DARIEN, Conn. – With one race left in the Boston Buildup Winter Series, Darien’s Shana Decsi finds herself in a surprising spot. The 36-year-old mother of three is leading the race for the overall title.
“It’s definitely a surprise,’’ Decsi said. “I wouldn’t have expected that at all.”
She finished second in the most recent event in the four-race series, a 20K in Fairfield on Feb. 17. She finished seventh among women in the 10K in the series opener and third in the 15K.
She has accumulated 4,149 points and has a comfortable lead over Sara Belles with 3,879 points and Alissa Tyghter with 3,872 points going into the 25-kilometer race at the Silvermine School in Norwalk.
“I’m a little bit nervous,’’ Decsi said. “I’m not expecting it to be the strongest of races, especially on the course. I’m excited that I was able to get all four races in this year.”
Her focus is on the New York Half Marathon on March 17. She is considering a spring marathon as well. She has raced in the Buildup series for about five years.
“I love the winter races -- they force you to get out there,’’ Decsi said. “I think it’s a great and cheerful way to start a Sunday morning.”
The hardest part for her is the training. With three children ages 2, 6 and 8, time for long-distance training runs can be hard to find. “I have a very kind husband,’’ she said. “I train a lot on weekends, and I recruit a lot of help.”
Julie Heaphy, the two-time defending champion in the series, is not participating in this year’s races because she is pregnant.
Tim Milenkevich has an overwhelming lead in the men’s series, followed by Jeff Watson and Nick Logan.
Sunday’s race begins at 9 a.m. The 15.6-mile course is one of the most demanding in the area, with a steady diet of hills over the first half of the race.
The 35-year-old series continues to attract huge fields. Nearly 1,000 runners completed the first three races.
Race day registration will be available. For complete information on the series, visit clubct.org.