For Alanna Poretta and Patrick Fullerton, two of the brightest young runners in the area who just won one of the biggest summer road races in New England, their reactions were anything but jubilant.
For these ultra-competitive kids – Poretta will be a senior at Boston College, and Fullerton just graduated from Stonehill – it was all about time.
Poretta, a Groveland native, won the women’s 5K in 18:— 1:36 ahead of Newburyport’s Jana Schulson (20:01); while Fullerton, from Bradford, cruised to the men’s 5K title in 15:21 — 38 seconds ahead of Methuen’s Lucas Parsons (15:59), a sophomore-to-be at UMass Lowell.
Both were happy to have won. But neither could hide their disappointment.
“I really wanted to break 18:00,” said Poretta, whose personal best in the 5K is 17:15, achieved last spring. “It wasn’t about winning it, it was about time. It was cool to hear that I was the first woman, but it was just more for time. I’m still training a lot right now.”
The folks at Boston College will be happy to know that Poretta is sticking to her summer program. Tuesday night’s 5K was a part of a 16-mile day. She ran five miles at 5:45 a.m. and another four in the early afternoon. She cruised through the 5K and planned to cool down with another four miles afterward.
“I’ll probably go pretty easy (cooling down),” she said. “I’ve been training this summer with a lot of mileage. My real races are coming up later this season, so that is what I’m training for.”
Poretta last ran the 5K two years ago, finishing third in 18:43. Except for the first quarter mile of the race, she couldn’t recall trailing. “There were a couple of little girls who went out in front,” she said. “I think for the most part I was in the lead.”