(Bridgton ME) How did they know?
Racing bibs are handed out randomly for the Bridgton 4 on the Fourth, aren’t they?
Then how did this year’s winner (Ryan Smith) end up with “2019?”
But that’s what happened as Ryan won the 43rd edition of the Bridgton 4th…..in 2019.
Ryan (20:16), from Farmington, left the start in a hurry and won easily.
“I took the lead from the front,” Ryan (24) told me afterwards. “There were people behind me for probably the first 1 ½ miles. I heard footsteps. After that I kind of pulled away on the hills.”
Dom Sclafani, who came in 7th, was one of those chasing Ryan early. “I was with the leader for the first half mile. Then he picked it up a lot.”
That fast start cost Dom later: “My first mile was well under five minutes. I went too fast early. I was looking for 5:10 and I ran 4:55.”
Mary Pardi (24:36) had an easy time of it in the women’s division. “I am in really good shape,” the 49-year-old said. “I had the lead from the start. I knew that I needed to stay strong in the second mile because it’s all uphill. The third mile is tough, and the fourth mile is beautiful. My final mile was 5:52.”
Amanda Dearborn (26:10) from Chicago finished second.
Last year’s winner, Moninda Marube, from Auburn (ME) came across second.
Moninda (20:53) had run against Ryan Smith before: “He’s a young guy, full of energy.”
“I did not try to run with him,” Moninda said. “I had a race plan and that is what I stuck with. I did not necessarily come here to win. I came here to reach a target preparing for the Maine Marathon.”
Moninda (41) has won the Bridgton 4th four times. “I love racing this race,” he smiled. “I love the people. This race is as well run as any I race in.”
“It’s my birthday,” he laughed. “What better place to celebrate it?”
Tim Poitras (Dracut MA) crossed fifth and came about as close as you want to get to not even getting into the race. “I got the last number (2057),” he said smiling. “I found out about the race Tuesday. It was 7:55PM and the entries closed at 8PM. I quickly signed up and got the confirmation at 7:59!”
Tim (graduate of UMass Lowell in 2018)) said that he had always been in the area on the 4th but never had run the race.
“This is definitely not an easy course,” Tim (21:40) said. “It is well organized, and everyone seems to be having a great time.”
Nick Brown (21:20) from Madison (NH) took third edging Adam Goode (21:24) of Topsham (ME).
Nick runs cross country at UNH and will be a senior.
Adam went to UMaine and is the cross-country coach at Bangor High School. Adam (35) spent four terms as a state representative for a section of Bangor.
Former winner Silas Eastman (24) was in the field. Silas (24) finished 11th.
“I think it’s my 17th year in a row being in this race,” the Colby graduate told me. “I love coming here. They said that there were people from every state here today. It’s fun to run with that many people.”
Lack of conditioning has caught up to Silas. “I’m doing a lot less training. Once I got out of college and away from the structure, life got in the way.”
Silas: “Right now I’m working on a crop farm in Fryeburg. I am also an assistant coach with the Fryeburg Academy ski team in the winter. I am working toward starting my own furniture-making business.”
Ryan: “I went to Goshen College (northern Indiana) and graduated two years ago. I’ve done the LL Bean two years in a row (he won both times) and decided to try something different this year. I ran a marathon twelve days ago and wasn’t sure where I’d be today condition-wise. I am planning to run the Beach to Beacon. I am an operations coordinator at a pellet mill in Strong, Maine. I do some accounting and a little bit of everything there.”
Mary: “I’m guessing that I’ve done this race five times and finished in the top five each time. It was either this race or the LL Bean 10K. This is a little bit shorter but they’re both hard races. I’ve been home with my kids for a long time. I manage some property that we have. I love the small-town feel of the Bridgton race.”
Tim: “I have a busy schedule of running ahead. I am also looking for a job in the environmental sciences. I am planning to do the Yankee Homecoming race in Newburyport (MA) the end of the month.”
Bill Graham was the race director and did a terrific job.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)