Yankee Homecoming: Striders REPRESENT!
NEWBURYPORT - Yankee Homecoming 10 mile and 5K races. It’s like a summer ritual: you run Yankee Home – you just do if at all possible. Even when it’s in the 90’s. You dread the anticipated weather; but you love the course and the camaraderie and the Newburyport folks who support you all along the route. It’s a fair course: some hills, some straight-aways, the city, the ocean, a state park, a flat last mile and a finishing hill that sucks out of you whatever you have left. Even if you’re on empty, there’s something about seeing the finish banner and those mats that dips into the reserve tank you thought was depleted miles ago.
But this year we were treated to lower 70’s, overcast (but still humid) weather. It was Nirvana to some. Of course to others among us, that’s still oppressive heat. OK, it is to me. But it was a nice running night and the drizzle that began later on felt great to those of us who “brought up the rear” in the 10 miler. The North Shore Striders were well-represented, and many of our members and teams scored highly in various age categories.
It’s worth noting that unlike many other races, Yankee Homecoming does not have gun time/run time. Those of us who took a minute plus to even reach the starting line tend to grouse about that. A gun-time only system rewards those who disregard the anticipated pace groupings and crowd the starting line. It just doesn’t seem fair. (Curious how other Striders feel about that – chime in.)
Nevertheless, we had many striders running the 5K, and two placed in their age groups: Guiseppe (Joe) Giannone took first, besting 19 other runners, in the 70-79 category running an 8:10 pace. Nice going, Joe. And not to be outdone, Nancy Giannone earned a second place finish in the 60-69 category running just over 10’s. Great run, Nancy. Our fastest 5K finisher was Eric Jones, running a great 8:04 pace, followed closely by Eunice Panetta who kept up an 8:06. Armand Claveau and Tom McMahon ran in the 9’s and Mary Stevens, Joan Dailey and Maureen Kelly finished in the 10’s. We’re proud of all of them.
In the ten miler, Harold Beard was the first Strider finisher, taking second in the 50-59 age group at an outstanding 6:52 pace.
And for the women, Linda Fitzpatrick took first in the 60-64 age group running an outstanding 8:38 pace, and Linda Desjardins took third in the same age group a minute a mile more slowly than the much speedier Linda Fitzpatrick.
Those who ran in the 7’s were David Sullivan, Neil Bernstein (who had just competed in the Wakefield marathon 4 days prior), Sue Quimby, and Steven Keenholtz. That’s a great pace to maintain. The runners in the 8’s were Lauren Hamilton, Lance Stover, Moll Rowe, Laurie Callaghan and a very happy Vicky Yee. I’m sure Kathy McPherson was a victim of the “gun time” results as she ended up with a flat 9 minute pace. Others in the 9’s were Sean Kay (who was 5 minutes late to the start line) and Pattie Clocher. Rounding out the rest of the Striders were Bonnie Hallinan and Kevin Counihan (another Wakefield competitor), both running respectable paces. Kudos to all as no one dogged it; we all gave it our best effort.
We’re not through: we have team results, too, and the North Shore Striders did, indeed represent!
The men’s open team was 13th, and both the masters and veterans teams took fifth place.
The women’s open team was 9th, the masters team placed 3rd as did the veterans, and the seniors claimed 1st.
Next on tap in the NSS Grand Prix series is the Lynn Woods Relay on 8/22. See you there!
Full results here.