What a difference a week makes. That was the unanimous sentiment among participants in Saturday's Road Runners 4.7-mile race from Longshore Country Club in Westport. Instead of trudging in, soaked in sweat from the heat and humidity, most of the finishers had smiles on their faces and enough energy to sprint across the finish line, thanks to dry air and temperatures in the mid-60s.
One thing was the same from last week: Nadeem Ahmad finished first, overtaking early leaders Max Robinson and Adam Mulia to notch a 7-second victory and clock 26 minutes flat for the shoreline course.
"I knew I didn't have much of a chance over such a short distance," said Mulia, who attended Staples High School but never ran until a few years ago when he moved to Brooklyn. "I figured my only chance was to go out as hard as I could and hope I could hold Nadeem off."
Amy Fredericks found the return to Longshore to her liking, winning her second race in a row from the venue. She placed seventh overall in a time of 29:10, almost two minutes ahead of the second woman, Kristin Simonsen.
The ideal running conditions, more typical of late September than the last day of July, brought out a crowd of 142 competitors, the fifth largest for this race in the 48-year series' history. "To be honest, I thought we'd get 200 with this great weather," said Laddie Lawrence, the series director.
Sharon Vos, the third female finisher, wasn't complaining about the weather. "I wore a long-sleeve shirt warming up, and after I finished I actually started to feel chilly," she said.
The series moves into its second half next week at Compo Beach for a 5.85-mile race. Details are available at the Road Runners website.
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