Nothing will approach the Feaster Five in Andover, which attracted more than 10,000 runners, but there were plenty of other popular races on Thanksgiving.
Bradford’s Pat Fullerton, who manages Newburyport’s Greater Boston Running Company, smashed the Feaster Five 5K course record, finishing in 15:08, a 4:53-per-mile pace, to win for the second straight year, crushing Harry Norton’s old mark of 15:40 set in 2007. A year ago, he just missed the mark at 15:46. Connor Habib, 20, of Hampton, N.H. finished second at 16:56, and Joshua Accomando, 28, of Coronado, Calif., was third at 17:08. In what was the race of day, the 5-mile event, two racing stars battled evenly until the last quarter-mile up York Street with Ruben Sanca of Lowell and five-time champ Nate Jenkins going head-to-head. The 26-year-old Sanca, who runs for Whirlaway Racing of Methuen, broke away from Jenkins of North Andover near the finish to win by 5 seconds at 24:19. The duo was just off the record of 24:06 set in 1999. Sanca competed in the 2012 Olympics in the 5,000-meter run, representing his native Cape Verde.
On the women’s side of the ledger, Andover’s own Alanna McDonough, 20, coasted to victory in the 5K at 19:16, besting Caitlyn Clark, 29, who finished at 19:50 and Alexandra Brillaud, 23, of North Andover, who was not far behind at 20:03. McDonough, a junior at Colby College via Governor’s Academy, led from start to finish in beating her race time last year by exactly 2 minutes.
In the 5-mile race, North Andover running sensation Kirsten Kasper, 22, competed in her first Feaster Five by running 5:36 splits over 5 miles to finish in 27:48. Kasper flirted with a 17-year-old record set by former USA racing star Lynn Jennings, who ran a 27:33 in 1996.
Leading the way was the 25th Maudslay Turkey Trot at Maudslay Park. Won by former Timberlane standout and UNH senior Lou Saviano in 16:06, it drew 1,519 runners. The nearby Wild Turkey Trot at Pipestave fields in West Newbury attracted 416 runners. Stoneham’s Gregory Putnam won that race in 17:14.