Glassport, Pennsylvania

The following article was taken from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Wednesday December 1, 2004

Glassport native ultra-fine runner

By Steve Hecht Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On Oct. 2, Lou DAngelo began running at 7 a.m. and didn't stop until a little after 3:30 p.m. He ran 50 miles.

During his 8-hour, 34-minute and 30-second journey just outside of Boalsburg, Pa., DAngelo drank 10 bottles of water (20 ounces each), ate 10 power gels (similar to pudding), two bagels with peanut butter, three Power Bars and a banana.

When DAngelo, who grew up in Glassport and graduated from South Allegheny High School, completed the 50th mile he "walked to the side of the road, took off his shirt and shoes and sat down." He wanted to make sure he was physically all right and had a chance to put on a dry shirt before getting into his car for the three-hour drive back home.

DAngelo, 42, was fine and feeling even better the next day when he learned he had finished first among the 13 Masters runners (ages 40 and over) who completed the course at the USA Track & Field ultramarathon national championships.

DAngelo, a Hampton resident, didn't know he was the national champ until he received an e-mail by the race director.

There were 33 runners (24 men, 9 women) who completed the course and the Hampton Township runner said he wasn't sure during the race who was in the Masters division and who wasn't.

The 50-mile race's men's open and overall winner was Chad Ricklefs of Boulder, Colo., who completed the course in 6 hours, 53 minutes and 37 seconds. Ricklefs averaged a little more than 7 minutes a mile for 50 miles. D'Angelo averaged a little more than 10 minutes a mile.

D'Angelo received no monetary compensation for his efforts, but was given a small plaque with "Masters National Champion" inscribed. "Not many people do, or aspire to do, what I'm doing," said DAngelo, a financial planner. "It's a personal challenge. It's not like I do it for the glory. "You tell someone you do this and they think you're a little on the edge. I'd say over the edge, but there's guys who do the 100-mile races."

D'Angelo was a member of the South Allegheny High track team in the late 1970s. "I ran the mile and 2-mile," he said. "That's what passed for distance back then.". He described himself as an "average" runner in high school.

D'Angelo ran his first marathon in Baltimore in, 1986 and has since participated in more than 40 marathons or ultramarathons, including ones as far away as Paris; France, and Kona, Hawaii. He trains by running 50 miles a week, waking up weekday mornings at 4:15 a.m. to do 6-mile runs at Hartwood Acres: "I run for fitness. But I've found I can compete at these [long] distances," said DAngelo. "I'm not the fastest runner, but I can run long distances."

His Masters national ultramarathon championship in October on a challenging course in central Pennsylvania's Rothrock State Forest near Boalsburg was his top victory as a runner. As it turned out, DAngelo beat the second-place Masters runner - Mike Price of Landisburg, Pa. - by 45 seconds. "That qualifies as a photo finish for a race of 50 miles," said DAngelo, who has three daughters and has lived in the north suburbs the past 12 years.

D'Angelo is pretty sure he trailed Price for the first 49 miles of the race. "He wore a black shirt with three silver dots on the back. All I saw was the back of him'," said DAngelo. Until a finishing kick for Mile 50 of the race.

Page last updated December 6, 2004