McCambley victorious at Westport Road Runners 4.1-miler
Updated 3:55 pm, Monday, July 22, 2013
Luke McCambley made it three for three.
The 23-year-old New York resident and Westport native breezed to the finish line of Saturday's Westport Road Runners 4.1-mile race which started and finished at Compo Beach. Leading a field of 196 competitors, he clocked in with a winning time of 21 minutes and 54 seconds.
McCambley previously won the 5k (16:18) on July 6 and the 3.8-mile race (20:35) on July 13.
It was a familiar one-two finish as Wilton's Spencer Brown, 15, finished as the runner-up for the second straight week in 22:16. And yet again Wilton's Mary Zengo, 48, topped the list of female participants, placing seventh in 25:44.
McCambley said he grabbed an early lead before Brown caught him about a mile and a half in. The leaders were neck and neck up the hilly portion of the course before McCambley pulled ahead around mile three.
"It's so awesome having a younger guy pushing," McCambley said.
McCambley also runs races in New York City but says the Westport series is his favorite, in part because of his many memories in town.
"Each course is just extremely nostalgic for me," he said, noting that he played sports on the grounds around the beach while younger.
Darien's Justin Lubley, 36, was third in 25:15; Westport's James Lewis came in fourth in 25:21; Rye Brook, N.Y. resident Steve Marselese, 47, was fifth 25:23 and Bethel's Piotr Kostyk, 23, came in sixth in 25:36. Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Zengo, Stamford's Peter Hohmeister, 55, who was eighth in 25:52; Westport's Paul Greenberg, 52, who was ninth in 26:02; and Westport's Eric Sydor, 34, who was tenth in 26:05.
"Close but no cigar," Greenberg said of finishing just 10 seconds out of the top eight on the relatively hot but overcast morning.
"That was my goal, was to stay in the top ten as long as I can," added Greenberg, who has participated in the series for 21 years. "I may not be the fastest but I'm consistent -- and I'm here every week."
Sydor, after doing an Iron Man competition last summer, took some time off to spend with family and to let his body heal. He just got back into serious running late this spring and is now working his way toward competing in a 50-miler, the JFK 50 in Maryland, in November. Sydor said fellow Westport runner and friend Blake Benke, an avid distance race competitor, encouraged him to try the 50-mile run.
Sydor said the Westport race series, featuring longer races each week, is a great way to get in speed work as part of his training. But he noted that he'll have to pace himself for the November run.
"I'm not going to be running six-minute miles over 50 miles," he said.
Greenberg notes that the series is a family affair of sorts.
"This is like a big family. It's the friendliest race series in the world," he said.
It really is a family event for some competitors. James Lewis was joined by his sister, Blythe, and their parents, Daphne and Kemp. Blythe, 18, was the third fastest female and Westport's leading female in the fourth race of the series.
"I think the hills were the hardest part this week for everyone. It was good to see everyone working really hard and pushing each other," said Blythe Lewis, who finished the course in 27:08, good for 20th place.
Some of the runners went into the water afterward for a dip to cool off.
The next race in the series is a 4.7-mile competition at Longshore on Saturday. The race will begin at 8 a.m.
Andy Hutchison is a freelance writer
Top 25 finishers
1. Luke McCambley, New York, 23, 21:54; 2. Spencer Brown, Wilton, 15, 22:16; 3. Justin Lubeley, Darien, 36, 25:15; 4. James Lewis, Westport, 15, 25:21; 5. Stephen Marsalese, Rye Brook, N.Y., 47, 25:23; 6. Piotr Kostyk, Bethel, 23, 25:36; 7. Mary Zengo, Wilton, 48, 25:44; 8. Peter Hohmeister, Stamford, 55, 25:52; 9. Paul Greenberg, Westport, 52, 26:06; 10. Eric Sydor, Westport, 34, 26:05; 11. Ian Cadieu, Westport, 29, 26:13; 12. Julie McElroy, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., 46, 26:15; 13. Jamie Horowitz, Weston, 37, 26:24; 14. Patrick Sullivan, Westport, 51, 26:32; 15. Brett Jones, Bridgeport, 27, 26:33; 16. David Ott, Darien, 50, 26:44; 17. Roger Baxley, Weston, 44, 26:47; 18. Cate Allen, Fairfield, 16, 26:53; 19. Daniel Landy, Westport, 15, 26:54; 20. Blythe Lewis, Westport, 17, 27:08; 21. Josh Lander, Westport, 40, 27:08; 22. John Tarantino, Cos Cob, 35, 27:10; 23. Will Hoffman, Wilton, 16, 27:13; 24. Anne Johnston, Darien, 27:15; 25. Keith White, Westport, 35, 27:59.