After four straight wins, Crystina Ridenour is making the Fort4Fitness half marathon seem like just another run.
She still says it's still a challenge to run in the 13.1-mile race each year even after winning the women's division for the fourth consecutive time.
“It's just as much a challenge cause I look to next year and want to win again,” Ridenour said following the race. “That's kind of my motivation.”
Ridenour completed the race Saturday morning with a time of 1:20:37, the best she's done in the race. Her overall personal best is a minute less than the time she ran. She nearly knocked off a minute off her best at the Fort4Fitness race, beating her winning time last year that was 1:21:32.
“I'm still happy with the result,” Ridenour said. “I always want to run faster and do my best.”
Elias Rojas won the men's division of the Fort4Fitness half marathon in his first try in the event. The Ligonier native's time of 1:11:21 bested the winning time in last year's race of 1:12:18, which was won by Kyle Carey.
His win in the half marathon was a tune up for the upcoming half marathon in Indianapolis on November 2.
“This was just a good solid tempo run over distance,” Rojas said. “I wanted to get a good run in and be able to drop the pace later on, which I was able to do.”
Rojas was able to win by a comfortable margin and was able to get a run time in his goal area.
“I was just sticking to my pace,” Rojas said. “Right around the 8-mile mark I felt [Thomas Krum] drop off a little bit and I just continued to drop the pace steadily. It was pretty much a cruise control effort.”
The 27-year-old has been running since he was a runner at West Noble High School, which continued to Indiana Wesleyan. Since graduating from school, he still runs and trains in his personal time.
His personal training and preparation for the Indianapolis half marathon helped him claim the win Saturday.
“I knew I was coming in fit,” he said. “I just wanted to execute my race plan.”
Both runners have plans to continue to improve their times and compete in more races.
For Ridenour, the next step she wants to take is competing in a full marathon and has her sights on the Chicago Marathon.
“I still haven't done one, maybe next year I will,” she said. “Chicago is a big one and it's close by. But I still want to be able to come out here and compete.”
After winning the Fort4Fitness half marathon four times, she's more than ready to compete in a full marathon race.