GLOUCESTER — While running at the College of William and Mary with Gloucester’s Liam Anastasia-Murphy and Andrew Ryan, all Joshua Hardin ever heard was how he needed to visit the city during the St. Peter’s Fiesta and run the Fiesta 5k.
“I had been hearing for four years how great the atmosphere is,” said Hardin, 22, a Sterling, Va. native. “I came up to visit a couple of my college teammates and hopped in the race for a run.”
Hardin didn’t just run the 3.1 mile race through downtown Gloucester, who took home first place with a stellar time of 15:43 best in the field of nearly 500 runners.
A familiar face took first place on the women’s side as Rockport’s Layce Alves won the race for the fifth time with a personal best time of 18:07.
Alves came into the race on a roll having competed in the Mt. Washington Road Race two weeks ago and another race last week. She made her move in the first mile of the race over “Team Gloucester” teammates Regina Loiacano (18:22) and Jenn Brooks (18:45) of Gloucester, who finished second and third respectively. Jennifer Rapaport of Melrose came in fourth (19:16) followed by 14 year old Carly Curcuru of Gloucester (19:38) who recently won the Rockport Father’s Day Road Race.
After mile one, the now five time champ had first place to herself winning by a comfortable margin.
“I just did the Mount Washington Road Race and another race last week so I came to the start having no idea how I would do,” Alves said. “I felt horrible, but the entire race I had my two closest friends and closest competition right on my heels.”
That competition was Loiacano and Brooks, as the three train together regularly. With Thursday’s race taking place in their back yard, there was a little extra motivation to take home a win.