(Newburyport) They represented the West Side Runners of New York City, as well as Ethiopia, extremely well.
The top three spots in the 54th Yankee Homecoming 10-mile race in both male and female divisions were captured by newcomers to this race from WSX/Ethiopia in terrific times.
With temperatures in the low 70s, the Tuesday evening event was pleasant for both runners and spectators.
Dan Hocking narrowly won last year’s race with a time of 51:49. Granted it was a hot evening. In this year’s event, that time would have earned him 10th. That’s how fast the male field was this time around.
As the photo above shows, the top three (Aschalew Mekete, Mengistu Nebsi, and Tariku Bokan) were all in view in the final stretch at Newburyport High School. They were five seconds apart with Aschalew winning at 49:07.
Tariku, in 3rd, completed the course over a minute ahead of fourth place finisher Amos Sang (Abilene Christian/Kenya). Amos was part of the lead pack in the early going.
Another person in the early-lead pack was Tadesse Biratu who ended up 7th.
The winners in the female side were: Meseret Kitata, Aimaz Fekade, and Hirut Beyene. These women finished 17th, 18th, and 19th overall. Meseret’s time was 56:22 and Aimaz was only seven seconds after her.
Pat Fullerton dominated the 5K part of the racing program and that’s putting it mildly. I try to position myself one mile into the race (Cushing Museum) to get a sense of the early going. As my picture shows, Pat was at the museum as his pursuers are at the State Street/High Street traffic light. (What those cars in the picture are doing I’ll never know!)
Pat won the race (15:21) by over thirty seconds over Lucas Parson of Umass Lowell.
Alanna Poretta paced the 5K women (18:25) finishing 23rd overall. I saw her win the Cape Ann League championship running for Pentucket at Bradley Palmer Park a few years ago.
Rebecca Morse, also a Pentucket grad, finished third just four seconds behind Jana Schulson of Newburyport.
The races attracted a total of more than 3,000 runners ranging from the serious to the casual. The course provides a nice look at two of Newburyport’s most scenic areas: High Street and the downtown area.
In researching the West Side Runners of New York City, I found Alene Reta mentioned as a member. Alene won the Yankee Homecoming 10-mile event several times. Maybe he had something to do with getting this year’s participating club members involved in the Newburyport race??
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)