Canton Fall Classic 2012 Race Highlights
CANTON FALL CLASSIC 2012
While the Canton Fall Classic can’t stake a claim as the oldest road race in town (that distinction belongs to the annual 4th of July race) it does have a rich history.
The men’s course record of 30:12 was set by Dave Dunham in 1991. Three years ago a generous sponsor and race fan came forward and offered a $500 bonus for any runner who could take down the old mark. There was a buzz in the air before this year’s 24th edition of the race when runners talked about current BAA stud Brian Harvey. Brian was NE Runner of the Year in 2010 and ran 30:15 for 10k on the track that year. The word was that he was certainly capable, but on the difficult course it would not be easy. The presence of BAA teammate and sub 2:30 marathoner Mike Fisher might be just the competition needed.
Harvey passed the 3 mile mark in 15:11 a bit off the record pace, but still below a 5 minute mile average. At the finish his time was 31:18 - not a record but the fastest winning time in 20 years. Not far back in second place was Fisher in 31:37. Fisher’s second place time was also faster than any winning time in the past twenty years. Eric Greenspan was the top Canton finisher in 6th place with a time of 33:30. On the women’s side 2007 Canton High graduate Jessica Ackerman was the winner in 39:41 (6:23 pace). Ackerman’s race was even closer than the men’s with Randy Stockbridge of Natick just 7 seconds back. Stockbridge had won the 10K race in both 2010 and 2011. She ran even faster this year, but had to settle for second.
In the 5k David Chorney of Somerville defeated last year’s winner Joseph Pike in 16:19. 2011 Canton High grad Kevin O’Donnell was 3d in 17:49. For the women Heather (Searles) Mahoney became a repeat winner with a time of 18:28. Mahoney finished 6th overall and her winning margin was nearly a minute over Noble and Greenough coach Kate Blake who ran 19:25. Shelia Donovan was the top Canton woman in 21:53
The race dodged a bullet, weather wise, missing Hurricane Sandy by a day. This year’s edition set records for number of finishers in both the 5k and the 10k as well as number of pre entrants. The competitive field was the deepest in many years and there was lively action and a festive atmosphere for sponsors who set up booths in the back parking lot of the temple.