Wintah Challenge
December 14, 2003
Hosted by Somerville Road Runners and Khoury's State Spa

It wasn't exactly a dark and stormy (Thursday) night, but the mean streets of Somerville were getting an out-of-season scorching as 90 hearty souls (180 soles) pounded out 4.13 miles at the Khoury's Wintah Challenge, hosted by the Somerville Road Runners and Khoury's State Spa. Must have been the crisp New England weather (22 degrees!) spurring people on toward the finish.

The race had a home-town, old-school feel to it, with no entry fee, no t-shirts (except as trivia prizes), popsicle-stick timing, and breakfast of bacon, eggs, bacon, bagels, ham, bacon, homefries, and bacon being served after the runners had finished.

Jim Sullivan of JP cleaned up at the post race awards ceremony, taking first in the open category for, well, coming in first overall (23:40); he also took first in the masterís division. Jim will have to start lifting weights if he continues to take home so much hardware; later I think I saw him doing curls with the trophies he'd won.

Carolyn Dobbyn (by now everyone knows she's from Dublin and was a point guard for some basketball team there so I won't mention it) came in third overall with a stellar time of 25:06, giving second place finisher Sam Eid (25:01) a run for his money. Erika Boeckeler finished a distant second in the women's division in a time of 29:38. She was closely stalked by Daniel Smith of Somerville (29:39), who always seems to be trying to infiltrate the women's division. Linda Wegener finished a respectable third (30:40; age-graded time would probably be close to a world record) and took home plenty of hardware as well.

Marcela Norton ran a 5K in Andover at 9 a.m. (24:35) and zipped down to Somerville to run the Wintah Challenge with her husband Ted, who came in fourth overall (25:44). Buddy Hubert of Melrose broke a 9-minute pace (36:08), nearly trampling Mike Warren on his way to the finish line (36:18). Larry Coblentz decided to show up on time for the race (34:08), but much to his chagrin, Anne Kavanagh did not show at all.

Wintah Challenge Race Director and SRR President Emeritus Dan Solomon treated all who showed up to an age-and gender-challenge trivia contest. Some of the questions were (for men) "What are you doing when you 'fricassee' something?" and (for those under 40) "Name any of member of The Monkees." Prizes were awarded as Dan went hoarse reading off the questions. Dan's next appearance will be singing with SRR's own IT Band at the SRR annual party in January; 10 bucks to anyone who can get him to sing "Material Girl."

Other highlights were a raffle for a free pair of Brooks running shoes, won by Denny Leblanc (29:13), who came all the way from the fine town of Nashua, NH; a case of Sugar Cane soda up for grabs, and free official Boston Marathon banners.
—Aileen Mason