Tag: Will Sanders

Fast Times at the First Quahog Mile

Quahog Mile Mason Goodman Kramer

Goodman and Kramer out front early on, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

By Tyler Andrews

While many may still be resting their legs, recovering from the spring Marathon season, 88 runners tested their turnover this past Sunday, May 11th, in Warwick, RI in the first annual Quahog Mile Road Race. In a world where 5Ks flood the calendar from St. Patrick’s Day to Thanksgiving, 1-Mile road races still find a unique appeal in their relative scarcity.

It was the first year for the Quahog Mile and race director Bob Jackman. Besides putting on a fun event, Jackman had one goal: some fast finishing times.

Two factors helped aid in this. First, the Quahog Mile featured an enticing array of cash prizes for a self-proclaimed small race, with $300 for first and paying through to 5th place. Second, Jackman designed the course for speed – a gentle dog-leg left with a generously downhill final 400m.

And did the carrots pay off?

They sure did. Jackman had said 4:10 would win the race, but when the winner (David Goodman of NE Distance) crossed the finish line, the clock read 4:05. Just behind him was Will Sanders who also broke Jackman’s prediction, running 4:06 (full results here).

Quahog Mile Mason Goodman Sanders

Goodman for the win! Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

The pair had run the whole race together, with Goodman leading from the gun. With a quarter mile to go, Sanders tried to press, but Goodman maintained his lead and would win in an impressive wire-to-wire run.

Behind them were Dan Kramer (NB Boston) in 3rd in a time of 4:24, Dan Hawkins (Tuesday Night Turltes) in 4th in a time of 4:33, and Mike Pezzullo (Tuesday Night Turtles) in 5th in a time of 4:53. Kramer got out with Goodman and Sanders and fell off halfway through. We’ll forgive Kramer for not holding on. After all, he did win the 3000m at the New Balance Boston Twilight Meet the night before (Kramer ran an 8:39.07 and dominated the field).

The women’s race also featured a near-photo finish. Lindsay Willard (BAA) took the early lead before being passed by Katie Moulton (Rhode Runner) in the first half. Kailin Collins (Unattached), stayed right with Moulton until the three-quarter-mile mark, when she moved by and made a bid for glory. Moulton responded well but didn’t have quite enough. Collins crossed the line in 5:03 for first with Moulton two seconds back in 5:05 for second.

Behind these two were Willard (3rd, 5:19) Kim Chula-Maguire (Ronald McDonald House of Providence RC) (4th, 5:21) and Miranda Fani Srour  (5th, 5:22).

All in all, the race was a huge success according to Jackman, who hopes to make the race an annual occurrence. After seeing how fast runners were able to cover the 1-Mile course this year, Jackman is confident that next year will be even faster.

“If the race is a go for next year, I expect a sub-4,” he told The Level.

We’ll have to wait until May, 2015, but we’ll be sure to watch and see if the runners can beat the predictions once again.

Thanks to Bob Jackman for contributing to this!

Run 4 Kerri: Men’s Race

It’s been a while, but here’s some more coverage of the 2013 Run 4 Kerri. Just after the race, we put up some coverage that was focused on the ladies in the race, now we turn our attention to the men.

Chris Zablocki made a strong run for Mark Carroll’s course record (19:08 from 2007), but it just wasn’t in the cards that day. The final results have Chris listed at an impressive 19:17.2, but who knows what his final time would have been had a few breaks gone his way (more on that later).

Run 4 Kerri Matty PChris had the race in hand basically from the moment he put a bit of a gap on Will Sanders just past the halfway point. The rest of the field was racing for second. Last year, it was Sam Alexander out-kicking Nate Jenkins for the win. This year Sam had to hold on to make sure Matt Pelletier didn’t come back on him. The pair finished 2-3 this year.

One of the characteristics that makes this race so unique and fun to watch are the bonuses out there for the mile markers. The first male and female runners to reach each one receives a cash bonus ($50 for the first one, $25 for miles 2 and 3). Will Sanders and Anthony Gonsalves made no attempt to play it cool, as both went tearing out with a cash bonus on their minds. Sanders hit the first mile in a blistering 4:18 (or what Matt Pelletier would later refer to as a PR, had he gone with Will).

