Organizers of the Niantic Bay Half-Marathon couldn't have asked for better weather. It was sunny but not too hot with a steady breeze, no humidity, and not a cloud in the sky.
More than 700 competitors put themselves to the test at what has become the largest running event this side of the Connecticut River. For many, just completing the grueling 21.097494 kilometer-long course was an accomplishment.
Jason Dufour, 39, of Bristol was the overall winner of the half-marathon, completing the course in 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 24 seconds. Cassie-Ryan Rasmuss, 29, Quaker Hill, finished 11th overall, with a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes, and 7 seconds, which made her first among the women runners.
Runners from Middletown were:
- John Houston, 56, time: 1:41:01, pace: 7:40
- Ray Bouffard, 49, 1:48:54, 8:15
- Tim Walczak, 28, 1:51:34, 8:28
- Sherri Condon, 47, 1:51:49, 8:29
- Mary Pat Coan, 25, 1:52:52, 8:34
- Kaylee Marino, 23, 2:02:51, 9:19
- John Rumberger, 42, 2:05:52. 9:33
- Tina Rideout, 36, 2:06:15, 9:34
- Joseph Marino, 56, 2:19:32, 10:35
The women turned out to be particularly tough competitors. Marcy Withington, 42, of Old Lyme, finished 28th with a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 43 seconds and Lindsay Raymond, 25, of Niantic, was hot on her heels, coming in 29th with a time of 1 hour, 36 minutes, and 6 seconds.
Casey Spencer, 23, of Niantic won the 5K with a time of 18 minutes, 3 seconds.
Individual trophies were also awarded for each age group. Andrea Wiliamson, 57, of Norwalk, who finished the course in 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 21 seconds took first place in her age group. She said she loved the fact that she was still able to run faster than women younger than her.
"I love this race," Williamson said. "It was a beautiful day, a gorgeous course, and it's so well-organized."
City residents who took part in the 5K (3.1-mile) portion of the race turned in some really good pace times:
- Heather Pierce, 27, 28:10, 9:04
- Pat Tencza, 59, 29:56, 9:38
- Rikki Alrutz, 34, 31:27, 10:08
- Judith Goodale, 54, 32:51, 10:35
- Kristie Hyde, 27, 54:13, 17:27
Volunteer Paramedics from Niantic Fire Department and paramedics and doctors from Lawrence & Memorial Hospital were on hand in case of emergencies but aside from a few sore ankles, some bruises, and a fair number of blisters, injuries were minor and no one had to go to hospital.
"We've never been this slow," said Ronald Kersey, director of the paramedics program at L&M Hospital. "It's been a fantastic day!"