Start of the 18th Shuffle. Overall winner Phil Royer is middle in yellow, Pub Series winner TJ Unger in green to his right. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Sunny skies, mild temps, $100 primes and a $250 course bonus awaited the fleet of feet—and that includes many Publicans—at the Grand Finale of the 2019 NER Pub Series held at Paddy’s Public(an) House in West Newton on the certified Shillelagh Shuffle 3-Mile route.
The BAA’s Phil Royer, 28, was an also ran last year, placing 5th while wife Hannah Rowe ran away with both primes. Teammate Billy Looney won the first prime in 2018 but hedged on predictions this Oct. 20.
“I don’t know, I wouldn’t put my chances as overly high, there’s a lot of really fast guys here this year,” said Looney.
The Hackett twins, Allie (R) and Michaela. Photo by MicFoto/NERunner
One of those fast guys was an in-shape Royer, flashing past the first mile in 4:35. On the women’s side the 24 year-old Hackett twins, Allie and Michaela of the BAA, both timed 5:22.
Royer romped through 2M in 9:43 and Allie Hackett led the women at 10:51. Royer would win but Allie would clock 16:24 to carve 3-seconds from Kathy Fleming’s CR from 2007.
Paddy’s female bronze medalist and Pub Series gold medalist Christina Campbell of HFC leads Greater Lowell’s John Barbour. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Michaela would follow in 16:34. Forging bronze in 17:50 but clutching the golden chalice in the Pub Series was HFC’s Christina Campbell, 38, in 18:06. Sometimes Pubster Leslie O’Dell, 43, of Albany NH ran a 6:01 pace to place 4th and as 1st Master.
Whirlaway’s Paul Hammond with Marshfield Road Runner Kim Ionta. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
Uber Senior Kim Ionta, 56, of the Marshfield RR, rounded out the top-5 in 18:16 followed by Heather “Blue Mule” Spinney, 32, of Whirlaway and in 8th was past Pub Series champion Mimi Fallon, 54, of HFC.
Amanda Watters with baby bump. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Despite missing the Common Fence Point race to defend her Senior title at Falmouth, Ionta still managed to tie HFC’s Eileen Cakourosfor 4th in the Series, moving Fallon up to top Senior. While Heather claims Pub silver, the BAA’s Amanda Watters retains the bronze by a single point despite being 6-months pregnant.
Marge in Charge! Warren, RI’s Marge Bellisle, Pub Series defending W60 champ. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Congrats to divisional winners Marge Bellisle(W60) of Warren, RI; Joanne Morris(W70) and Ann Marie McDonald (W80).
Hello Pubster Gretchen Wilson of Needham. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
The Shocker in the men’s race was the absence of leader Luke O’Connor of Tracksmith Hare. O’Connor had a 10-point lead over HFC’s TJ Ungergoing into Paddy’s but when TJ crossed the Border St. finish line 5th overall in 15:31, and 1st among Pubsters. Well…”You don’t ever want to win like that, but what are you gonna do?” grinned the People’s Champion.
Shocker No. 2: A week after running a huge PR of 2:30:53 at the Chicago Marathon, SRR’s Chris Klucznikhad the unenviable task of trying to hold off CSU’s Patrick Bugbee, with Bugbee in 4th on the leaderboard behind O’Connor, Unger and just 3 points behind Klucznik in third (With O’Connor absent, the race went off with Chris K. in 2nd).
Hot off a 2:30 marathon, Chris Klucznik getting it done! Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Chris K. led much of the race until Bugbee clipped him at the end, 15:56 to 15:57, so only sliced one-point from Mr. Marathon’s lead. Ashland’s Aaron Ladd (16:21) and top Senior Jason Cakorous, 54, of HFC in 16:41, fill the 4-5 rungs on the Pub Series ladder.
With Series top Master TJ Unger and top Senior Jason Cakouros both scoring top-5, the beneficiaries now topping their divisions are the BAA’s Michael McGrane(M40) and CSU’s Kevin Delaney (M50).
New Bedford’s Peter Danzell, 60, clipped TIR’s Dave Wessman, 64, for M60 bragging rights while Septuagenarian stud Fred “Mountain Goat” Ross III, 73, of Vernon, VT, ruled the roost—except at Paddy’s race where he got clipped by 4-seconds (22:49 to 22:53). The culprit was Vernon, CT’s Bob Dacey, who confessed to just turning 70. – The duo maintained an avg. 7:36 pace.
Fan favorite Larry Cole of the Cape Cod AC, 85, was the last man standing in the M80 division with Bill Riley in attendance but hors de combat.
So the Pub was jammed, as was the Bloctoberfest Beer Garden, while the best race emcee ever and asst. Chris Spinneyof Whirlaway dished out cash, Shillelaghs and dry handshakes to the day’s warriors.
A total of 1,779 runners finished the 3-Miler with an additional 329 in the Kids K. With the demise of Doyle’s (sob!) Pub series Award night moves to familiar turf—The Dog Pound, upstairs at Paddy’s on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 pm for all who’ve done 5 or 6 races. See you there! Men’s Standings Women’s Standings
Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner