NORWALK, Conn. The second running of the Run Between the Libraries was a race that was truly one for the books. A total of 179 runners and walkers showed up on a muggy Sunday morning to cover 5 kilometers along the Norwalk River Valley Trail and the streets of SoNo to support children's programs at the Norwalk Public Library.
"The proceeds from last year's race allowed us to bring in musicians for children's concerts, as well as fund several other activities," said children's librarian Vicki Oatis, who came up with the idea for the race last year and has been its guiding hand ever since. "I was really happy with the turnout today, especially since the weather forecast called for rain."The race winner was Sean Battis of Norwalk, who almost had to run with a handicap. His wife wanted him to push their baby in a running stroller, but Battis said he thought he was in good enough shape to win if he ran alone. "I went out too hard and just hung on," he said afterward. His time of 18:26 put him 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Flavia Rodrigues of Bridgeport. Last year's winner, Stamford's Matt Cross, was another second back in third.For the women's winner, Gracia Robinson of Norwalk, the 21:56 time wasn't her best for the distance, but she came into the race a bit fatigued. She, along with friend and running partner Dawn Bolling, had run the Norwalk Summer Series half-marathon course the day before. "Some unfinished business," said Bolling. Robinson dropped out of that race because of problems with the heat. Two other Norwalkers, Ellie Downs and Ronnie Behringer, rounded out the top three women in the library race.The race had a political angle, as well, with Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia sounding the starting horn and state Sen. Bob Duff running the race on the same trails he'd biked on the previous day. "There are some gorgeous views along the water," he said. "I was really surprised by how nice it is."Complete results of the race are posted on the Club Connecticut website .
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