While much of Yale was sleeping at 8:40 Labor Day morning, many Yalies, ranging from athletes to graduate students, were racing under clear skies in the 33rd Annual Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, which began on the New Haven Green.
Event coordinator John Bysiewicz said there were 6,433 runners registered for the race, which featured a 20K, 5K, and kids’ run, and thousands of fans rooting along the way.
Several Yale athletes used the race as a conditioning opportunity. Matthew Bieszard ’12, Nathan Molina ’11 and Marty Evans ’11, all sprinters on the men’s track and field team, ran the 5K race.
“I’d been wanting to do a longer race over the summer, but I never got a chance,” Bieszard said. “I saw people signing up yesterday and decided to sign up. It went well — I didn’t stop.”
Molina added that the shift from sprints to a longer distance was pretty hard, but Bieszard convinced him to complete the race, and it turned out to be a good training opportunity.
Neither the men’s nor the women’s cross country teams ran the race. Women’s cross-country captain Liya Assefa ’11 and men’s captain Max Walden ’11 said the race did not work with the team’s training schedule, although Assefa said it did look like a “fun” race to run.
However, Helen Jack ’12, a captain of Yale Road Running, said at least six of YRR’s runners ran this morning. Kevin Critchlow ’11, who ran the 5K, said he enjoyed the atmosphere of the race, which included bands, professors, and the children of professors cheering on the runners. Critchlow finished 44th with a time of 18:07.
Justin Hudak ’12, who also ran the 5K, said the race was well-organized and fun, as bands along the way, playing songs such as “Eye of the Tiger,” made the competitive atmosphere enjoyable
In the 20K, Jeremy Lent ’11 and Lindsey Raymond ’12 (a staff reporter for the News) both had strong finishes, with Lent finishing first among the 21 year-olds with a time of 1:20:18, and Raymond finishing in 1:23:57.
“I love everything about road races including the packet pick-up, getting a new race T-shirt, getting high-fives from kids along the race route and feeling inspired by the 80-year-old woman running next to you — there is always at least one,” Katie Fitzpatrick ’11 said in an email.
She went to a later Spanish section so she could run in the race.
In addition to undergraduate athletes, six runners from the Physician Associate program at the School of Medicine participated in the 5K race. Scott Pusateri MED ’12, who said he ran during college, finished in eighth place with a time of 16:14.
“I don’t really run any competitive races anymore,” Pusateri said despite his top-10 finish. “It was just something fun to go out and just race.”
He said other PA students wanted to use the race as an opportunity to get involved in the community and promote the Yale PA 5K in October.
Yale’s involvement in the race represented just one small group of participants. Bysiewicz said race participants hailed from at least 40 states. Part of this diverse participation may be because the 20K event was the USA 20K championship, which, according to the official race website, offered $8,000 in prize money for the first-place finish.