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Survivor -- The Hyannis Outback

Dave Camire

dan verrington
Race winner Dan Verrington
photo Dave Camire

Hyannis, Mass -As race director of this year's Hyannis Marathon/Half-Marathon, Paul Collyer made all the right moves. He did a good job promoting the event and was rewarded with 1100 pre-entrants. The highest amount since the mid-eighties when 1800 ran. He worked closely with the Cape Cod Athletic Club to make sure the course was well marked and monitored. He organized a pre-race runners' expo and spaghetti dinner. He was a man in control of everything - well, almost everything. As we all know, you can't control New England weather.

As runners began streaming into the Sheraton Hyannis on race morning, it appeared to be a repeat of this year's Derry 16-Miler (see Another Derry Difficult Day). Near white out conditions prevailed. Soon several inches of wet snow covered the roadways. By the time the race started the snow had turned into a cold and steady rain making for less than ideal conditions.

Hyannis serves as the last New England qualifier for the Boston Marathon and as the conditions worsened, many saw their chance for a qualifying time dashed. Dan Verrington, of Bradford, MA, was there for another reason. He was hoping to break the course record and to earn the $500 bonus. "I knew by a mile and a half that it wasn't going to happen," explained Verrington. "It was just too slippery." A day in which many hoped for qualifiers and some records quickly turned into a day of surviving the elements.

bj bottomley
Second place finisher BJ Bottomley
photo Dave Camire

With the possibility of a course record out of the question, Verrington set his sights on winning the race. "My whole family was there so I still wanted the win." By the halfway mark it looked like another day at the office as he had a comfortable five-minute lead over Nashua's BJ Bottomley and Ultra man Jim Garcia of Westford, MA.

The battle between Bottomley and Garcia looked like a rematch of Boston Prep 16-Miler in Derry a month earlier. In that race, Garcia prevailed with a one-minute win over Bottomley. Today, however, the tables would turn. At about sixteen miles Bottomley took the lead for good. "I settled into six ohs," said Bottomley who was running the race to qualify for Boston. Bottomley slowly closed the gap on Verrington, but ran out of real estate finishing just 1:27 back.

Garcia on the other hand was holding what seemed to be a comfortable lead over Jim Pawlicki and Craig Watcke until he decided to make an unusual pit stop at about 20 miles. It was there that he made a change of clothing and had a quick lunch. The entire episode took a little over two minutes eating into his cushion over the on-coming Pawlicki and Watche. Both Pawlicki and Watche passed Garcia at twenty-three miles to finish third and forth respectively.

dan verrington
Jim Garcia quick change artist
photos Dave Camire

The women's winner was Abby Kingman of Goshen, MA with a time of 3:21:23. The mens masters' title was captured by Garcia (2:47:52) and Kary Zimmerman (3:35:45) of Stevens, PA won the womens masters' title.

In the accompanying half-marathon, John Noland (1:16:33) of Kingston, MA took home male honors while Jessica Blake (1:25:58) of North Attleboro took home female honors. Ken Gartner (1:17:20) of W. Falmouth and Lynne Clay (1:29:32) made it a clean sweep for Cape Cod in the masters division.

Much thanks goes out to the volunteers who manned the course and worked the aid stations in the freezing rain for hours. This was a very well organized event and hopefully the energy Collyer and crew put into this year's event will carry on to 2002.

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