Julie Heaphy has won her share of races since moving to Norwalk last year. She won the opening two races of the Boston Buildup Winter Series, and was first in the female age 20-29 category for the overall title.
But she's never won a race outright until Saturday, at the Law Day Road Race at Pear Tree Point in Darien.
Actually, Heaphy had crossed that very finish line first a week ago at the rainy Bunny Boogie, a three-mile race contested over the same roads. But in that event, she and the other women had a 2 ½-minute head start over the men.
This time, starting with everyone else, she went through the first mile right on the heels of Brad Wellington, who would wind up second, but first male.
"Having run the course the week before definitely helped," said Heaphy. "I knew to push the short, steep hill at halfway, then cruise on the long downhill after." Heaphy's strategy resulted in a nine-second personal best of 18:16. Wellington crossed the line 12 seconds behind. "She really ran smart, and let me break the wind along the water," said Wellington, who ran the Boston Marathon less than two weeks ago.
Heaphy plans to race in her hometown next Sunday over double the distance at the Mother's Day 10K from Calf Pasture Beach. After seeing the results of running a course several times, it's a safe bet she may be out on the local roads doing some reconnaissance this week.
Complete results of the race are posted online .
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