The weather this morning for Eliot was much better than what the forecasts had called for. Rather than the torrential downpours and wind we were expecting, the runners were treated to a very humid but relatively cool and very calm morning with temperatures in the low 60s. Fog may have blanketed everything and all of the events for the Eliot Festival Days (except for the race) may have been canceled, but 412 runners still came out to run.

The men’s field was very competitive, with 13 runners going sub-16. Not quite the 25 sub-16s of 2005, but a good jump on the past few years where only 7 or 8 sub-16 runners competed. Louis Luchini was unchallenged at the finish line in 14:39, while Robert Edgerton only managed to edge out Patrick Moulton by 1 second with a time of 14:53.

Carry Buterbaugh also had a strong lead at the finish line, finishing 22 seconds ahead of Johanna Fickenscher in 18:11. Christine Reaser took 3rd place in 19:13.

In team racing, Dirigo won the day no matter how you scored the race. It seems as though they went on finishing time at the awards ceremony, but the final results have the scores age graded (as they were supposed to.) All that meant was that 2 of our 3 scorers were different. PR Racing finished in 2nd place, about 3 and a half minutes back.

The food at the end of the race was pretty good, with plenty of fruit, bagels, bread, pasta salad, cookies, and soup for all of the runners. There was even some left after people finished their cool downs.

I am not sure if there was a problem with the sponsorship, though, because the prize structure did not seem to pan out. The race announced that it would pay out 10 places, male and female, but they decided only to pay out 5 places and also reduced the money earned at that. This does not strike me as a good way to convince top talent to return to your race, especially with the constant turnover in race directorship. I think that Eliot’s best days may be past, which is shame because it used to be such a good showcase for New England talent.

My own race went well, but I still failed to meet my season goal. I finished in 16:30, going out a few seconds slower than I wanted and then falling apart near the end. One of my teammates kept himself motivated at the end by watching my form fall apart in the last half mile, although I still kept my lead on him as I struggled to the finish line.

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