"Karen Bertasso focused almost exclusively on training for the marathon distance in an effort to make the Olympic Trials standard of 2:45. Though she fell just short in the last cycle, she ran 4 impressive marathons sub 2:49, at 4 different courses, CIM, Hartford, Houston and London. No other USATF Adirondack runner has accomplished this feat (4 sub 2:50 marathons), in the past 25 years. As a result, Karen has a justified reputation as one of the Northeast's best marathoners.
However, her talent at the 26 mile distance, somewhat overshadows what a remarkable runner she is at the 10K, to Half Marathon range, especially on challenging courses with elevation gain. Perhaps this skill comes from 2 years of training in Colorado and or her occasional return to the state for brief vacations.This past weekend, Bertasso crushed the course record at the Mastodon 15K challenge on a wet humid day, while averaging 6:05 pace on a course that one would be hard pressed to find just one flat mile.A year and a half prior at the 2015 Stockade-athon 15K course she ran to a 4th place finish in 56:11 for a average pace of 6:02. Both courses have similar elevation gain,though the Stockade-athon's final 2.5 miles are significantly faster.At the 2015 Bridge of Flowers 10K, a course that traverses a mountain pass in the Green Mountains and is generally considered the toughest 10K in the Northeast, Bertasso won the race with a time of 37:46. The course is roughly 2 minutes slower than a flat 10K.Finally, one of Bertasso's 3 consecutive wins at the hilly Adirondack Distance Classic (2014) was run in one hour and 9 seconds. Only 3 women have run faster in the 40 year history of the event, Ellen Predmore (nee Weglarz), Amy Herold, and Christine Bergeron.The tougher the course, the harder the challenge, Karen Bertasso seems to find a way to excel, now for 4 consecutive years.....and not only at the marathon distance."