From the gun (or the "ready set go"), Grasela, Griffin (yes, even Mike Griffin is showing up these days), and Parks led the way for the men followed closely behind by Amanda Wright who was in hot pursuit. The race started off with a bet as to whether Wright could outright beat Grasela, Griffin, and Parks so Amanda would not let down easily.
She followed about 200 meters behind the trio with a rogue runner Thor, who Sisu would later try to recruit. After about a mile and a half, Wright could no longer see the trio, so she thought she was beaten. During the final stretch of the race, Wright was ultimately outkicked by Thor for what she thought was a fourth place overall finish. However, when Amanda (19:03) left the finishing shoot she was surprised by the number of people who said, "We thought you were going to win outright." Not long after she had retrieved some water, Wright turned around to see Grasela (20:59.0) and Anthony DiPaolo (20:59.8) battling it out and storming through the finishing shoot just point 8 seconds apart. The duo was followed by Parks (21:21.7) and THEN Griffin (21:39.2).You guessed it...the trio had been AYR-ed, making a wrong turn just after the mile and a half point, leaving Wright victorious over the Sisu Men at the end of the day.
We talked to Wright after the race and asked her how she felt about the win. Wright said, "A win is a win. I'll take a victory over Griffin when I can." We spoke with Griffin after and asked him, "What happened?" Griffin said, "I saw the arrow to go left, but I figured Grasela was a smart kid, so I just followed him. Boy, was I wrong." We do not feel bad for Griffin since unlike Jason Ayr, Griffin actually saw an arrow, but kept going the wrong way anyway because he figured Grasela "was a smart kid," says the Doctor.
We then investigated the situation with Bob Parks and Parks had this to say: "My race goal was to finish as close to Grasela as I could, even if that I meant following him a half a mile off course into the woods and over a river." But no, that is what Parks really said. Good for you, Bob. #GoalsOverEverything (including going the correct way on the course). Bob also said that "he figured even if they ran the course out of order, their time at 3.1 miles would still count in the results as long as they ran 3.1 miles." Parks then discovered this was actually not a USATF NE event and the rules are you must remain on course and if you go off course you have to go back on course and finish the course properly - only then will your time be counted.
Finally, we spoke with Easy-on-the-eyes (but apparently not so good of eyes), Grasela. He said, "I was being a gentleman, leading the men off course so Wright could have her victory." If that's doesn't say 'teammate of the year,' we do not know what does.
Well enough of that. Next up, Ashley Bock (who also beat all the Sisu men) was the second overall female and fifth overall in the race. Bock ran a time of 20:47.7 in her first race back in a VERY long time. Shake off the dust? We think there was no dust to shake off. Bock is currently training for her marathon debut in August.
Jim Martin finally suited up in Sisu Blue (we had been waiting long enough!), running a time of 22:08.5 - we are happy to report his presence was worth the wait. Linda Fortunato and Ian Wright followed closely behind Jim, running in together in 22:38.0 and 22.:38.7, respectively. Linda said, "Ian wins husband of the year and he is not even my husband."
Danielle Volpe also joined the Sisu squad for the first time, running an impressive 23:02.1. Her finishing kick was voted "finishing kick of the day." You do not want to be near Danielle in the last 50 meters of the race! Consider yourself warned.
Next in for Sisu was David Zanca. This race was Zanca's one year anniversary in Sisu Blue and he bested his time for the previous year, running 25:09.7 on a brutally hot morning. Sisu is extremely thankful to David Zanca for allowing them to support this amazing cause!
Angelica Pabon came out for the fun as well. Having only started running in January Angelica found the Sisu Project and as solidified herself as part of the group. She ran 27:26.1, a great time for her.
Finally, Wanda Dibernardo made her 5k debut! She is a little used to the longer races (you saw her at New Bedford in the Half Marathon). She prevailed throughout the 5k though running 29:34.5. Strength Trainer Anthony DiPaolo reflected on Wanda's performance saying, "I think she can go MUCH faster, but this is a great first go at the distance!"