It was a good night for a race. It was relatively warm, but nowhere near as humid as it has been. This led to the gravel path around the Back Cove being nice and dusty, leaving a fine layer of grit on everybody’s legs.

Matt Lane won the race in an easy 17:12, almost 80 seconds behind his performance in week 4.

The real excitement came in the women’s race, though, as the course record has now been broken twice in the same season. This time, Joan Benoit Samuelson took the lead after deciding to drive down from Freeport 40 minutes before the race was supposed to start. She was jogging over to the starting line from the parking lot as everybody was lining up. Joanie cut 30 seconds off of Heather Pagano‘s previous record, finishing in 18:11.

Heather came in 2nd place in 18:50. This brings her average time over 4 races to 18:56, which would put her into 4th place overall on the leaderboard and well ahead of the current 1st place Heather Henningson (2:22:33) who is sitting in 26th place overall.

David Mann (01:51:58) cut Dave Manz‘ (01:47:38) lead by almost 30 seconds tonight, but the top 2 spots haven’t changed since the leaderboard first came out.

Alex Bergo (1:56:05) dropped 2 places to 5th, despite dropping his overall time by 19 seconds. I moved up to 3rd place with an overall time of 1:53:07.

There were 118 finishers tonight, 9 of whom completed their 6th race of the season and found themselves on the leader board for the first time. There are now 62 people who have completed at least 6 of the 10 races in the 18 week series. There have been 591 different people that have run at least 1 race so far this year.

My race was an interesting one. My original goal had been to run at an even tempo effort to come through in about 17:15, which would lead me to believe that I could run around 34 minutes at Beach to Beacon. About 50 meters into the race, Scott Gorneau‘s car key jumped out of his pocket and hit me in the chest. I then kicked it a couple of times, once by accident and once to try and get it to the side of the path so that I could pick it up.

That fine layer of dust that everybody wound up with on their legs also did a wonderful job of burying and hiding Scott’s key. At first, I thought that it might be mine despite the fact that it was pinned to my key pocket, but it only took me a second to figure out that it was Scott’s. It took the two of us 22 seconds to locate and pick up the key, which was right in the middle of the path where over 118 people were busy trying to run. I waited for a small break and ran in to scoop it up as I turned to start running again, and my wife almost steamrolled me as she came running through.

We recovered Scott’s key, though, and while I ran 17:38 in the race, I managed to run 17:16 by my watch so that is close enough to my original goal. I didn’t run at a very even effort, however. Scott and I spent the next mile plus running at around 5:00-5:25 pace, and by the end of the race I could feel some cramps coming up in my gut as a result. I managed to catch most of the field to finish in 4th, and Scott did a great job of getting ahead of me and holding me off over the last mile, but we could have been up there making Matt do a little work as well.

(Full ResultsLeader BoardPhotos)