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Warde Grads Rule Pequot Race

Thanksgiving might be “Turkey Day,” but it was the Mustangs who ruled the morning in Southport. A pair of recent Fairfield Warde graduates took home top honors in the 33rd Annual Pequot Runners Club Thanksgiving Race . Matt Kane (Class of 2008) won the men’s race; the Class of 2010’s Meg Ryan was the first woman.

“This has been on my bucket list for six years now,” Matt said. “It felt good to finally win it.”

Kane finished the 5-mile race in 25:03, edging out 2008 winner John Henwood of New York by only 2 seconds. Now a junior at Villanova University, Kane said it was his best time of his three attempts at Pequot.

He was propelled by a special superstition: a pair of mismatched running shoes. He switched out one of his black sneakers for a former teammate’s white one years ago and kept up the tradition Thursday.

Ryan followed with a time of 29:55. It was also the Notre Dame University freshman’s best 5-mile time. “I don’t usually run this distance,” she said.

In the spirit of the holiday, a few of the nearly 5,000 runners who took to the roads of Fairfield and Westport on Thursday dressed for the occasion . North Haven’s Clayton Tebbetts and Westport’s Eric Beller made a show of it. Tebbetts, dressed in classic Pilgrim costume, chased after Beller, disguised as a turkey. Tebbetts even carried a makeshift musket.

“I got a couple of shots in,” he said.

Clayton wasn’t the only Pilgrim in attendance. Liz Wachsler and Ray Rogers also showed up in costume, but the pair didn’t run. Wachsler and Rogers started the race off with their rendition of “God Bless America” before the competitors took off running. Then Wachsler enjoyed a celebratory turkey leg.

“It was really fun,” she said. “It’s a great way to start Thanksgiving.”

Results of the race are available online .

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