SALISBURY — More than 800 runners took to the streets on Saturday morning to compete in the Winner’s Circle’s annual April Fools Day 4-Mile Race.
The race is one of the oldest in the Winner’s Circle’s lineup and annually attracts runners from across New England to the streets of Salisbury. This year’s route began and ended on Old Elm Street, with the course winding its way up Rabbit Road, Baker Road and then around the Vic Lin Drive roundabout before heading back the same way toward the finish.
Pat Fullerton, a Haverhill resident who works in downtown Newburyport, was the race’s top finisher. Fullerton completed the 4-mile course in 19:39.40, averaging a 4:55-minute mile pace over the duration of the race.
Coming in behind Fullerton was Derrick Hamel of Northwood, N.H., in 20:58.60, Chris Grange of Methuen in third (21:33.00), Dan Chruniak of Beverly in fourth (21:40.60) and Chris Kealey of Newburyport in fifth (22:01.08).
The race’s top female finisher was Lauretta Bailin of Amesbury, who completed the course in 25:05.03 to finish 25th overall. Heather Rich of South Hamilton finished shortly behind her (25:15.20), followed by Pauline Frascone of Plainfield, Conn. (25:58.30).
Local runners who performed well included Larry Fowle of Amesbury (7th place, 22:24.50), Keith LeBlanc of Amesbury (14th, 23:51.80), Peter Heslam of Newburyport (26th, 25:08.20) and Rick Walsh of West Newbury (27th, 25:12.20).
Two of the race’s youngest competitors were locals as well, with 14-year-old Cam Leonard of Newburyport finishing as the race’s top boy age 14 or under at 24:20.40 and 13-year-old Sheila Cramphorn of Salisbury finishing as the race’s top girl age 14 or under at 40:04.40.
Triton distance standouts Madeline Quigley and Liz Willmonton also competed, finishing the race in 30:43 and 31:13 to place first and third in the girls 19 and under category respectively.
The race was organized by Dale Eckert and Laurie Gaudreau, and Eckert said the race was a huge success despite the fact that all the snow this winter has kept a lot of people from running regularly.