After a stormy Memorial Day morning in Durham, the 34th annual Washington Trail 10K Road Race went off with a bang. In anticipation of the race, participants lined up at the starting line, up to ten minutes early despite the hot and humid conditions. The racers counted down with excitement as Hans Pedersen lit off the cannon just as the clock started.
“We have a great turnout from folks,” said Michael Viccaro, a member of the Durham/Middlefield Exchange Club who was announcing the race for the first time. “A lot of work goes into this.”
370 runners laced up to run in one of two races, a 4K and a 10K. All of the racers started off strong, but Ryan Ford, Chris Schulten, and Toby Kules pulled it in as the top three finishers in the 10K.
“The conditions were slow,” said Chris Schulten, who finished second. “It was just one of those days where your face and hands are numb.”
“The humidity increased just as the cannon went off,” said Susan Cassidy after running the 4K.
Different motivations helped some people push through the tough conditions. The Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation handed out bells to inspire the runners.
“It was great, having all the track kids out there cheering me on gave me so much adrenaline,” said eighth place 10K runner Jack Mcshane. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“The bells were really inspiring,” said 4K runner Julie Linden. “I’m proud of my eleven year old, who I think beat me!”
Finishing racers were greeted with plenty of water, orange slices, and watermelon as they shook hands and congratulated each other.
Reporter Note: In honor of the new track at Coginchaug Regional High School, there will be an alumni track meet held sometime in July, for all former Coginchaug students who never had the track. Check back with Patch for details.