Last year’s USATF-NE 5 mile championship race was the Carver Cranberry 5 Miler. Tim Ritchie and Steph Reilly were the champs, running 23:59 and 27:48, respectively.
Unfortunately Tim is recovering from an injury still and not quite even running at the moment. So who’s the favorite? Taking a quick look at the men’s field from the perspective of the standings, we can see that it’s probably wide open. Series leader Ruben Sança (Whirlaway) is not competing. His former teammate Nick Karwoski currently sits in second, but Nick moved away to Arizona to join the USA triathlon team. Eric Ashe is registered, so it seems that he would slide into the spotlight as being the pre-race favorite.
Steph Reilly currently isn’t listed as a registered runner, but you never know if she’ll show up on race day and throw down. She randomly decided to test her mettle on the mountains by driving out to Wachusett on a whim a couple of weeks. Will she do the same here? If so, she probably is the favorite to retain the title. Sans Steph, comparing the women’s series leaderboard to the list of registered runners shows us that Nicole Casey (formerly of RUN but now in GBTC red), Jenn Mortimer and Larissa Park are all going to toe the line.
Only had time for an open preview (sorry all you masters and senior runners out there!), but please chime in with your race predictions for all divisions in the comments or via social media. See you at the Ribfest!