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27th Annual Seagull Six

Woods Hole, MA, April 4, 2004

Newton Doubles and Baker Threepeats in 27th Annual Seagull Six

by Courtney Bird

It was déjà vu all over again for Geof Newton of Brewster and Jessica Baker of Bourne at the 27th Annual Seagull Six 5.74-mile Road Race in Woods Hole. For Newton, it was his second victory in a row and for Baker, it was her third consecutive victory.

Newton faced formidable competition from the wily and hard-running 43-year-old veteran of Falmouth's roads, Ken Gartner. For the first half of the hilly course, Newton and Gartner traded the lead, but soon after the three-mile water station, Newton took the frontrunners' position for good, opened up a 20 to 25 second lead, and held on to cross the finish line in 31:22. Gartner followed 25 seconds later in 31:47. The 3rd and 4th place honors went to two high school students - Justin Ladner, 17, of East Falmouth (34:26) and Todd Kirkman, 18, of North Falmouth (35:15). 5th place went to Steve Faluotico of Falmouth in 35:19.

Jessica Baker, 29, of Bournedale ran her fastest time ever on the course. Her winning time of 37:29 was two minutes better than her previous best, run in 2003. It earned her 11th place overall and left the rest of the women's field in the dust. The real battle was for second place with only 41 seconds separating the next four women. Wendy Stafford, 39, of Falmouth finished second in 41:01, and she was followed in short order by Lindsay Ruthven, 28, of Falmouth (41:20), Holly Fearnbach, 27, of Winston-Salem, NC (41:28), and Nancy MacDonald, 39, of Weymouth (41:42).

It was one of those typical early April days on Cape Cod. The weather couldn't decide whether it was late winter or early spring. So it was raw, overcast, and spitting rain for most of the race. But that didn't deter the runners who found the conditions ideal, and there was a good turn out for the 2.5 mile non-competitive walk held in conjunction with the event to raise money for women's health programs in Falmouth.

There were 114 finishers in this year's Seagull Six. The race has been staged annually by the Falmouth Track Club since 1978, and this year's edition was sponsored by Lawrence Lynch Corporation, Falmouth Podiatry, Falmouth Physical Therapy, Sherwood Mortgage, K.C.'s Drapery and Blind Design, and the Market Street Bookshop. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Falmouth High School track program.

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