Records Rocked in Back Cove Blockbuster
Bay Staters Marc LeBlanc and former collegiate 800m man Lee Danforth of the HFC Striders duke it out for the bronze…a duel decided by 3/100ths of a second. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
With the 11th annual Portland Trails “Trail to Ale” 10K offering penultimate and precious Pub Series points, the malt and hops caravan arrived en masse at Portland’s Back Cove for a tres flat and tres scenic dash along the Maine coastline. If it wasn’t for the appearance of Maine superstar Pat Tarpy, publicans would have swept the top-7 slots while the BAA’s Kristin Murphy remained unbeaten and is now within one race of becoming the only athlete, male or female, to finish the Series with a perfect score.
The NER Pub Series first washed up on the Portland coastline in 2006 when there were 495 finishers and Pub Queen Christin Doneski appeared on the NER cover running by a Narrow Gauge Railroad Car. Voted back in during Doyle’s Awards Night that Dec., the following year ‘TtA’ enjoyed a welcome 678 finishers.
With the Jewel of the Sea cruise ship in the background, course record holder Pat Tarpy is showing little strain as he leads Pub Series Nation down the “Trail to Ale.” Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
“Trail to Ale” supports a great cause (trail maintenance/expansion) and has a lot going for it, as evidenced by last year’s race (sans Pub Series), that also boasted a record 939 finishers.
Word gets around, and this year’s Pub Series designee-extravaganza received 1700 entries with 1,430 finishers. How frenetic was it? Let’s hear from Shipyard brewmeister extraordinanaire Alan Pugsley: “We went through a total of 20 kegs of Shipyard Wheat Ale—10 half-barrels and 10 1/16th-barrels—in one hour and five minutes.”
With multi-time 70+ Pub Series divisional winner Bob Hillman, 77, finishing in 1:05:53, he was draft out of luck, right? Not necessarily as supportive Publicans whisked him first to an impromptu Narragansett party in the back lot (what, no Shipyard…well, beggars can’t be…) and then to Dry Dock right down the ‘trail’ in the Old Port.
But let’s not leave the race behind. Gearing up for the ING Hartford Marathon as part of the NER/Hartford “New England’s Finest” program, Tarpy had run 12 miles earlier in the day, then the race, followed by a cool down for a total of 20 miles. “I’m running 80 miles a week as opposed to 120 last year so I’m not in the shape I was in last year, but I’m concentrating on getting in the long runs. Today worked out pretty well,” said Tarpy, who ran sub-5 pace to post up in 30:56, thus obliterating the previous mark of 32:19 set by Kirby Davis in 2007.
Just down the path, things were heating up between Hurtin’ For Certain teammates Lee Danforth and TJ Unger. A point behind Danforth for the Series lead after being clipped by Lee at both the Corrib and the previous week’s Mighty Meehan, Unger blasted out to a lead that dwindled but held at the finish (33:19). Just behind Unger, Danforth and Natick, MA speedster Marc LeBlanc were ramping it up heading to the finish line at East End Beach.
Both runners were given the same time (33:23) with LeBlanc given the nod—by 3/100ths of a second! With a sterling effort, John Noland won the Masters division (6th overall) in 34:17 to jump to third 40+ in the Series behind the next two Trail to Ale finishers—two time Pub Series champion Terry McNatt of CSU and former Series champion (and Trail 40+ record holder) Jason Cakouros of HFC.
Murphy won the women’s race by over two minutes in 37:09, although 10K isn’t exactly her distance. “10K is long,” laughed Murphy. “The mile to 5K are my distances so this was long, although I went out like it was a short race. I was 17:50 at 5K so that was pretty quick. Overall, the race was great and it’s a beautiful course.”
Falmouth’s Mary Pardi, 40 (also in the NEF program) placed second and as first Master in 39:20 ahead of 2-3 Publicans Meagan Sowa (39:36) and Meghan Scearbo (39:55).
“What the hell is she doing here?” joked Series 4th placer and top Senior Marge Bellisle, 55, of Warren, RI. Marge was one second off Ellie Tucker’s 50+ record so when she gets beat, it means world-class age-grouper Kathryn Martin, 58, is in from Northport, NY. “We’re visiting friends in the area and saw this was a Pub Series race, so why not?” commented Martin, who proceeded to lower Tucker’s 41:57 standard to 40:09 (6:28 pace). South Orleans, MA runner Kayleen Rosato registered a good race to place fourth overall (50+) and vault into second 50+ in the Series.
The men’s Senior division resembles a MASH unit. Series leader Paul Hammond walked the course with a strained hamstring while Chris Spinney placed second to Cape Elizabeth’s Tom Ryan but will miss the Grand Finale to run the Bay State Marathon. “Fallon’s got it,” Spinney stated pre-race as Jimmy Fallon (2-pts. behind Spinney) was in a position to pounce…but also came up lame at four miles.
The breakdown three weeks out from Paddy’s: If somewhat healthy, Hammond could win this by either winning the Senior division at Paddys or placing second. Fallon is now mathematically out of 1st, but if Hammond is walking and Jimmy ain’t, finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th would put him in the silver position.
Another possible scenario: Hammond and Fallon are both dragging a leg at Paddys, and CSU’s Theo Kinderman either wins or places 2nd 50+ to clinch the bronze. The only definite: This is the one division where no one will be donning the maillot jeune (yellow leader’s singlet) at Paddy’s.
Three-time Pub Series champion Hammond, by the way, race walked for three miles (at 13:15 pace) with last year’s Pub Series “Rookie of the Year,” 85 year-old Lou Peters…before Lou dusted him by a minute at the finish.
