The conditions for racing were certainly not ideal, but the 9th Edition of the Bobby Doyle Summer Classic took place without a hitch. Hundreds of runners gathered in Narragansett, RI for this established New England road race, including a stellar field of regional and even a few national-quality elites. The race is in memory of Rhode Island distance running legend Bobby Doyle, who’s highlights include two top-ten finishes at the Boston Marathon, representing team USA at the Pan Am Games in 1979, and a Marathon PR of 2’14’03. It may have been a hot one where just finishing was an accomplishment, but there were still some impressive performances.
On the men’s side, things were bunched up early on, but the pace was near last year’s course record clip (23’51 by Moussab Hadout). Ruben Sanca (Brooks/Whirlaway) fronted the race early with a large chase pack about 30 meters back. By the two mile mark, the pack had swallowed up Ruben and by the 5k split, it was down to Amos Sang (Western Mass Distance Project), Tyler Pennel (ZAP Fitness), and Hanson/Brooks athlete Brendan Gregg. The pace slowed significantly with a 5’02 slightly uphill 4th mile and the battle had begun between Pennel and Sang. The two traded off the lead on over the next kilometer or so, then Amos dropped the hammer hard to break it open and take the W in 24’05 to Pennel’s 24’16. Brendan Gregg took up the bronze medal with Ben Connor (Derby Athletic Club) and Ruben Sanca rouding out the fourth and fifth spots.
The women’s field featured some accomplished athletes, including Salome Kosgei, an former Iona All-American who took the race out hard from the gun. Kosgei raced through the 5k mark in 16’38, a solid 24 second staple over 2nd place Heather Cappello (Boston Athletic Association) at the time. But shortly after the four mile mark, Cappello was rapidly closing on the fading Kosgei and hammered past her for the victory in 27 minutes, 59 seconds. Though struggling in with the tough conditions, Kosgei still managed a runner-up finish in 28’47. 3rd overall was captured by Heartbreaker Rachel Sorna as Kasie Enman (Green Mountain Athletic Association) and Keely Maguire (Millennium Running) rounded out the top five.
As far as the USATF Teams are concerned, early leader Sanca’s impressive 5th place finish lead the Whirlaway Open Men to the 2016 5 mile title. The other top scorers for Whirlaway were Eric McDonald, Alex McGrath, Brandon Newbould, and Jose Ortiz. The 2nd and 3rd teams for the New England Region were the Central Mass Striders and the Western Mass Distance Project. For the women, it was the Greater Boston Track Club who took the trophy. Their winning ways were driven by Liz Ryan, Laura Paulsen, Victoria Barnaby, Lauren Opachinski, and Aly Millet. The ladies from Millennium Running and the Boston Athletic Assocation rounded out the Women’s Open Team podium. Master’s titles were captured by the Central Mass Striders (Men/Women 40+, Men 50+), Whirlaway (Women 50+), the Greater Lowell Road Runners (Men 60+), the Cambridge Sports Union (Women’s 60+), and the New England 65+ Running Club (Men’s 70+).
For those with a MileSplit account, check out Steve Mazzone’s full video coverage from the lead vehicle. Our own Mike Giberti assisted Steve in the commentary with a few additional facts from Bobby Doyle’s son Connor and NE Distance star Jake Sienko.
Here’s the overall results via Spitler Systems