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Marube and Pfitzinger win 38th Bridgton 4 on the Fourth

Moninda Marube of Auburn, Maine wins easily for the second straight year

Moninda Marube of Auburn, Maine wins easily for the second straight year

Annika Pfitzinger of Auckland, New Zealand won the female title finishing 7th overall

Annika Pfitzinger of Auckland, New Zealand won the female title finishing 7th overall

Tony Bumatay: One of many runners showing the US colors

Tony Bumatay: One of many runners showing the US colors

(Bridgton ME) Moninda Marube made it look easy for the second straight Bridgton 4 on the Fourth.

The Auburn (Maine) resident, formerly of Kenya, finished the course in 20:29 which was actually four seconds slower than last year’s winning time.

Moninda ran down Main Street without a challenger in sight.  I am guessing that the 35-year-old could run closer to the course record (18:46) if someone pushed him.  There was no one capable of doing it last year or this year.  Maybe next year?

The temperatures were in the sixties with occasional drizzle.  There was a rumble of thunder about forty minutes after the race started that got everyone’s attention.

Annika Pfitzinger of Auckland, New Zealand ran away with the woman’s title defeating runner-up Jenna Willett by over two minutes.

The battle for second: Matthew Methot (20400), Silas Eastman (71), and Robert Hall (2039)

The battle for second: Matthew Methot (20400), Silas Eastman (71), and Robert Hall (2039)

The Bridgton race seems, in my opinion, to annually attract a ringer or two.  Annika fits that category this time around.  The 21-year-old finished second in the national cross country championship in New Zealand last year.  Both of her parents are former Olympians.  Annika was seventh overall (22:32) in the 38th running of this race.

I like to watch the start of this race and then move to the Magic Lantern area to catch the Main Street section down to Renys.

The race of the day was for second in the men’s division between Matthew Methot, Silas Eastman, and Robert Hall.  Matthew (Maine Maritime Academy grad) went past me with a five-yard lead over the other two and I thought that he looked strong enough to hold onto second place.  But it didn’t work out that way.  Silas (Colby freshman) caught Matthew and took second by three seconds.  Robert (Syracuse freshman) ended up seven seconds back in 4th place.

Silas won the race two years ago and then last year was a disappointing 7th.  This year he improved his time by over a minute to get second place.

Chris Garvin

Chris Garvin

Chris Garvin of Charlestown (RI) took 5th with a career best 21:53.  Chris was 12th last year.

Nate Richards (6th) is a counselor at Camp Newfound.  The 19-year-old took a minute off of last year’s 14th place finish.  He is attending Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.

Annika Pfitzinger (21) was 7th.  She reacted to a group of well-wishers in front of the Bridgton Library.

Eric Rudolph from Augusta took the eighth spot.  Eric (30) is a graduate of Unity College.  He was a cross country academic All-American there.

Ian Lanza (9th place) is a doctor from Rochester, Minnesota.  Ian (37) ran at UNH and did graduate work at UMass Amherst.

Ben Tanoff finished two seconds behind Ian in 10th place.  Ben (21) is a counselor at Camp Indian Acres in Fryeburg.  He ran for Kenyon College in Ohio.

Jenna Willett: second female

Jenna Willett: second female

Youngster Nicholas Brown (16) finished off the top ten males in the race.  Nicholas is from Madison (Maine) and runs for the Granite State Flash.

Jenna Willett from Denmark (Maine) was the second female (23rd overall).  The Kenyon College grad was second last year as well.

Newcomer, to me, Erin Flynn from Newton (Massachusetts) was the third female finisher.

Robert Hall (4th place finisher) was part of Scarborough’s state championship outdoor track team in 2013.  Robert won the 1600 meter at that event.

Weather?  I thought it was terrific for the runners.  Cooler than it had been with no sun.  The off-and-on drizzle probably felt good to the participants.  My camera wasn’t thrilled, however!

One improvement I liked was not having any cars parked on Main Street.  I also liked the idea of keeping the runners on the right hand side of Main Street.

Truck adds some excitement to the wait for the runners to appear

Truck adds some excitement to the wait for the runners to appear

If you’re looking for excitement you’re sure to get it while waiting for the runners to finally pop onto Main Street.  Every year, without fail, some driver will try to become part of the race.  This year two drivers entered the “what-could-go-wrong” zone in the last minutes before the runners appeared.

The first one pulled out of the Big A planning on heading toward Reny’s.  He was stopped in a hurry but opted to converse with a race staff member about why he needed to continue the way he was going.  He was finally convinced to turn around which seemed to take forever.