Veterans winner and Cape Cod AC Hall of Famer Janet Kelley on the Back Cove bike path. A decade later, Janet just finished the Boston Marathon virtual 26.2er. Photo by MickFoto/NERunner
After breaking a tie with CSU’s Catherine Farrell at Cape Cod a week earlier, Cape Cod AC Hall of Famer Janet Kelly, 60, put the lock on the Veteran’s division with a win at the Trail in 51:37. The only division that didn’t see movement was the women’s Masters, where Series leader Andrea Leonard was absent, but it didn’t matter as there were so many good Maine Masters (led by Pardi) that the points spigot for the 40+ female Publican contingent was entirely shut off.
The weekend’s Most Lounge Visitsaward goes to Team Fabulous members Lyndsay Guerriere and Kristin Anderson, who had the shuttle driver from the Holiday Inn on speed dial. The duo ended up with the rest of the Publicans who’d pre-arranged to meet up (about 25-30 total) the evening before the race at 3 Dollar Dewey’s. Also on hand were Mike Norton and his wife who get the Shopping Prizefor the multitude of bags they had barside. So there you go—scenery, speed, sustenance, suds and shopping—Portland’s got it all.
11th Annual Portland Trails “Trail To Ale” 10K/NER Pub Series Race No. 5, Portland, September 19
1700 Entrants, 1,430 Finishers – Timing by: Granite State Race Services – Post-race party hosted by: Shipyard Brewery. Course Records: Pat Tarpy, 30:56, 2010; Jenna Richardson, 36:11, 2002. Masters: Jason Cakouros, 33:15, 2006; Joan Samuelson, 36:46, 2005. Seniors: Tom Ryan, 35:53, 2006; Kathryn Martin, 40:09, 2010. Veterans: Bill Reilly, 39:03, 2007; Judy Hardenbrook, 45:27, 2006. 70-79: Lloyd Slocum, 45:43, 2008; Mary Najarian, 1:29:38, 2007
Men (Overall): 1. Pat Tarpy, 30:56 (CR: old record 32:19, Kirby Davis, 2007);2. T.J. Unger, MA, 33:19; 3. Marc LeBlanc, MA, 33:23; 4. Lee Danforth, MA, 33:23; 5. Mark McDermott, MA, 34:07; 6. John Noland, MA, 34:17; 7. Terry McNatt, MA, 34:22; 8. Jason Cakouros, MA, 34:38; 9. Keelyn Wie, 34:46; 10. Jim Quadros, MA, 34:50; 11. Jeff Cole, 34:53; 12. Macdara Nash, MA, 35:15; 13. Scott Munro, MA, 35:40; 14. Darren Moore, 35:46; 15. Phil Parks, MA, 35:53; 16. Tom Ryan, 35:55; 17. Chris Smith, MA, 35:57; 18. Mike Norton, MA, 36:02. (19-under): 1. Robby Hall, 43:13; 2. Liam McNeill, 44:12; 3. Bryce Murdick, 44:41. Masters: 1. John Noland, MA, 34:17; 2. Terry McNatt, MA, 34:22; 3. Jason Cakouros, MA, 34:38; 4. Keelyn Wie, 34:46; 5. Jim Quadros, MA, 34:50; 6. Macdara Nash, MA, 35:15. Seniors: 1. Tom Ryan, 35:55; 2. Chris Spinney, MA, 36:43; 3. Hans Brandes, 40:39; 4. Theo Kindermans, MA, 40:45; 5. Terry Wnek, MA, 41:18; 6. Dave Wessman, MA, 41:23. Veterans: 1. Robert Sholl, 41:20; 2. Kevin McDonald, 43:11; 3. R.J. Harper, 43:26; 4. Duke Hutchinson, MA, 44:09; 5. Alvin Bugbee, Sr., 44:21; 6. Scott Lennox, MA, 44:31. (70+): 1. John Howe, 52:08; 2. Dick Lajoie, 52:50; 3. Jerry Levasseur, 54:03; 4. Paul Stevens, 59:17. Women (Overall): 1. Kristin Murphy, MA, 37:08; 2. Mary Pardi, 39:20; 3. Megan Sowa, MA, 39:36; 4. Meaghan Scearbo, MA, 39:55; 5. Christine Irish, 39:58; 6. Michelle Cook, 40:02; 7. Kathryn Martin, NY, 40:09; 8. Kristin Wilson, 40:20; 9. Carry Buterbaugh, 40:25; 10. Amy Tchao, 41:36; 11. Lanham Marks-Hamilton, CT, 41:49; 12. Debbie Rodrigue, 41:49; 13. Danielle Skillin, 41:55; 14. Marge Bellisle, RI, 41:58; 15. Tunde Schwartz, 42:00; 16. Jen Piesik, 42:12; 17. Amy Pace, MA, 42:15; 18. Annalisa Pawlosky, MA, 42:44. (19-under):1. Zoe Sobel, 52:40; 2. Erin Delacy, NH, 59:31; 3. Eva Brydson, 59:33. Masters: 1. Mary Pardi, 39:20; 2. Amy Tchao, 41:36; 3. Tunde Schwartz, 42:00; 4. Sandra Sincero, 44:00; 5. Kathy Ventura, 44:20; 6. Denise Curry, 44:38. Seniors:1. Kathryn Martin, NY, 40:09 (CR: old record 41:57, Ellie Tucker, 2007);2. Marge Bellisle, RI, 41:58; 3. Emily Rugbee, 44:53; 4. Kayleen Rosato, MA, 47:26; 5. Lisa Arsenault, 47:53; 6. Jeanie Campbell, 49:31. Veterans: 1. Janet Kelly, MA, 51:37; 2. Jane Bernstein, PA, 54:22; 3. Arlene Hanson, 56:23. (70+): 1. Nancy Payson, 1:35:51.