(Bridgton) Last year the elite runners from away stayed away.
On this very hot morning, a collection of talented newcomers appeared and dominated the 37th annual race.
Moninda Marube, the 34-year-old originally from Kenya, started fast and won easily with a time of 20:27.
Second place finisher Matt Rand (Tufts University) trailed Moninda by over thirty seconds.
Finishing third was Craig Robinson (Bentley University) who trailed Matt by nearly thirty second.
So there was plenty of space between the first three. In each case, the runner ahead had reached the Bridgton News office as the next runner was coming down the hill above the Big A.
The promising youngster among the Top Ten was 15-year-old Thomas Ratcliffe, the Concord-Carlisle sophomore, who overtook John Vallo (Southern Maine) down the stretch to capture 4th. Thomas won the Dual County (MA) League championship for the mile in outdoor track as a freshman.
Philip Parent of Pinkerton Academy (Derry NH) followed Pete Bottomley and Silas Eastman to get 8th.
Last year’s winner (Silas Eastman) finished two full minutes after the 2013 winner Moninda Marube in seventh place. Silas just graduated from Fryeburg Academy and in the fall will be attending Colby College.
Fifty-one-year-old Pete Bottomley reached sixth this time around after his best finish ever (3rd) in 2012.
Forty-year old Michael Keenan (South Glastonbury CT) got past Taylor Days-Merrill (Assumption College freshman) late to gain the ninth spot.
Mary Pardi finished twentieth overall and first among the women. Mary was ninth among the women in the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon.
Jenna Willett (Kenyon College Fighting Scots) was second and Bridget Gagne (winner of the Miles for Miracles in Hartford last month) took third.
The tough heat was certainly a factor in this one. My suspicion is that many runners signed up but (wisely?) chose to stay away from the actual event. It was even hot watching the race!
The coolest spot in the area had to be where a mother duck and her five ducklings were situated in Stevens Brook as the race went on.
I did some Google research on Moninda Marube and was able to see his Facebook page. One of the pictures on the page looked very familiar to me and I realized that I had seen Moninda run last July in the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming 10-miler. Moninda came in a close 4th against a very strong field. Here is my story/pictures from that race.
Click here to see the race results for the 2013 Bridgton 4 on the 4th.
(If you click on any of the pictures they will enlarge considerably.)