NER’s Daily Double: Race at the Ras 5K, Crowds at Cohasset 5M

The Daily Double for NER on a chilly (33˚) and blustery March 25 was the 21st An Ras Mor 5K in Cambridge with a 9:30 am start followed by the 41st Cohasset Road Race by the Sea 5M with a 1:00 pm start. (With a bridge out, Cohasset detoured and shortened its course to 5M and will return to its 10K course in 2019.) Photo: That’s Scott Leslie of CMS in white, the BAA’s Brad Mish in yellow, and defending champ Justin Keefe of The Heartbreakers behind Mish. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner.


Weather-wise, the Ras can’t catch a break. As a Pub Series race it’s experienced 40-50 mph Artic Gales; as a USATf-NE GP race, pelting rain. Chilly temps and a nuisance wind was something of a plus over past years.


There’s an outside beer tent at the Ras and warmth inside the host Asgard Pub. There’s also a flat, fast and certified route that attracts the fleet of feet with $100, $75, $50 for the top-3.


Immediately up front was defending champion Justin Keefe, 24, who we last talked with after he won last fall’s Pub Series Finale at Paddy’s Shillelagh Shuffle 3M; and Brad Mish, 30, who we last talked to after he won last summer’s Sugarbowl 5K; and the old man of the group, Scott Leslie, 36, who we last congratulated after he ran 2:24:02 at last October’s Hartford Marathon.


Former U. Richmond speedster Keefe heard “4:48” yelled out at the mile but decided to push it regardless.


“I had big plans to run some fast miles indoors this winter and had to say good-bye to that with lower leg, Achilles problems, so I wanted to experience some race stress,” stated Keefe after winning in 15:18. “I didn’t care if I got passed and didn’t win…but I did and I’ll take the hundred bucks,” he said with a laugh.


The B.A.A.’s Mish outsprinted Central Mass Strider Leslie for second, 15:32 to 15:36 with HFC’s Stephen Curley, 25, in 4th at 16:11.


Top women Larissa Park and Victoria Barnaby placed 11-12 overall after Park finally overtook the GBTC’s Barnaby in the last mile.


“I could tell she was there, close enough to hear her breathing. I’m more of a shorter distance runner and she’s excellent at distance so I pushed that last mile,” said Barnaby, 30. “We averaged 5:40 pace but the last mile was the fastest. I just couldn’t hold her off.” Park, 37, took the tape in 17:35 to 17:38.


Joe O’Leary, 50, of the host Somerville Road Runners was the top 40+ runner right behind Barnaby in 18:06. Charlestown’s Erin Lohrenz, 29, was the final $ winner in 18:49.


Time for a brew and appetizer in the Asgard and then the car is pointed south. Cohasset presents a hilly, rural course that hugs the coast in the second mile and a final hill off the water (where we’re situated and the wind is whipping). (Photo: With 68O finishers on a blustery day, Cohasset rallied the citizenry. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner)


This race is backed by the Rotary and the many businesses it supports and serves as an unofficial spring kickoff. We’re surprised to meet more people we know here than we did in Cambridge.


Bouquets of flowers are presented to overall winners and the award ceremony is by the Community Center right across from Dooley’s Irish Pub…but forget about getting in here post-race. We instead join a hearty crew of Thirsty Irish Runners, Marshfield Road Runners and Hurtin’ For Certain Striders right down the street in Scituate at the Untold Brewery.

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