CRA co-founder Steve Taylor. “J&A Racing and the City of Norfolk were tremendously welcoming and put on a top notch event; we are thrilled to partner with them. When we look for events to partner with, we looks for events that can provide a memorable experience for college students, and this weekend certainly fulfilled that for us.”


2015 Collegiate Running Association Half Marathon Championships Top 10 Results



  1. Brandon Lord (UVA)                                         1:06:07      -     $2000

  2. Ryan Hagen (Mary Baldwin)                          1:06:39      -     $1000

  3. Matt McKenna (Richmond)                            1:08:12      -     $500

  4. Will Christian (Old Dominion University)   1:08:38      -     $400

  5. Alex Lucking (Richmond)                                 1:08:51     -      $300

  6. Colby Mehmen (Stephen F Austin U)           1:08:59      -     $200

  7. Johnny Hogue (Richmond)                              1:10:24      -     $200

  8. Samuel Mueller (Auburn University)           1:10:31     -     $150

  9. Andrew Benford (Coconino CC)                     1:10:39     -      $150

  10. Ryan Foster (Longwood University)             1:12:16     -      $100



  1. Julie Patterson (VCU)                                      1:24:32      -     $2000

  2. Abigail Motley (Virginia Tech)                      1:24:59      -     $1000

  3. Sarahbeth Jones (VCU)                                   1:26:06      -     $500

  4. Molly Applegate (William and Mary)          1:28:13      -     $400

  5. McCall Ledgett (William and Mary)            1:32:50     -      $300

  6. Lauren Ascah (Old Dominion University) 1:36:31      -     $200

  7. Bonnie Fortin                                                    1:39:44      -     $200

  8. Kellie Motsko                                                    1:42:39      -     $150

  9. Daniela Cunningham                                      1:43:28     -      $150

  10. Jennifer Jellig                                                    1:43:37     -      $100




















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