Old Fashioned 10 Miler - Foxboro, Mass
'Race of Champions' could have been the subtitle for Sunday's Old Fashioned Ten Miler (OFTM) in Foxboro.
Posted Tuesday, 22 February, 2005
Assembled on the front line ready to embark on a frosty adventure were past OFTM champions Chris Magill of Cumberland, RI (2000), Craig Fram of Plaistow, NH (2001), Keven O'Neill of North Kingston, RI (2003) and defending champion Casey Moulton. Despite the glittering array of talent a competitive race never materialized. For the second consecutive year, Moulton, a Pelham, NH resident went wire to wire to easily claim title number two in 50:58. Cambridge's Brett Romano (59:45) took the fourth consecutive women's crown for the Boston Athletic Association.
It was colder (28 degrees) than last year when the 366 runners pushed off but the initial stages of the race were eerily similar to 2004. Moulton thrust himself into the lead and began to open space quickly. A trio of Magill, O'Neill and Warwick's Matt Pelletier provided the chase group behind Moulton with Fram relegated to the second tier of pursuers. It was evident within three minutes that Moulton would reign again. At that point he had a forty yard lead that was ever widening. He hit the mile mark in the Foxboro rotary (4:52) in the identical time as last year and as in 2004, no other runners were in sight.
"He pretty much took off from the start and we were battling
for second and third," said a resigned O'Neill, who was hampered
by an Achilles problem. Pelletier, last year's second place
finisher, dropped out of contention with an equipment
malfunction. "We rounded the corner at three miles and my shoe
came untied," he said. "They had five yards on me. I knew I
wasn't going to beat them but at least I had some one to chase.
Craig and the other guy (O'Neill) passed me. I caught up with
them and ran with them a little while. I couldn't catch them."
Moulton's molten pace wouldn't last. "I went through two miles
in 9:48," he said. "That's going to happen if you go too fast;
you slow in the middle of the race. I just tried to go as hard
as I can and just hold it. I haven't done any speed work in a
couple of months now so I don't know what pace to do."
Through the race's middle miles, interlaced with undulating
terrain, Moulton settled into a 5:10 per mile pace. Running solo
required greater concentration. "It's hard when there's no one
to pace you," he said. "You get in a zone, keep pushing. Just
try to take one mile at a time."
Magill was perceived by Moulton as his greatest threat. "I
knew Chris Magill would be tough so I knew it would be him or me
was going to win," he said. "He didn't come with me on mile one.
I thought he was going to sit back and creep up to me at mile
seven, then pass me. I looked back at mile eight so I was pretty
happy when I didn't see any one come." Magill knew that at this
stage of the race season, he was not yet up to the task. "My
first race back in a while," he said. "Casey's in good shape and
by what he's done in the last six, seven months there's no
reason to think that he would fall off."
Moulton came into the race brimming with confidence after
setting a course record at the rugged Boston Prep 16 Miler in
Derry, NH two weeks ago. "I knew I could win," he said. "Based
on my performances at the last 15 - 16 races I've run. I'm happy
about 50 minutes. It's a fun race, I love coming here."
Romano reveres the tradition of excellence that the B.A.A.
women have established at the OFTM and she did her part to keep
it intact. "The B.A.A. has people here and they usually do
pretty well," she said. "Cathi Campbell (2004), Diana Bowser
(2003), Beth Whitney (2000) all won it in past years and I have a
tremendous amount of respect for them. So to be included among
their names as B.A.A. winners is really an honor." Romano
crushed the women's field winning by more than a three minute
margin over second place finisher Joann Mathews (1:03:26) of
Dartmouth. Having lost sight of Romano within the first three
miles, Mathews aspirations were to secure second place. "I was
in third actually," she said of her position for the majority of
the race. "I was trying for second; that's what I was racing
Romano, who qualified for the 2004 women's Olympic Marathon
trials, had to adjust tactics because of the lack of female
competition. "The first three, four miles there was a pack of
guys that I tucked in the back of," she said. "I don't know
whether they picked it up or I slowed down a little bit but I
ran the last six completely by myself. I just tried to focus on
getting to the next mile and get my splits. If there had been
someone there I could have done a little faster but I was pretty
happy with today. It's a personal best."
The 5K was won by Taunton's Kent Taylor in 17:15. Danielle
Longwith of Cambridge won the women's race in 21:30.