SCHENECTADY -- The fastest men's finish time in the history of the MVP Health Stockade-athon 15k has stood for 28 years.
It may not make it to 29.
Daniel Lennon, a former Class B New York state champion and a member of Syracuse University's 2015 national championship team, believes he can take a shot at the 44:39 that Jerry Lawson posted in 1992.
The course loop between Central Park and downtown has undergone some changes since then, most significantly a reversal in 2014 that shifted the start to State Street and the turnaround in the park, where the Stockade-athon traditionally had started and finished.
Although the latest course layout is considered more conducive to fast times, only Lou Serafini (45:23, 2016) has cracked 46 minutes in winning the race (the two runners behind him also were under 46).
Lennon, an Albany Law School student who lives in Delmar and was fourth in 46:20 that year, wants to take it under 45.
"Definitely, sub-45 is in my wheelhouse," he said on Thursday. "I like to think it's in my wheelhouse. Ideally, I'd like to get through the first 5k in 15:05, 15:10, and ideally each 5k will be a little bit faster."
Lennon is coming off a 2:16:08 to finish 31st at the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12.
He also ran a 4:56 miles pace to notch a 1:01:10 at the Faxon Law New Haven 20k in Connecticut for a ninth-place finish on Sept. 2.
Although Chicago was just four weeks ago, Lennon said he's recovered sufficiently to post a fast time on Sunday. Race time is 8:30 a.m.
"After the marathon, I took a week off and did about 80 miles this week," he said. "I'm definitely in it to race it. It's like a first test after the marathon."
Chicago was Lennon's second marathon, after posting a 2:17:33 last year to finish eighth in the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.
He was 17th at the Utica Boilermaker 15k this summer, running a 46:16 (4:58 mile pace).
"I think I might have to attack this one differently," he said. "I went out way too fast in the Boilermaker. I'm always pretty confident I'm going to do well.
"I'm not going to wait around. I'm going to pick it up a little bit early to test myself."
Running as an at-large individual in 2011, Lennon won the cross country Class B state meet at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. Besides being on the national championship team at Syracuse, he was also a second-team All-American for his performance in the outdoor 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships as a junior.
A resident of Delmar, Lennon is interning in the office of Schenectady district attorney Robert Carney.
The men's field also includes John Busque, who was fifth to Serafini in the 2015 Stockade-athon, 30 seconds behind Lennon, Sean O'Connor and Jacob Andrews.
Some of the top runners in the women's field include Danielle Winslow, who was the second woman behind Samantha Roecker last year; Karen Bertasso, who has qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon; and Christine Myers of Altamont, winner of the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon on Oct. 13 in 2:48:35 , a 6:26 mile pace.
Bertasso was second to Roecker at the Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon the same day in 1:17:47 (5:57 pace). She qualified for the Olympic Trials with a 2:43:46 at the 2018 Hartford Marathon.
Mark Mindel, the only person who has run in every Stockade-athon since the first one in 1976, said in an email that he might not be able to run on Sunday because of plantar fasciitis.