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Sunday, March 4, 2001 -- Columbus, OH
Arnold 5K Pump & Run (iPO Event Id#: 2541)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Pump O/A] [Sort by Run] [Sort by Pump] [All Run O/A] [All Run by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]
(Official results can be found at

Bench Press
Pumped for the first ever Arnold Pump & Run
The athletes for the first ever Arnold 5K Pump & Run weighed in starting at 8:00 am, in the Columbus Convention Center, to test their strength. One minute per rep bonus would be deducted from the 5K run time for the first 5 reps, and 30 seconds per rep for the next 25 reps. A "rep" being a bench press equal to one's weight, or 60% of your weight for the females. This would allow a lifter who hits the max of 30 reps to reduce their 5K run time by 17:30. To keep everyone honest, and also provide some inspiration, the Bench Press was judged by U.S. Marines.

This was just one event going on at the 13th Annual Arnold Fitness Weekend featuring a record 5,000-plus competitors. Other events included the Arnold Classic and Ms. International professional bodybuilding competitions, Arnold Battle of Columbus World Martial Arts Championship, Arnold Gymnastics Challenge, Arnold Cheerleading Classic and Dance Team Championships, along with a fitness expo. And, for the Pump and Run, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was on hand to fire the starting gun.

Bench Press
Uhh, you sure I weigh this much?
With a wide variety of individuals up for the challenge, each person had their own sources of motivation for maximizing the number of times they could push the weights. Mike Fador, a 23-year-old from St. Clairsville used a walkman with some Blink 182 tunes to help with his bench press. "Twenty reps was a weak lift, but the music was still a big help," he comment after his lift.

Karen Donnelly, a 29-year-old from Columbus, was a little more impressed with her own performance, "I thought I'd get 11 or 12, but I weighed in 5 lbs less than I thought I would." In just her third time lifting free weights she cranked out a full 21 reps, "It's good that it's 60% of your weight, that is very doable for women."

Linda Evans, a 90-pound 52-year-old from Columbus, has been running for the last 30 years but never lifted weights until this year. In her first time benching with free weights, she also managed to pull off 21 reps. "It is a great challenge and I'm glad to see there are a lot of women participating."

It seemed everyone was out to have a good time and enjoying the unique event. David Pyshora, a 46-year-old from Westerville, was certainly one of these individuals. When asked about whether the lift or the run was his strength, he remarked, "I have no strong point, I'm just doing it for fun."

Pumped and ready for a run
In the end, the average person did 14 reps at the bench press, with the women slightly out-doing the men by averaging 14.65 reps to the men's 13.69 average. But, the winners were yet to be decided, there was still a 5K run to complete.

At 10:30am it was time to step out in the streets of Columbus as Arnold merged into the crowd to get the runners started. 3.1 miles later, through the drizzle of a cool March morning, and it would be time to tally your overall time. Adding to the Pump and Run participants, another hundred-plus runners were on hand to run in a 5K only event.

Ben Ortt (a.k.a. Jim Thompson), a 22-year-old from Kimbolton who races mountain bikes for Tri Tech Multisport, was in a group of four that led out early and ran together for the first mile. Then Dave Mirth, a 37-year-old from Reynoldsburg, made his move to drop the field. Mirth, racing in the 5K only event, went on to finish alone with the fastest 5K time of 16:17.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold takes control at the starting line
Ortt raced on the heels of Don Wright for the second mile before picking it up to out pace him to the finish. Ortt finished at 16:50 to take second in the 5K event while Wright finished at 16:57 as the first Pump and Run, 5K finisher. However, with 10 reps on the bench press, Wright's adjusted time of 9:27 wasn't going to hold up.

Sidney Gillispie, a 25-year-old from Elkins, West Virginia, raced across the line as the fourth 5K finisher in the Pump and Run. Subtracting his 15-minute bonus for 25 reps, the Assistant XC Coach at Davis & Elkins College looked tough to beat at a Pump and Run adjusted 2:21.

The next finisher with more reps was 26-year-old Byron Kimmel from Vandalia, the boys' JV Basketball Coach at Tipp City's Tippecanoe HS. His 28 reps combined with his 17:43 5K moved him to first at an adjusted 1:13.

Run Start
They're off and running at Arnold's command
By the time the clock hit 18:43 it was clear that Kimmel would be the winner. A 30-rep finisher, earning the full 17:30 bonus, could no longer match Kimmel's 1:13. The first 30-rep finisher was 21-year-old triathlete, Ryan Brown, from Dublin OH, a general manager at Power House Gym. His run time of 19:43 was fast enough to push him to second place overall at an adjusted 2:13. Gillispie's Pump and Run adjusted time of 2:21 kept him in third place overall.

First in the 5K event for the women, and the second fastest overall female, was Elaine Binkley, a 16-year-old from Columbus. The sophomore track and crosscountry stand-out at Bishop Waterson HS, commented on her 20:16, "The rain wasn't that bad and [Pamela Mertz] pushed me out there." Mertz, a 32-year-old from Richmond, Indiana, finished just one second back at 20:17 to record the third fastest female run time and the second fastest in the Pump and Run.

Run Finish
Some folks even seemed to enjoy a little rain
Christine Agnew, a 32-year-old from Bellbrook who regularly lifts and runs, said her 5K time of 22:45, the 8th fastest for the Pump and Run females, was "okay". But she was a force on the bench having no trouble doing the 30 rep max. That reduced her time to a female second place overall at 5:15.

Taking the win in the female Pump and Run was 36-year-old Sharon Knecht, the Director of Education at Bally Total Fitness in Cleveland. With a dominating run time of 19:00, first overall for all female runners, her 27 reps on the bench where four more than she needed to earn the win. Her adjusted winning time amounted to just 3:00.

Race director Matt McGowan stated "The event was very popular. We hope to make a few changes, which will make the event even better next year." Judging from the enthusiasm of this year's runners and lifters, he's sure to have plenty of folks lining up to do it again. Special thanks go out to the fine crew from and to Jim Lorimer and Lorimer Productions who have been co-producing events with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the last 26 years.