Tag Archives: Heather Gallant

Eric Ashe and Heather Gallant win 46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth

46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth gets underway

(Bridgton) Eric Ashe of Natick (MA) was the top finisher in the 46th annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth road race.

Eric Ashe (Natick) wins the Bridgon 4 on the Fourth

Heather Gallant of Wayne (ME) was the repeat winner among the women.

Heather Gallant crosses first
Eric Ashe

Nearly 1500 runners participated under sunny skies departing from in front of Food City at 8AM.

Eric Ashe was visiting his mother in Greenwood during the holiday weekend.

“I talked myself into driving over and running the race,” said Eric afterwards.  “The cash price covers the gas expenses.”

Sasha/Scott Mindel (Burlington) have family on Moose Pond but hadn’t run the race before.

The two of them ran today, and both came in second.

“Our A goal was for both of us to come in first,” said Scott afterwards.

“I had seen the recent results, so I thought that I had a chance to win,” Scott added.

Eric Ashe (885) and Scott Mindel (766) at the start of the race

That optimism suffered a bit of a jolt before the race started.

“At the warmups, I saw Eric (Ashe),” said Scott.  “He generally beats me, but I’ve beaten him a couple of times.”

For a mile the talented twosome stayed together.  Then came the hills.

“The uphill started, and I tried to maintain the same effort,” recalled Eric.  “Luckily, I was able to open a gap and keep it.  I think the gap got bigger.”

Scott Mindel

“He’s much better on the uphills than I am,” said Scott.  “When the uphill started today, I was hoping to keep him within close enough distance because I’m better on the downhills.”

“But Eric got too much on me and I couldn’t make a move until the downhill in the last mile,” said Scott.  “It was too late by then.”

“At least it was a fun last mile,” he added with a smile.

Eric finished at 20:06 and had a thirteen-second lead over Scott.

Heather Gallant (Wayne) won last year.

“I was happy with last year’s weather and this years’ time (23:26),” she said.

2021 was rainy with temperatures in the fifties.

Heather was 15th overall today.

Heather Gallant at the start

Heather didn’t face any serious challengers from today’s runners.  Her closing time was 23:26. The next woman to finish (Sasha Mindel) closed at 24:58.

“I hung out with a couple of guys during the race,” said Heather afterwards.  “I pace off them.  They’re good about doing that.”

Heather said she felt better prepared this time.  “I had a couple more races coming into this one compared to last year.  The hills here are still memorable.”

Sasha Mindel, who had a daughter last year, was glad just to be out there running.  “This is only my second race since having her,” she said.  “It was the first time it felt as if everything clicked.”

All four runners I talked with enjoyed the Bridgton race and would return if they could.

Scott Mindel told me that he had run at the University of Cincinnati.  “I now run for the Central Mass Striders. I do a lot of races including marathons.”

Race Director Bill Graham

Eric Ashe attended Boston University.  “I saw online that guys were doing twenty-flat here,” he said, “so I knew it would be competitive.  I am focusing on marathons.  I did one in Minnesota two weeks ago.”

Joseph Reynolds (3rd), Andrew Mongiat (4th), and Chris Harmon (5th) were in the top five.

Race Director Bill Graham again ran things smoothly.

The object is to have the male and female winners run through a banner at the finish line.  It’s always easy with the male.  The female…not always.  Today was an example.  Female leader Heather Gallant was close behind another runner near the finish and when the banner went up that runner (Thomad Lyons) got wrapped in it. 

(The pictures should enlarge if you click on them.)

Sasha Mindel finishes

Banner malfunction
Chris Harmon (5th)

Andrew Montiat (4th)
Joseph Reynold (3rd)

Sasha Mindel at the start

National Anthem

Eric Ashe wins

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Jesse Orach/Heather Gallant – 4 on the Fourth winners

Jesse Orach (1116) and Heather Gallant (806) at the start
Jesse Orach gets first

(Bridgton ME) They were happy for the rain and the opportunity.

The 45th annual 4 on the Fourth road race started this morning in rain and 55 degrees temperature.

But the runners I talked to afterwards were happy with the weather and equally happy to finally get back to competitive racing again.

“This was the first real race I’ve done in six to eight months,” said this year’s winner Jesse Orach.

