This year’s Lewiston/Auburn Triple Crown 5k Race Series has now gotten underway with this morning’s YMCA Fit Fest. The race saw some tremendous growth, with over twice as many finishers this year as there was last year (534 and 249, respectively.)

Henry Dan & Kate at the YMCA Fit FestHenry Gaudion made the trip all the way from Dover-Foxcroft to win the race in 16:33, only 3 seconds behind his 5k PR from cross country season. He’s going to have a great senior year and some good college running to look forward to!

Henry had taken over the lead about 2/3 of a mile into the race as he came up on my shoulder with my fellow Dirigo runner Dan Crooker (4th, 17:12) and we ran down the rabbit that had gone out way too hard.

We all felt pretty comfortable with the 5:11 first mile, and other than a short surge down a steep hill on Locust Street Henry and Dan were seemingly running away with the race.

By the second mile, though, I’d started to reel Dan in and tried to work my way up to Henry. I though with about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to go that I might be able to do it; I was feeling strong. Henry dropped a hammer, though, and ran a 4:51 3rd mile (which was realistically about 5 flat given that the 3rd mile marker was a bit early.)

Henry wound up beating me by 13 seconds as I came through in second place in 16:46, with 3rd place Ryan Fitzsimons of Turner another 22 seconds back from there.

Despite coming into the race with some lingering injuries, last year’s Triple Crown champion Tina Meserve won the race pretty handily in 19:55.

The battle between 2nd and 3rd was much tighter, though, with Kacie Herrick of Portland edging out local runner Kelley St. Hiliare by only 3 seconds to take 2nd place in 20:38.

The next race in the Triple Crown Series is Emily’s Run on July 26th.

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