Wonderful Times in The Whaling City – Klimek Clears Field – Mish Wins Popular Vote

It seems in the current climate pattern here in the Northeast, race day either dawns half decent or as a full day of rain and wind. Long before this general trend, the New Bedford Half Marathon has been known for bitter temperatures-Wind, always Wind-occasionally gale force by the ocean in the latter miles, and there have been snow squalls, but this St. Patrick’s Day was a gem with temps in the mid-30s under bright sun and a less ferocious wind than in recent memory.

There was gold on the streets of the Whaling City reflected in the singlets of the B.A.A. competitors who turned up en masse for this kickoff race to the 2019 USATF-NE GP Series.

Photo: the lead pack at 5-miles. To the extreme left is race winner William Hague, right next to runner-up Brad Mish (with hat). Dennis Roche of Western Mass is in front with the B.A.A.’s Eric Ashe (with glasses) on his shoulder. All Photos by FitzFoto/NERunner


Although we have yet to see team results it’s a safe bet that the B.A.A. ran the gamut, with the exception of M60 (let’s go with Greater Lowell – we have to when studley John Barbour is the club’s 3rd scorer – and the NE-65+ club in the 70+ category.

Otherwise…Brad Mish, Eric Ashe and Peter Gilmore are in the lead group of nine at 5-miles with many more compatriots behind. A quick perambulation from the 5-mile mark back to the finish isn’t quick enough to catch the winner, William Hague, 25, of Tracksmith Hare.

No one seems to know much about him, and the one locale we do find Results at iResults, has Mish winning in 1:06:58 to Hague’s 1:07-flat. Only problem is that these are chip times and this is a race with prize money and Mish for sure is aware of the rules, ‘though he does find the situation humorous.

“We were down to three runners at 10-miles and at 11 I felt good and moved, but then in the next uphill mile he got a good gap. I closed on the downhill and with another 10 yards I would have had him but I ended up a second behind,” said Mish, a 6-time winner of the Sugarbowl 5K and owner of a powerful kick. “So I guess he won the electoral college and I won the popular vote.”

And the men’s team title, followed by the gold & blue female contingent led by the 23 year-old Hackett twins-Allie and Michaela, in the 4-5 positions with 5-scoring team members needed for the first time.

At five miles, two-time winner Hilary Dionne of Craft Concept was in the lead with a mystery (to us) female. Dionne would roll an ankle in the 6th mile and still hold onto 2nd in 1:15:44 as Marci Klimek sped to the title in 1:14:44.

Turns out Marci is coached by 2004 Olympian Tim Broe.  “Before Tim helped me I’d always been self-coached, so a lot of what we’ve been doing is different than my usual routine. I’m really happy with the way it translated to the race today,” said Klimek, who ran for Linfield College (OR) before moving to Cambridge three years ago and taking a job at Mass General.

Where’s Marci Klimek been since? She was in Chicago last fall where she placed 10th in 2:34. Then she got injured and New Bedford was her first race since. Considering Dionne just ran a PR 2:33 at Cal Int’l, this could have been a real shootout if not for an errant divot in the road.

More in the next issue of NER, including why 49 year-old W40 winner (in a 3-minute PR of 1:21) mother of four and Ocean Stater Karolyn Bowley of the B.A.A. is a mini-version of the late, great Ed Whitlock.

Aha, we’ve reached the front door of Freestones. Sláinte!

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