Highland graduate Megan Venables made her marathon debut a fast one Sunday with a 2:57.04 at the Chevron Houston Marathon.
Venables, who now lives in Princeton, placed 69th out of 2,329 women and 13th out of 307 in the 25-29 age group. She was 385th overall out of more than 6,000 total runners.
Venables ran 20:50, 21:00 and 20:51 for her first three 5Ks, came through the half-marathon mark at 1:28.29, then closed with 5K splits of 20:49 from 25K to 30K, 20:48 from 30K to 35K and 21:23 from 35K to 40K before covering the final 1.4 miles in 9:53.
So she was out in 1:28.29 and came back in 1:28.35. Talk about an even pace! She ran six seconds slower for the second half of the race than the first half!
Venables averaged 6:45 per mile over the 26-mile, 385-yard race.
It appears to be Venables’ first race since she ran an outdoor 3,000 at Princeton in 2015, her final year at ‘Nova.
Keira D’Amato of Midlothian, Va., won the Houston Marathon in 2:19.12, an American record.
Caroline Kellner, who ran for West Windsor-Plainsboro South and Cornell, placed 33rd overall in 2:47.20.
Venables, 28, ran for Villanova and has PRs of 9:45.83 in the 3,000 from 2010 and 17:03.65 on the track for 5,000 meters from 2012.
Her longest previous race according to her IAAF profile was a track 10,000 at Princeton in May of 2012.
Venables was the 5,000-meter course record holder at the legendary Holmdel County Park with a 17:28 at the 2010 state Group 3 meet until her mark was broken by Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland High in Thiels, N.Y., in October of 2018.
Venables is an accomplished painter of dogs and donates all the proceeds from sales of her artwork to Senior Dog Haven.
For more information about her artwork, click here: https://www.facebook.com/meganvenablesart/