More than 1,000 runners take part in first-time Gloucester, Mass. event, organized by Dave McGillivray and DMSE Sports
GLOUCESTER, Massachusetts — A pair of Kenyans – Lineth Chepkurui and Alan Kiprono – won the inaugural Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race on Sunday along scenic Cape Ann in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Kiprono, 20, who finished second at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, two weeks ago, broke the tape first at 32:54 to take the men’s crown. In the women’s division, Chepkurui, 23, winner of the Beach to Beacon and Peachtree 10K already this summer and ranked 9th in the world, returned to her winning ways with a 37:23. She placed second in the Falmouth Road Race last weekend.
The two world-class athletes were among a field of more than 1,000 runners who took part in the first-time race, which began and ended at the famous Fisherman’s Memorial statue on the historic Gloucester waterfront. The course took runners through downtown Gloucester and around Cape Ann along one of New England’s most picturesque seascapes, including nearly five miles of often breathtaking ocean views.
Race organizers anticipate the Run Gloucester race on Cape Ann eventually growing to become the third leg in a series of major coastal New England road races each August, joining the Beach to Beacon in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and the Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod.
The Run Gloucester! 7-Mile (www.rungloucester.com) was organized by Dave McGillivray, race director of the BAA Boston Marathon, and his team at DMSE Sports, Inc.
“It’s great to get this first one under our belts,” said McGillivray, who also directs the Beach to Beacon race. “We saw the potential for this race today. The course itself is stunning, the community support was outstanding, and we couldn’t ask for better sponsorship. Just flawless. There’s also a strong running culture in this area, which was on display today. Our goal is to keep building this thing because we’ve got something special here.”
Proceeds from the race benefitted the Gloucester Fishermen Athletic Association (GFAA) and DMSE’s Children Fitness Foundation.
The GFAA raises funds for Gloucester High School student-athletes, sports programs and facilities, and is a key supporter of the renovation of Gloucester High's Newell Stadium.
The GFAA provided and coordinated the more than 60 volunteers on Sunday who staffed the race’s water stations and handled other duties at the start and finish line.
The race’s primary sponsors were Saucony, Inc., the running and athletic apparel company, and the Gloucester Daily Times. Other sponsors included Addison Gilbert Hospital, Marriott Peabody, Courtyard Boston Danvers, Springhill Suites Boston Peabody, Sudbay Motors, North Shore 104.9, the Vitamin Shoppe, Cape Ann Savings Bank, Bank Gloucester, Seaboard Beer Distributors and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Kiprono, running his first races on American soil this month, collected $1,500 for winning the men’s race, as part of a $5,000 prize purse supplied by Saucony. Second place went to Kemsa Mergersa, 24, of Ethiopia (33:51), and Fikada Lemma, 26, of Ethiopia (34:27) placed third. The first American was Nate Jenkins, 29, of Andover, Mass., (34:32), who placed fourth.
James Koskei, 41, of Kenya, one of the world’s top master’s runners, finished sixth (35:27).
In the women’s division, Chepkurui, who finished 10th overall, won $1,500, while Salome Kosgei, 29, of Kenya (39:25) took second and Caroline Bjune, 36, of Andover, Mass. (42:16) placed third and also was the first American women finisher.
While the elite athletes topped the field, Run Gloucester also drew a top-notch contingent of Cape Ann runners who likely savored the overcast skies that made for perfect running conditions.
Among the Cape Ann runners, Matt Curran, 53, of Gloucester (41:26) topped the men’s field, while Layne Alves, 30, of Rockport (44:58) was the first local woman. As Cape Ann's top finishers, they were presented the first Austin Connors Jr., Cup, a tribute to the late longtime owner of Connors Pharmacy, who also was an avid part of the local running scene.
Saucony also awarded shoe gift certificates to all age group winners:
19 and Under: Cecily Francis, 16, Gloucester, Mass. (54:09) and Noah Mondello, 15, Gloucester, Mass. (43:34)
20 to 29: Elizabeth Stephen, 23, East Montpelier, Vt. (43:44) and Nate Jenkins, 29, Andover, Mass. (34:32)
30 to 39: Layne Alves, 30, Rockport, Mass. (44:58) and James Pawlicki, 35, Beverly, Mass. (39:23)
40 to 49: Jennifer Hegarty, 44, Wakefield, Mass. (45:58) and James Koskei, 41, Kenya (35:28)
50 to 59: Julie Menosky, 50, Beverly, Mass. (48:38) and Matthew Curran, 53, Gloucester, Mass. (41:26)
60 to 69: Jeanne Butterfield, 61, Bangor, Maine (1:02:34) and Alex Silverman, 65, Northampton, Mass. (48:44)
70 to 79: Carrie Parsi, 71, Gloucester, Mass. (1:01:38) and Ed Kibby, 73, Brookline, Mass. (57:44)
A total of 971 runners registered for the seven-mile run and an additional 75 children signed up for the kid’s run portion of the race. Complete race results are available at the race website, www.rungloucester.com.
Also, at the start line prior to the race on Sunday, McGillivray presented Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk with a framed bib #1. Kirk said she is committed to running next year’s race, set for August 21, 2011.
Founded by McGillivray in 1981, DMSE Sports, Inc. is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. McGillivray has produced or consulted on more than 900 mass-participatory athletic events throughout the world, including 23 Boston Marathons; the 2004 and 2008 USA Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials, the 1990 Triathlon World Championship, the 1998 Goodwill Games Triathlon, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. For more info, visit www.dmsesports.com.