Hi Neighbor, Have a Gansett? Finally wrapped my head around the fact these Distance Festival races (5K-10K-13.1M) weren’t in Rhode Island but on the expansive and beautiful grounds of Stonehill College in Easton, MA.
Photo: See ya Katrina! Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
The 5K kicked off first at 8:00 am with the 10K a half hour later. Pubsters who wanted points earned them in the 10K while attendance was checked off for all those who chose the 5K—including Whirlaway’s Katrina Martyn, who we bid a fond farewell to as she accompanies 2018 top Pubster Alex “Kid” Kramer to the Promised Land in California.
Katrina had been in 6th place on the distaff side of the NER Pub Series leaderboard and would place 2nd in the 5K in 20:33 while gold on the men’s side went to Hurtin’ For Certain Strider Pat Kelly in 16:53.
It was 75˚, sunny and a tad muggy for the 10K (hey, it’s July 13). The course was the 5K times deux.
Tracksmith Hare’s Matt Drummond, 23, bolted from the start, a strategy we discussed in the Beer Garden post-race after Matt placed 7th in 35:58. “Maybe that wasn’t the best tactic against this field,” Matt confessed. “I wanted to see who was there that would go with me. It turned out quite a few people.”
Photo: Matt Drummond takes the 10K out followed by Otto Kingstedt (in black), Chris Klucznik (in yellow), Pub leader Luke O’Connor and on his shoulder TJ Unger. Patrick Bugbee is far right. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Paramount up front were Pub Series leader Luke O’Connor, 24, winner of Doyle’s and Liam’s, and non-pubster Otto Kingstedt, 25, of Rochester, NY—a native of Stockholm, Sweden and recent graduate of RIT.
During the first loop, Kingstedt was right behind O’Connor before putting 18 seconds on him in the last mile to post up in 32:17.
It turns out that Kingstedt is deaf so was presented with a written question in the finish area and part of his written response was, “It felt easy and I ran it like a tempo to save my legs for the half marathon tomorrow.”
Smack talk, Luke? “It did seem easier for him,” admitted O’Connor. “He’d stick like glue and then really slow for the water stops. I’d have space and the next thing he’s right back on my shoulder.”
Fast forward to the Beer Garden and NER/Otto are using cell phones for Q&A and it turns out Otto is in Boston for the summer doing an internship. He also owns the RIT 10,000m school record of 29:38. In further testament to just how good he is, the following day he’d win the half marathon by over 14-minutes in 1:08:55.
Boasting Bronze:Kudos to reigning US Masters Mile & 3000 champion, 3X Pub Series champion and, the People’s Champion, TJ Unger of HFC who posted up third in 33:05 to retain the silver medal position in the Series. Pubsters Chris Klucznik of the Somerville RR, arrived 4th in 34:12 with CSU’s Patrick Bugbee in 5th at 34:44 (Chris & Pat are tied for 3rd in the Series with 177 points).
Chris K’s wife, Elizabeth Klucznik, picked up 11 pub points while traversing her old alma mater (undergrad, ’04, Masters ’05). The pair’s nuptials also took place at Stonehill.
Photo: A pack of Pubsters at 3-miles with top women Christina Campbell (leading) and Kim Ionta. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
Another Stonehill alumni won the women’s division as HFC’s Christina Campbell, 37, engaged in another shootout with Marshfield RR phenom Kim Ionta—who is 56! “She’s awesome,” declared Campbell. “I couldn’t rest, although I wanted to, because she was right there.”
“It was pretty close until the end,” said Ionta. I don’t know if she sped up or I slowed down after the fifth mile.” It was close with Campbell adding to her win at Doyle’s in 39:11 to Ionta’s 39:26.
Also of note is the climb up the leaderboard of Whirlaway’s Heather “Blue Mule” Spinney, 32, who captured 3rd in 40:17.
Photo: Bronze medalist Heather Spinney. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Things will shake up among women as former Pub Series 3rd placer Rita Donahue was on hand, but injured and didn’t run. Also, Ionta will defend her Senior title in Falmouth on the same day as Pub Series stop No. 5—the 16th and final Common Fence Point 5-Miler.
There are 16 turns to the CFP route but RD John Santillo made more pivots than that in the Beer Garden and elsewhere as he tried to run down trophy winners from the 10K…not for nothing but there was a stage nearby with a band…and a microphone.
Still, you couldn’t beat the organization here, nor the inspirational free flow from emcee Michael Bernier whose dreadlocks were flying as he engaged in an impromptu push-up contest with fired up male Publicans.
Photo: HFC’s Jeff Cahill picking up 16 Pub Points. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
Two other ties to report on as in the M60 division, New Bedford’s Pete Danzell, 60, has now bested TIR strongman Dave Wessman, 64, for a second time to pull even. Same for M80 stalwart Bill Riley, 83, running injured but pulling abreast of the Cape Cod AC’s Larry Cole, 85.