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Race Report: The 34th annual Summer Sizzler series began on its traditional April 19th day, Everett Barney Day in the city of Springfield. Everett Barney donated the land to the city of Springfield that would become Forest Park. Twenty-seven runners showed up on this festive occasion to take part in the season opening 8000 meter run through the park and surrounding neighborhoods. Skies were dark and the winds were brisk but the rain held off on this night.
Dave Merkt of the Shenipsit Striders would lead wire-to-wire and break the tape in 30:51. The win was the Dave’s 4th career Sizzler victory. Second place overall belonged to fellow Strider Clinton Morse in 32:54 with Michael Weinberg taking the final podium spot in 34:02. Male age group award winners were GSH’s Bill Carroll taking the Youth (0-19) division in 34:31, top Master (40-49) belonged to Steve Mahoney in 42:43, Clinton Morse was top Senior (50-59), GSH’s John Pashko earned top Veteran (60-69) in 37:28, and SMAC’s Don Grant ran away with the 70+ honors with a time of 51:22.
The overall female winner, and 6th place overall, was GSH’s Julie Carroll with a time of 34:38. This was Julie’s 9th Sizzler victory in her young career. Second place female, and first female Senior went to GSH’s Kathy McCarthy in 39:48. Right on Kathy’s heels was GSH’s Barbara Bosworth, her 40:00 earning her third female. Age group winners were EORC’s Naomi Tetherly taking first Open female (20-39) in 40:50 and top Master belonged to Ann Taupier with a time of 52:13.
All race volunteers from last year renewed their contracts for the 2013 season. The veteran squad consisted of Ed Carroll, Brian McCarthy, Bruce Kurtz and Brian “Ironman” Goddu.
Thanks to all the runners, volunteers and spectators for making this a great lick-off to the season. The races will return to their traditional Wednesday evening beginning next Wednesday, April 24th with the 5000 meter cross-country race. I hope to see everyone return next week.