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29th Annual Dunkin' Donuts Cape Cod Marathon & Sovereign Bank Marathon Relay
Falmouth, MA, October 29, 2006
Miller PRs to Grab First for men, Westerling Repeats for the Women in a Windy Dunkin' Donuts Cape Cod Marathon
by Betsy Gladfelter
"Windy" was the first word out of the victor's mouths as they crossed the finish line before a field of 1200 marathoners and 180 relay teams in the 29th Dunkin' Donuts Cape Cod Marathon and 14th Sovereign Bank Marathon Relay. Shad Miller had a time of 2:28:14 to top a strong men's field, and Heidi Westerling easily repeated last year's victory with a 2:47:32. Hand cyclist John McArdle won his division with a 2:10:00.
Miller, 28, from Providence, RI was followed by Kevin Gray, 28, of Roslindale, MA, who also bested his previous PR with a 2:29:42, and David Bedoya, 29, of Somerville, MA, who ran a 2:30:16. Miller ran with Gray until about mile 22, but was then able to pull away despite his feet being "bruised and falling apart" from the 20 mile mark on. He credits his success to six months of hard training broken only by one week for a honeymoon in Iceland in August. Gray pointed out that his rival, Miller, ran "a great race," but said he was quite happy with his own. He said, "The last few miles along the beach were crazy, the wind at your back, pushing you along faster than you wanted to go." Gray's parents live in Falmouth so he was familiar with the course.
Heidi Westerling, 24, from Narragansett, RI, said she "felt really good" the whole race and thinks the "course is great," but she was a little disappointed that the day was "so windy". She ran the first 20 miles with two teammates from the Boston Athletic Association, working well together, as they were good on the uphills and she could pull the group down the hills. Her family provided enthusiastic vocal support at several points along the route. She has won three of four marathons since her first victory in her first marathon last year on the CCM course. Her next goal is to lower her PR of 2:44, which is good enough for a "B" standard to qualify for the women's Olympic trials under the "A" standard of 2:39. She was followed by Barbara McManus, 38 of Oakham, MA, who said, "It was brutal out there, I was really blown around," but managed a 3:03:53 for her second CCM finish after dropping out three other tries. Her parents also have a house in Falmouth and she said she was "determined to conquer this course." She also had high praise for the woman's champion for running so well on a tough day. Debbie Barry, 41 of Ashby, MA took third and first for Master's woman in a 3:05:30.
John McArdle, 40, from Montpelier, VT pushed his hand cycle in a fast 2:10:00 around the course. He said he "ate a lot of sand" in the stretches along the beach and he "felt like he was driving a Mac truck" on some of the uphill stretches, but he had nothing but praise for the course, the race organizers and volunteers.
In the men's Master's race George Luke, 40, from Clinton, CT ran a 2:33:24 for first (and sixth overall male), Mark Reeder, 47, from Brighton, MA took second in a time of 2:37:44 (and seventh overall male), and Jason Cakouros, 41 of Milton, MA took third (and eighth overall male) in 2:38:40.
The women's Master's race was won by Debbie Barry, 41, of Ashby, MA in a 3:04:36, good for third place female overall). Second place was Delwyn Williamson, 44 of Boston, MA, who ran 3:08:43 (good for fourth female overall), and third place went to Patricia Dalconzo, 43, of Harvard, MA in 3:14:46 (good for seventh female overall). ,
The Greater Boston Track Club took the mixed and women's titles in the Sovereign Bank Marathon Relay, honoring their former teammate and a former Falmouth High School track and cross country star Margaret Bradley, who died in a training run two years ago. Both teams were hosted overnight in Falmouth by Margaret's parents. The mixed team, the GBTC Mixed Up Fish of Cambridge, MA, clocked a 2:34:59, to be the first relay team across the line, while the women's team, the GBTC Margaret Bradley Fish of Brookline, MA finished in 2:49:31. The Jumbo's from West Lebanon, NH captured the men's relay title in a 2:57:31.
Top Cape and Island finishers for the men were Benjamin S. Parsons, 28, of Sagamore Beach, who ran 3:11:40, Robert Smith, 40, of North Falmouth (3:13:06), and Eric Nelson, 45, of Sandwich, (3:21:28). The first Cape and Islands woman finisher was also from Sagamore Beach -- Nancy Porter, 24, who ran 3:16:41. She was followed by two women from Martha's Vineyard -- Amanda Glazier, 23, of Oak Bluffs (3:37:58) and Bonnie Kingsbury, 28, of Vineyard Haven (3:42:37).
"A miracle!!" is the way Race Director Courtney Bird described it. At 8:00 pm the night before the race, Bird and Falmouth Police Chief David Cusilito drove the course to assess the damage caused by a furious Sou'easter that had hammered the Vineyard Sound coast of Falmouth all Saturday long with 20' seas, 70 mph winds and flooding that rendered whole sections of the course impassable because of boulders, drifiting sand, huge 3' deep pond-sized puddles and downed power lines. But Don Swire of the Falmouth Department of Public Works turned out his troops armed with road graders, bulldozers, front end loaders, street sweepers and pumps, and they worked through the night to ensure that the roads would be safe and passable for the runners and for the towns people. NSTAR crews arrived to clear downed power lines and restore electricity. By 5:00 am the roads were open; and by the time the runners came through several hours later, the lakes had been reduced to puddles. It was a wonderful example of a community coming together, of team work, and of "can do" spirit. 972 marathoners and 168 relay teams completed the 26.2 mile journey on a blustery day that featured wind gusts that topped 60 mph -- stong enough to, in one instance, blow over a porta john with a runner in it! Temperatures never climbed out of the low 50's. Yet despite the conditions, 28% of the finishers who had previously run a marathon set PR's.