Pelham, NH native and Providence, RI resident Pat Moulton, 26, didn’t know who the Swedish runner he caught at eight miles was so he kept to his own pace. Jonas Buud, 34, kept by his side for the next 11 miles.
“There was a slight incline at 19 and I pushed that and got a gap and he didn’t come back,” said Moulton who won his first marathon in 2:21:48, earning $3K for the win and another $3K as part of the ING Hartford Marathon’s New England’s Finest program.
Buud held onto second in 2:22:03. Two more of NE’s Finest, New Milford’s Michael Hall and Narragansett, RI’s Glen Guillemette went 3-4. Hall captured third in 2:32:24 while the 48 year-old Guillemette ran an incredible 2:33:17. Glen’s time broke the previous 40+ record by 7-minutes.
Ellington cross country coach Aaron Flamino, brother of Olympic trialist Yolanda Flamino, placed 7th in his debut marathon in 2:37:27.
The women’s race was a runaway blitzkreig by Ethiopia’s Serkalem Abrha. The 21 year-old reached the finish line in 2:38:37. Behind her, Olympic Marathon trialists and NE’s Finest invited runners Sheri Piers, of Falmouth, Maine and Shannon McHale, of Simsbury, were struggling to maintain focus.
When Piers hit a port-o-john at 20 miles, McHale continued on but was reeled in at mile 23. The pair, which had run the entirety of the race (minus three miles) together decided to keep it that way and finished with their arms raised in 2:47:07.
Closing in on the duo, Diona Fulton, 28, of Somerville, MA, placed 4th in a PR 2:48:16. Along with Diona, others in the NE’s Finest program placing in the top 10 included Masters runner Simonetta Piergentili, 44, of Wilmington, MA, in 2:53:38 and 6th among women and Falmouth, ME’s Mary Pardi, 38, in 8th place at 3:03:06.
NE Finest invitee Nate Jenkins, 27, of Lowell, MA had every intention of winning the half marathon. When the African contingent on hand didn’t set out to his liking, he took the lead, hitting two miles in 9:35 and 5K in 15-flat. Unfortunately, a somewhat chronic problem with his hamstring kicked in and he fell back to running 5:18s. A quartet of Africans passed him at five miles along with former Yale steeplechase great Lucas Meyer.
Derese Deniboba of Ethiopia proved the fastest of the Africans, breaking the tape in 1:04:19 with Meyer fifth in 1:05. “I’m happy with this,” said Meyer, who’s attending UConn Law School. “I felt strong throughout. Based off this, I’ll continue competing through the fall.
Three of NE’s Finest placed among the top 10 as West Hartford’s Brendan Callahan ran 1:07:13 for 7th with Jenkins struggling to an 8th place finish in 1:07:38 and Ian Nurse, of Cambridge, MA taking 10th in 1:10:38.
The women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Alemtsehay Misganaw in 1:17:31 with the NE’s Finest duo of Acworth, NH’s Heidi Westerling and Caroline Bjune of Andover, MA going 2-3. Westerling closed in 1:18:25 with Bjune at 1:21:00.
Many of the NE’s Finest age-groupers excelled in winning their divisions. In the 50+ category, Marge Bellisle, 53, of Warren, RI, won by over 6-minutes in 1:30:58 while Senior counterpart Reno Stirrat, enjoyed an almost 7-minute winning edge with a time of 1:16:37.
A decade up at 60+, Larry Olsen, 61, of Hopedale, MA, ran 1:22:44 to put 11-minutes on the great Bill Rodgers, while at 70+, former Hawaii Ironman age-group world record holder Bill Riley, 72, of Centerville, MA, won his division by over 41 minutes in 1:32:28 (7:03 pace).
Much more to follow in the Jan/Feb issue of New England Runner.