The other driver came out of the side street across from the Big A driving a truck.  He headed up Main Street toward the spot where the runners get onto Main Street.  No one stopped him and he went up the hill toward the monument literally seconds before the runners showed up.  That one could have been ugly!

National Anthem

National Anthem

I commend the race staff for their overall organization.  The same folks appear to be in charge every year and they know what they’re doing.

Always impressive at the 4 on the Fourth is the patriotic garb.  The participating camps really seem to take it on.  In a world where things are anything but rosy, you sense optimism about this country among the younger set.

Official race results

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

Brian Ladd

Brian Ladd

Austin Osborn

Austin Osborn

Ricky Lipsey

Ricky Lipsey

Benjamin Chaine and Kristen Huntress

Benjamin Chaine and Kristen Huntress

Alex Youngblood

Alex Youngblood

Bill Wood

Bill Wood

Erin Flynn (3rd female)

Erin Flynn (3rd female)

Nate Richards (6th)

Nate Richards (6th)

Eric Rudolph (8th)

Eric Rudolph (8th)

Ian Lanza (9th)

Ian Lanza (9th)

Ben Tanoff (10th)

Ben Tanoff (10th)

Nicholas Brown (11th)

Nicholas Brown (11th)

Isabella Rocamboli

Isabella Rocamboli

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Moninda Marube and Mary Pardi win 37th Annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth

(Bridgton) Last year the elite runners from away stayed away.

On this very hot morning, a collection of talented newcomers appeared and dominated the 37th annual race.

Moninda Marube

Moninda Marube

Mary Pardi

Mary Pardi

Moninda Marube, the 34-year-old originally from Kenya, started fast and won easily with a time of 20:27.

Second place finisher Matt Rand (Tufts University) trailed Moninda by over thirty seconds.

Finishing third was Craig Robinson (Bentley University) who trailed Matt by nearly thirty second.

So there was plenty of space between the first three.  In each case, the runner ahead had reached the Bridgton News office as the next runner was coming down the hill above the Big A.
The promising youngster among the Top Ten was 15-year-old Thomas Ratcliffe, the Concord-Carlisle sophomore, who overtook John Vallo (Southern Maine) down the stretch to capture 4th.  Thomas won the Dual County (MA) League championship for the mile in outdoor track as a freshman.

Matt Rand

Matt Rand

Jenna Willett

Jenna Willett

Philip Parent of Pinkerton Academy (Derry NH) followed Pete Bottomley and Silas Eastman to get 8th.

Last year’s winner (Silas Eastman) finished two full minutes after the 2013 winner Moninda Marube in seventh place.  Silas just graduated from Fryeburg Academy and in the fall will be attending Colby College.

Fifty-one-year-old Pete Bottomley reached sixth this time around after his best finish ever (3rd) in 2012.

Forty-year old Michael Keenan (South Glastonbury CT) got past Taylor Days-Merrill (Assumption College freshman) late to gain the ninth spot.

Mary Pardi finished twentieth overall and first among the women.  Mary was ninth among the women in the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon.

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson

Bridget Gagne

Bridget Gagne

Jenna Willett (Kenyon College Fighting Scots) was second and Bridget Gagne (winner of the Miles for Miracles in Hartford last month) took third.

The tough heat was certainly a factor in this one.  My suspicion is that many runners signed up but (wisely?) chose to stay away from the actual event.  It was even hot watching the race!

The coolest spot in the area had to be where a mother duck and her five ducklings were situated in Stevens Brook as the race went on.

I did some Google research on Moninda Marube and was able to see his Facebook page.  One of the pictures on the page looked very familiar to me and I realized that I had seen Moninda run last July in the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming 10-miler.  Moninda came in a close 4th against a very strong field.  Here is my story/pictures from that race.

Click here to see the race results for the 2013 Bridgton 4 on the 4th.

(If you click on any of the pictures they will enlarge considerably.)

Stevens Brook - the place to be!

Stevens Brook – the place to be!

John Vallo, Thomas Ratcliffe, and Pete Bottomley

John Vallo, Thomas Ratcliffe, and Pete Bottomley

Tim Even (17th)

Tim Even (17th)

Michael Keenan (1051) and Taylor Days-Merrill (1026)

Michael Keenan (1051) and Taylor Days-Merrill (1026)

Philip Parent

Philip Parent

Silas Eastman

Silas Eastman

July 4th runners

July 4th runners

Seth Shimberg wears the flag

Seth Shimberg wears the flag

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