After such a torrid pace on the opening mile in such a deep talented field, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a runner drop like a 50 lb rock as the rest of the elites surged by. Will did not fade in such a manner. In fact, one could even argue that he didn’t fade at all. Sure, it wasn’t his best effort, but he still ran a 19:46 and hung on for 4th place. That was pretty impressive to watch. Zablocki didn’t pass Will like he was standing still; Sanders put up a fight.

Zablocki kept charging after that move, and it was once he was out on his own where things got wacky. At one point a left turn should’ve been made, but Chris followed the lead vehicle which went straight. I, EJN, was on the lead vehicle getting some Level video. The rest of the runners knew the course and made the turn. To their credit, the race officials recognized immediately that they made a mistake. At that point, it seemed like Chris would just have to be DQ’d, and race director Scott Bessette determined that he’d pay out first place prize money to Chris anyway (along with making the regular pay outs to the official winners).

Now the big questions were does Chris know and, if not, how should he be made aware of it? We talked about it briefly and came to the conclusion that it would be best to tell him sooner rather than later. As you’ll see in the video, we slowed down and waited for Chris. As he pulled up alongside the car, Scott tells him what happened and says that he’ll make it right. I have to take credit for the poor choice of words here though. “We’ll make it right” sounds all well and good, but it can easily sound like ‘make a right’ to someone in the heat of battle. Yeah, now I know. Sure enough, at the next turn we go left and Chris goes right. Son of a b…

So yeah, there’s a few cuss words in the video as we realized what went wrong there. Sometimes, shit just happens. To his credit, Chris didn’t lose focus at all and finished up strong. He didn’t waver and ran like an animal.

In the end, Scott didn’t need to pay out two first place prizes. The rest of the top finishers, they handled the situation with a great amount of class and sportsmanship. They knew that the purpose of the race was for a greater cause than the end results would show, and they recognized that Chris owned it that day. It just wouldn’t feel right to claim victory on a technicality. This was the 12th running of the race, and mistakes are bound to happen. Everybody involved handled it quite well and it seemed to make it a better story.

Although Chris came in under the course record (under 19 minutes, in fact), his time was adjusted to account for the first missed turn.

Lead shot on the website is once again a product of George Ross Photography, so check out his work and give him some support.

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Level Renner Road Race Gomez Mason logo

Sanders Takes Gaspee Days 5k

The 48th Gaspee Days 5k took place in RI on June 8th. The field wasn’t deep, but the few contenders that were there were able to drop some serious times. Will Sanders came out on top in the three way race that unfolded between himself, Robert Allen Jr and Matt Pelletier.

Of course, one could make the argument that Will’s 14:43.9 or the top three breaking 15 wasn’t even the top story. The top story just might be this:

Pelletier, Allen and Sanders, with younger Principe not too far back. Courtesy of Scott Mason.

Pelletier, Allen and Sanders, with younger Principe not too far back. Courtesy of Scott Mason.

What immediately jumps out at  you is 14 year old David Principe Jr (or DJ) hanging right there with the big guns at the beginning of the race. This wasn’t just a case of a younger kid sprinting out for a photo op then fading terribly. He hung on to run a remarkable 16:26 and finished 4th overall. That probably age grades to a 9:00 5k.

DJ didn’t factor into the race for the win this year though. Will out-kicked Robert and won by about 3 seconds. Matty, perhaps still feeling VCM in the legs a bit, came in about 9 seconds later.

The top masters came along in a pack of their own. Norm Bouthillier led the way in 17:15 (8th overall), followed immediately by Steve Brightman and Dave Principe Sr. Uh oh…Jr beat Sr?! The student has become the teacher.

For the women, Erin Carmone (open) and Dawn Hogan (masters) both comfortably won. Although there wasn’t the same suspense with the women, it was interesting to see that two of the top five women were only 15. Cianna Lynch (19:57) and Danika Wayss (20:21) both ran really impressive times not only for their age, but also enough to place pretty highly.

DJ brings it on home. Courtesy of Scott Mason.

DJ brings it on home. Courtesy of Scott Mason.

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