“The weather was nice,” he added. “It actually stopped raining as hard about halfway through the race.  It was certainly nice to have it cooler than it’s been the last couple of weeks.”

Jesse’s time was 20:08.  He finished alone with a nineteen-second spread over Luke Bailey.

Both Luke and Jesse were on the Bridgton course for the first time.

“I loved the course,” said Luke.  “I didn’t think the hill was too bad.  I loved the straightaway flat finish.”

Heather Gallant leads the women

Heather Gallant finished 20th which was first among the women.  She was also new to the course.

“I almost missed the turn at Dugway Road but there were people there to redirect me,” she said.

“This is my first race since Covid and my leg injury,” she added. “It’s been 1 ½ years.”

But after the race everything turned out “good” for the runner from Wayne (Maine).  “The temperature felt good.  The rain felt good, and my leg feels good.”

Dominic Sclafani (Harrison Maine) chased Luke Bailey to the finish but lost out by a second.

Jesse Orach described the race this way: “I kind of pulled away in the first quarter mile.  A couple of guys (Luke & Dominic) caught me in the middle. Down the last hill in Mile 3, I kind of pulled away.”

Luke Bailey and Dominic Sclafani battle

This was how Luke Bailey recalled the race: “The leader (Jesse Orach) took the lead super early covering the first mile in 4:46 he said afterwards.  I caught him around the 2-mile mark and kind of chatted with him.  We ran side by side up the second hill right before the 3-mile mark.  I tried to make a move on him because I thought his legs had had it.  He responded and I couldn’t recover.  I just watched him pull away in the last mile.”

Both winners run for Dirigo.

“I had a lot of my Dirigo teammates with me,” said Heather.

Mary Pardi, also with Dirigo, was the second woman finisher. 

The lack of organized races created uncertainty.

“I’ve been trying to stay in shape the best that I can,” said Jesse (Auburn Maine) who is twenty-seven.  “I’m just trying to keep running as long as I can.”

Mary Pardi was the 2nd woman to finish

Jesse was a heralded runner at UMaine.  He told me that he ran there for five years and still holds the indoor 5K record.

Luke (22) is originally from northern Maine but moved to Wisconsin.  He was a state champ for the Xavier Hawks in the two mile race.  He went to South Dakota State after HS graduation.  He told me that he has the 4th fastest time in SDS history in the three mile.

“I had breathing problems out there because of the elevation so I came back to Maine,” he said.  “I am now training at Orono.”

“I hadn’t raced in 1 ½ years so I saw this race (Bridgton) as a great breakin race for me,” said Luke.

Heather: “I chose this race because when I was looking for a race to do, this was the only one that was open.”

Ready to start their watches
Tim Poitris 4th

Heather (40) said, “I’ve been running off-and-on my whole life.  I picked it back up in 2016.  I have the LA Triple Crown at the end of August and I’m looking ahead for some fall races.”

“I’m hoping to run the Maine Potato Blossom in Fort Fairfield and maybe the Caribou Marathon,” said Luke.

“I’m probably going to take some time off and get ready to race in the fall,” said Jesse.

There were 923 finishers according to the Granite City Race Services.  (Those folks were quick to get the results up.)

Laura Pulito was the third female finisher.

Silas Eastman continues to be a top-ten finisher.  It’s been a while since he ran for Fryeburg or the Colby Mules but he’s still in good shape.

Dominic Sclafani (Wheaton College and Harrison) has run this race many times and his 3rd place finish today was his best.  

Chris Garvin – 5th

The starting numbers were down.  Not surprising, since the area camps are restricted by virus concerns.  Several of the camps did attend, however.

The starting street of the race was paved recently.  The returning runners must have liked that.

That rain today was not as welcome to the spectators as it was to the runners.  Any good pictures you see today were taken by someone rolling the dice on camera damage….I speak as one of them.

Race Director Bill Graham had everything running smoothly.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rob Hollis – 6th
Kelton Cullenberg – 7th
Silas Eastman – 8th
Caleb Grover (9th) and Kevin O’Brien (10th)
National Anthem
They’re off!
Jesse Orach breaks through the banner
Laura Pulito (76) was the 3rd woman finisher

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