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29th Annual Seagull Six Spring Classic

Woods Hole, MA, April 2, 2006

Gartner and Smrcina Take Men's and Women's Titles in 29th Annual Seagull Six

by Courtney Bird

Ken Gartner, 45, of West Falmouth was the first finisher with a time of 32:10, and North Falmouth's Ali Smrcina, 18, who ran 38:12, was the top woman at the 29th Annual Seagull Six 5.74-mile Road Race held on Sunday, April 2, in Woods Hole.

Gartner, who has run so many Seagulls that he has every pothole and crack in the pavement memorized, took charge of the race and easily bested his fellow Falmouth Track Club teammates, Steve Faluotico of Falmouth (second in 33:40) and P. J. Petrone of North Falmouth (third in 35:14). The top five was rounded out by Mike Sellars, 47, of Mashpee (35:52), who also captured first place in the men's master division, and North Falmouth's Todd Kirkman, 20, who ran a 36:45.

In the women's race, Smrcina ran unchallenged and finished in 38:12, good for 8th place overall. It was a good tune-up for the Dartmouth-bound Falmouth High senior who is getting ready for the spring track season. Nearly three minutes later, Stace Beaulieu, 34, of Falmouth crossed the line with a time of 41:04. The battle for the next three places was very close between three master runners who all finished within 8 seconds of each other. Kathleen Thomas, 48, of Mashpee (42:28) finished in third place and took top honors in the women's master division. She was followed by Jessica Devonis of East Falmouth (43:34) and Caryn Brake (43:36) also of East Falmouth.

It was an ideal early spring day with bright sunshine and cloudless skies. As a result, 65 runners post-entered. When FTC Exalted Cannoneer, Bob Richards, fired the cannon, one of the largest fields in the recent history of the race took off for the scenic and hilly loop course. In addtion, there was a 2.5 mile non-competitive walk held in conjunction with the event to raise money for women's health programs in Falmouth.

There were 150 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, and the Inkwell Bookstore. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Falmouth High School track program.

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