Rhode Island Runners Sweep the Cape Cod Marathon; O'Neil Takes the Men's Title, Westerling Grabs the Women's Crown
FALMOUTH, Mass: Two Rhode Island runners won the men's and women's races in this year's Cape Cod Marathon held on Sunday, Oct. 30. Keven O'Neil took first for men in 2:33:27 and Heidi Westerling had the women's winning time of 2:46:37 in her first marathon competition. These champions led a field of over 1200 marathoners in the 28th running of the Cape Cod Marathon and 180 relay teams for the simultaneous running of the 13th Dunkin' Donuts Relay.
O'Neil, 35, of North Kingston, RI was followed by Brendan Lynch, 27, of Dorchester, MA, who ran a 2:34:14 for second place male, and Greg Ward, 33 of Holden, MA who clocked 2:34:52 for third. O'Neil pulled away from his competitors at about mile 16. He found the last few hills a little challenging, but he was happy with the tailwind in the final miles of the course run along Vineyard Sound. He said everything about the race was good, but admitted that he was "glad that it is over." Fighting a slight hamstring pull, O'Neil, who is head cross country coach for the North Kingston High women's team, credits the hard work and dedication put in by the boys and girls on the school's cross country teams with giving him great inspiration. Second place finisher, Brendan Lynch, began reeling in his competitors from the half marathon mark in, catching a half dozen by mile 20 - all except O'Neil. Lynch was pleased to clock his second fastest marathon time, and had praise for the course, the support and the weather.
Garnering the women's title in her first marathon and the fifteenth marathoner across the finish line, Heidi Westerling, 24, is from Narragansett, RI and is a student at URI. She was followed by Caroline Kondoleon, 31 of Andover, MA in second with a 2:54:10, and Amy Vile, 29, of Essex Junction, VT, who ran a 2:57:05 for third place woman. Westerling, last year's Athlete of the Year at URI, holds the university's records at the 3,000 and 5,000 meters indoors and 5,000 and 10,000 meters outdoors. She said she had heard "horror stories" about the course all week long, but after conquering the first major hill at the 11 mile mark, she found the hills from mile 15 through mile 23 to be fairly easy. She said she felt good throughout the race and the toughest mile was the last. Unlike Westerling, second place Caroline Kondoleon did not run in college, but has been running the past 5-6 years. An engineer, she has run 10 prior marathons. She "hit the wall" and had to fight off fatigue at mile 21, but was pleased that she hung on to finish strong, as this race was a PR by over a minute and a half.
In the men's Master's race Jason Cakouros, 40 of Milton, MA took first (and seventh overall) in 2:37:32, followed by Chris Spinney, 45 of Arlington, MA in a 2:38:33 for second, and Mike Cooney, 43, of Chelmsford, MA with a 2:42:05 for third place.
The women's Master's race was won by Debbie Barry, 40, of Ashby, MA in a 3:04:36, good for seventh place overall. Second place was Patricia Dalconzo, 42, of Lancaster, MA in 3:11:03, and, in third place, Susan McNamara, 45, of Williston, VT ran a 3:14:26.
The Greater Boston Track Club took the men's and women's titles in the Dunkin' Donuts Relay, honoring their former teammate and a former Falmouth High School track and cross country star Margaret Bradley, who died in a training run last year. Both teams were hosted overnight by Margaret's parents. The men's team, the GBTC Margaret Bradley Fisherman of Foxboro, MA, clocked a 2:24:43, while the women's team, the GBTC Margaret Bradley Fish of Cambridge, MA finished in 2:47:00. The Runnin' Rebels of Walpole, MA captured the mixed title in a 2:42:27.
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