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Tonight was the Summer Sizzler 8K road race, the 17th race in the 20 race season. Mostly cloudy skies, temps in the mid-70’s and low humidity greeted the field of 28 runners. The park was relatively calm on this fine evening, and the roads open and ready for the runners.
Julie Carroll, breaking her streak of 3 straight wins, decided she would volunteer this evening and was granted the honor of ringing the opening bell. With a competent bell-ringer and the race director back from vacation all signs pointed towards a smooth race this evening. After a few words of encouragement the field was off and running. WMDP’s Orlando Cordero wasted no time asserting his will on the field as he blazed down Main Greeting Road with GSH’s Dave Estabrook in tow. After navigating the roads through Springfield and Longmeadow is would be Orlando emerging from behind the snack shack with a no one else in sight. Orlando would go on to win the race wire-to-wire with a time of 27:51, the fastest winning time to date this season. The win was Orlando’s first ever Summer Sizzler victory and earns him a spot in the Sizzler Hall of Fame. Dave Estabrook would run away with second place overall with a time of 30:15 followed by Sean Vieten in 33:02 for the final podium spot. Male age group winners were Johan Amaro in the Youth (0-19) division with a time of 34:46, Orlando was the Open (20-39) winner, Mark Degrandpre’s 37:07 earned him first Master (40-49), GSH’s Richard Clark was first Senior (50-59) in 36:31, EORC’s Mike Rood was first Veteran (60-69) with a time of 54:06, and EORC’s Dan Lynes went on to claim the top 70+ age division in a swift 48:29.
Much like the men’s race, GSH’s Kathy McCarthy charged out of the gates and did not look back. Kathy would go on to win wire-to-wire with a time of 37:21. The win was Kathy’s 2nd of the season and 3rd of her career. Trailing behind in second place was GSH’s Kiana Eaton, completing the course in 39:29 followed by Lara Sugarmeyer, whose 43:37 earned her the final podium spot. Female age group winners were Kiana in the Youth division, Laura in the Open Division and Kathy taking the Senior Division.
Volunteers for the evening were Brian McCarthy, Bruce Kurtz and Carroll Cubed (Ed, Julie & Bill). Thanks to all the runners, spectators and volunteers for making this a great race. There are only three more Sizzler races this season so don’t wait till last minute to join us. Next week we return to the 5K cross country course for race #18. I hope to see you all again.