Maybe the purple beads did it, or perhaps the banner in the Team Gloucester tent bearing Peter Watson’s image. The inspiration was there, but so were miles and miles of preparation and motivation. Whatever it took the women of Team Gloucester had it, placing three finishers among the top ten women to upset the powerhouse Western Mass Distance Project for the Open Women’s championship at last Saturday’s annual footrace up the 7.6-mile, 12 percent-grade Mount Washington auto road.
On a sunny, windy morning, 26 Team Gloucester members made the ascent of to the summit of the 6,288-foot mountain. Above tree line the winds picked up, and the temperature dipped to 44 degrees at the top, making the final 200 yards at 22 percent grade even more interesting.
Regina Loiacano (1:24:45) ran the race of her life to take third, closely followed by Layce Alves (1:26:33) in sixth and Jenn Brooks (1:28:27) in tenth. Their combined time of 4:19:45 was enough to edge WMDP by 2:18 out of 24 complete teams. They were supported by Tina Dowling (1:41:48), Freddi Pare (1:47:23) and Amy Ballin (1:55:31).
Team Gloucester had a pair of runner-up teams, the women Masters (age 40-49) of Loiacano-Dowling-Pare-Ballin) and the men’s Seniors (50-59) of Matt Curran (1:21:49), John Barbour (1:24:55), and Bob Gillis (1:27:54). The men’s Open and Masters teams both placed fourth, giving TG one of the best overall teams’ performance by any club.
Manchester-Essex cross country coach A.J. Migonis was the first Cape Ann runner to the summit and 51st overall in 1:18:22. Age-group award winners included Gloucester’s Carrie Parsi running for the Liberty AC (1st 70-74, 2:06:08), Loiacano (1st 40-44), Curran (2nd, 55-59) and Barbour (3rd, 55-59). Bob Gillis and brother Mike were recognized at the start for having between them run Mount Washington for 61 consecutive years (Bob 31, Mike 30).
Mt. Washington Road Race Local and Team Gloucester finishers Name Finish place Time Club Town A.J. Migonis 51 1:18:22 TG Manchester Chris Blondin 66 1:21:28 TG Ipswich Matt Curran 69 1:21:49 TG Gloucester Mike Cimoszko 81 1:23:22 TG Gloucester Regina Loiacano 91 (3rd F) 1:24:45 TG Gloucester John Barbour 92 1:24:55 TG Gloucester Ned Jeffries 97 1:25:36 TG Gloucester Layce Alves 104 (6th F) 1:26:33 TG Rockport Bob Gillis 119 1:27:54 TG Gloucester Jenn Brooks 126 (10th F) 1:28:27 TG Gloucester Kevin Littman 140 1:29:59 TG Gloucester Steve Whittey 172 1:33:22 TG Gloucester Glenn Simm 207 1:36:06 TG Bolton Gary Jewett 252 1:39:18 TG Beverly Tim Greiner 296 1:41:51 TG Gloucester Tina Dowling 299 1:41:58 TG Bolton Tom Mitchell 363 1:45:00 TG Beverly Mike Gillis 412 1:46:59 TG Middlesex VT Freddi Pare 417 1:47:23 TG Beverly Ernesto Mendoza 492 1:51:17 TG Gloucester Amy Ballin 578 1:55:31 TG Gloucester Tony Reppucci 657 1:57:57 TG Gloucester Zach South 659 1:59:02 TG Gloucester Carrie Parsi 800 2:06:08 Liberty AC Gloucester Tom Paradis 846 2:10:02 TG Rockport Randy Werner 909 2:15:02 TG Derry NH