GLOUCESTER-- It was a lonely final 13 miles for Roger Donaghy in the 79th Annual Around the Cape 25k Road Race, which started and finished at O’Maley Middle School Monday.
Donaghy, a 33 year old Belmont resident, needed just over two miles to pull ahead of the field of 426 runners participating in the Labor Day classic. That meant Donaghy was on his own for the final 13 plus miles, but that was just the way he wanted it.
By the time Donaghy finished the 25k trek around Cape Ann, he finished just under five and a half minutes ahead of the next finisher. The victor crossed the finish line with a time of 1:30:35, well ahead of second place finisher David Corbett of Stoneham, who finished with a time of 1:36:02.
“I’m training for the Cape Cod marathon this fall and all I wanted to do heading into the race was run at a marathon pace,” Donaghy said. “I broke out with that pace and within the first couple of miles I was by myself. I knew I had a comfortable lead the whole way because the spectators were letting me know, but I was still focused on keeping up that pace. It was a lonely finish but that means I had a good race.”
While Donaghy had little trouble besting the field in the men’s division, the women’s division was a different story. Emily Raymond of Cambridge battled Rockport’s Layce Alves and Gloucester Regina Loiacano for the entire 15.5 miles.
In the end the three crossed the finish line within 41 seconds of one another with Raymond taking the win with a time of 1:42:38. Alves finished in second with a time of 1:42:54 with Loiacano shortly behind her at 1:43:19, all three times were in the top 10 overall.
“We had a nice tight pack for the first four miles,” Raymond said.
That pack thinned out as the race went on and by mile seven it was Raymond and Loicano battling for the lead.
“I kept trying to pull back and let her take the lead to do some of the work but she wouldn’t,” Raymond said. “We got tangled a couple of times because we were so close so I tried to open it up a bit in the last couple of miles.”
Raymond opened it up enough to lose Loiacano but a strong surge at the end of the race brought Alves back into contention. The Rockport resident, who just won the Magnolia 5k Road Race on Thursday, dropped out of the lead pack around the fourth mile according to Raymond but was able to retake second place by the finish.
Manchester’s AJ Migonis, the Manchester Essex Regional High School cross country coach, was the first local to cross the finish line with a time of 1:36:26. Gloucester’s Aaron Paholec followed at 1:39:54 follwed by Alves and Loiacano making it four Cape Ann residents finishing in the top 10.
The winners also praised the course for its difficulty. Donaghy especially, as he sought out the Around the Cape 25k for its difficulty.
“It’s challenging but I would rather run races like that,” he said. “With a flat course you’re always going to run a pretty fast time depending on the condition, but a race like this really tests you and lets you know how much training you have to do.”