By STEPHEN MAZZONE

Ignoring a stiff wind that often provided a sand storm near the coast, more than 4,000 put on their hard hats, laced up their running shoes and attacked the city streets of Newport Sunday morning for the fourth annual Amica Marathon and UnitedHealthcare Half Marathon.

Last year’s runner-up in the half, Scott Leslie, of Rutland, Mass., went the full distance this time and proved successful with a 12-second victory. Leslie outdistanced Bay State pal Nick Menzies of Jamaica Plain with a winning time of 2 hours, 41 minutes.

“It was good,” he said. “I played it easy like the first 10K. It got pretty windy on some of the exposed parts of the course, like seven (miles), 17 down the beach and right around 22. There were some pretty strong headwinds. It was tough conditions for everybody out there, but it was a good race.”

Leslie hung back in second for most of the race and didn’t pass Menzies until there was less than two miles remaining.

“I just kind of put in a kick and went past him and held off,” he said. “I am pleased with that.”

The women’s title was copped by Johnston’s Megan Jaswell, just a week removed from besting the field at the Gloria Gemma 5K in Providence. The 25-year-old Jaswell ran by her lonesome most of the way and cruised to a nearly 25-minute PR, breaking the tape at 3:05:39. Sydney Brunelle of Hugo, Maine, snagged second-place honors at 3:13:08.

“It was a gorgeous run,” said an elated Jaswell. “I was thinking of doing Hartford this weekend or this. This was just breathtaking. It was great. I am happy I did it.”

Moore on his way to a win in the half.

In the half marathon, Connecticut’s own Ryan Moore, a URI grad who resides in Newport, captured his inaugural attempt at the 13.1-mile distance with 1:16:25 clocking. Ryan Smoot of Providence was second at 1:16:44.

The 27-year-old Moore established front-running duties just a half mile into the race.

“We [the lead pack] started off pretty good, everybody looked pretty good,” he said. “Then we kind of got going up the first hill (at the beginning) and we started to separate. I just tried to get on a constant pace

Fitzgerald breaking the tape.

and run.”

Penn State grad Kathryn Fitzgerald of Cambridge, Mass., was the first female, also winning her maiden journey for the half with a time of 1:27:30. Amy Canton of Canton, Mass., was next at 1:28:37.

“I was kind of stuck in no-man’s land, but it was good,” said Fitzgerald, a leader after three miles. “I had no idea what to expect or what kind of shape I was in. I felt really good.”

A field of 3,292 finished the half marathon and an additional 1,004 completed the marathon.

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