On a day that featured sustained 40mph winds and gusts of up to 80mph, Team Gloucester runners made a statement Saturday at the 53rd annual Mt. Washington Road Race, taking home 4 team trophies and 4 individual awards in the 7.6 mile race to the 6, 288 foot summit.
The Team Gloucester trio of Regina Loiacano, Layce Alves, and Jenn Brooks met a longstanding goal, placing first out of 24 teams in the Women’s Open Team Competitin. All three also placed in the top ten in the women’s individual competition, with Loiacano finishing in third place (1st in age group) with a time of 1:24:45, Alves in sixth with a time of 1:26:33, and Brooks in tenth with a time of 1:28:27. The women edged out Western Mass Distance Project, whose runners finished fifth, eighth, and eleventh, by a tiny 2:14 margin. The women’s masters team of Loiacano, Tina Dowling, and Freddi Pare took second place in team competition, as did the men’s senior team of Matt Curran, John Barbour, Bob Gillis, Steve Whittey, and Glenn Simm.
AJ Migonis was the first Gloucester man to cross the line, finishing in 51st. Team Gloucester runner and Ipswich resident Chris Blondin was next, finishing 66th in 1:21.28. Matt Curran was right behind, finishing 69th (2nd in his division)at 1:21:14. Michal Cimozko was next to summit, finishing his first run up in the mountain in 1:23:22. After Loiacano, who placed 91st out of both men and women came John Barbour in 92nd place (3rd in his division) at 1:24:25. Ned Jeffries finished 97th in 1:25:36, followed by Alves in 104th place. Long-time mountain runner Bob Gillis crossed the line in 1:27:54 and 119th place, followed by Brooks in 126th.
Kevin Littman snuck under the 90 minute barrier, finishing in 1:29:59. He was followed by Stevey Whittey in 1:33:22, Glenn Simm in 1:36:06, and Gary Jewett in 1:39:18. Mountain newbies Tim Greiner and Tina Dowling finished in 1:41:51 and 1:41:58, followed by Tom Mitchell who ran 1:45:00 in his first jaunt up the mountain. Mike Gillis finished in 1:46:59, Pare in 1:47:23, and Ernesto Mendoza, running with his leg taped from hill to knee, made the run in 1:51:17. Amy Ballin , Tony Repucci , and Zach South all made it in under the two hour mountain, finishing in 1:55:31, 1:57:57, and 1:59:02. Carrie Parsi finished first in her division with a time of 2:06:08, Tom Paradis reached the top in a time of 2:10:02, and Team Gloucester runner by marriage Randall Werner finished in 2:15:02.
Team Gloucester had 26 runners , 9 of them first timers, all running with purple mardis gras beads in a nod to Team Founder Peter Watson’s standard good luck charm. The race field is capped at 1300 runners, and entrance is by invitation or lottery. This years race featured runners from 24 states as well as Ontario, Quebec, and the District of Columbia.