WESTPORT, Conn. History was made at the opening race of the Road Runners Summer Series on several levels.
The total of 202 finishers was a record for the 2.2-mile event, eclipsing the old mark of 154 set 30 years ago. It was also the third biggest field in the 49-year history of annual series of 10 races, excluding some of the early 10-milers held on Labor Day.
But the real landmark event occurred 12 minutes and 14 seconds after the start, when Amy Bevilaqua crossed the finish line ahead of all the other runners. It marked the first time a woman has won a Road Runners race outright, although several have placed in the Top 5 in the past.
Bevilaqua, a professional triathlete and mother of four from Wilton, had a home-field advantage in the race, which started and finished on the Staples High School track she had competed there many times in the early 1990s as a member of the Wreckers track and cross country teams as Amy Zindell.
I was entered in two triathlons the past month and didnt finish either, she said. I had a flat tire and a bike crash, so I think I used some of that frustration to motivate me today. The Bevilaqua family bookended the race results, too, as her 4-year-old daughter Emily was the last finisher, rounding the track to rousing applause from the rest of the already finished runners.
A trio of runners from Norwalk High School followed Bevilaqua across the line, led by Edwin Rosales, who finished 15 seconds behind.
The race also had one of the highest turnouts of young runners, with almost a quarter of the field under age 19, and a large percentage of them younger than 10.
Complete results are posted on the Road Runners website . The series continues Saturday with a 3.1-mile race from Longshore Country Club.
Are you running any races this summer?
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