The New Bedford Half Marathon in Massachusetts was this morning. It is the first of seven races in the USATF New England grand prix racing series. The temperature was in the high 30s with some strong wind but not as strong as in years past. It was much stronger at 9:30 in the morning than it was at race time.

The course is pretty flat, with some hills in the first few miles and one decent sized hill over the last mile of the race. There are 4 or 5 miles of (mostly) gentle downgrade in the middle of the course. Those miles correspond with when the wind is at your back, but it comes straight into your face from mile 9 through most of the rest of the run.

There were 1666 runners this year. Derese Deniboba won with a time of 66:29, almost 2 minutes ahead of New Balance Boston’s Ryan Carrara.

Ethan Hemphill led the Dirigo runners, outsprinting a few competitors to finish 11th in 69:45. I rounded out the scoring for our team as the 5th man in 76:31.

Heidi Westerling led the women’s race, finishing 65th overall and winning with a time of 74:30. She passed me about 4 or 5 miles into the race. Molly Taber came through in 5th for the women with a time of 77:16 for her warmup for the Olympic Trials in April. She ran the majority of the middle miles with me, but decided not to let me break the wind for her in the back stretch and fell back a little.

The Boston Athletic Association dominated in the team race, winning the men’s race with a combined time of 5:47:57 and the women’s race in 3:49:47. Scores are the aggregate time of the first 5 runners on a team for the men’s race and the first 3 runners on a team for the women’s race. The men’s team won by about 9 minutes and the women’s team won by about 5 minutes.

Dirigo finished 5th overall, following the Merrimack Valley Striders by only 30 seconds. Our combined time was 6:02:28.

(Full Results)