Great Pub Series Kickoff Before Contagion Shutdown

Irish Clover defending champion Jacob Wormald (in blue) out front at the onset of the Owen and Ollie’s Irish Clover 5M. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner


Great organization and venue for the Owen and Ollie’s Irish Clover 5M in Dracut, the 3rd and final race in the Wild Rover Series and the kickoff race for the NER Pub Series. The back lot of Owen and Ollie’s was somewhat reminiscent of Doyle’s, albeit 20-degreees warmer.


A week later among heightened awareness as the Covoid-19 contagion ramped up significantly, the New Bedford and NYC half marathons cancelled and the dominoes just keep falling.


So the final dance in Dracut seems a bit surreal in retrospect, what with the handshakes, hugging, high fiving, dancing and beer tippling. It was a lot of fun to catch-up, no doubt.


Silver Medalist Stephen Curley just 4-ticks out of 1st. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner



Familiar contenders from past Pub Series were up front in both races. Former Southern NH U. runner and defending Irish Clover champion Jacob Wormald, 24, of Derry, NH, took an early lead and never came off the gas pedal. Running 80 miles a week in anticipation of Boston (no announcement had yet been issued on March 8) Wormald had a lead a quarter-mile in and went through the mile in 4:50.


HFC’s Stephen Curley had an eye on the frontrunner but also his watch. “I went through the mile in 4:59 and wasn’t looking to go any faster at that point,” said Curley, “it’s a challenging course. I’m proud of the fact I was just 4-seconds behind him at the finish.”


Wormald finished in 16:18 with Curley at 26:22. 2019 Pub Series bronze medalist Patrick Bugbee of CSU arrived third in 26:49 with defending Pub champ TJ Unger of HFC arriving 3-seconds later. 2019 silver medalist Chris Klucznik of SRR placed 6th in 27-flat. Injured for a good portion of 2019, Curley could well be a factor in 2020.


One week after competing at the Trials in Atlanta, Hayley Sutter kept a 5:50 pace to post up 1st among women. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner



One week after running in the US Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, sometimes Pubster Hayley Sutter, 30, of Watertown, MA, ran 5:50 pace to log in first among women in 29:05. Sutter, who had crawled across the finish of Cal Int’l in a chip time of 2:45:00, was seeded second to last at the Trials but finished far from it. “It was a thought, I certainly didn’t want to finish last,” said Sutter. “I could have run faster but I wanted to run an intelligent race. I was in Atlanta to be a part of it, not so much to see how fast I could go.”


Top 10ers who were Pub Series A-listers in 2019 included Heather Spinney, Elizabeth Bugbeeand Eileen Cakouros with HFC’s Lily Corcoranreturning from the disabled list to place 7th.


Happy 78th Denny LeBlanc! Photo by MickFoto/NERunner



Divisional dynamite was provided by Pub Series defending M50 champion Jason Cakorous of HFC and defending W60 champion Marge Bellisle of Warren, RI, with three-time champion Paul Hammond entering the lower end of the Medicare division to top the M60 charts. Congrats also to past M70 champ Dave Pember on his win and Jan Holmquistreturning to prominence at W70.


With bars and restaurants closed and races cancelling in droves, we’ll keep an eye on the ever evolving situation with a look toward the second Pub Series stop down the Cape on May 10 at Liam Maguire’s. Michelle was on the phone with RD Courtney Bird looking at possible scenarios, but it’s all dictated by what transpires over the next month.


We’ll have news as soon as there is news so ‘hunker in the bunker’ and we’ll see you down the road in what we’re hoping are happier (safer) times to come. Below: HFC Striders in the House! photo by MickFoto/NERunner Men’s Standings

Women’s Standings

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