For those who have aspirations of winning Trav’s Trail Run in future years, Jenkins offered some bad news. He will be back every year until he loses -- if for no other reason than one of the winning prizes of a mug.
“I’m here because of the mug,” Jenkins said. “If I don’t win, I’m in trouble with my wife because she loves the mug. You definitely have to try to defend a title. If you can string a few together, then you start thinking you’re going back until somebody beats you, no matter what.”
Suda delivered her top performance at Maudslay roughly 18 years after she race her first race at the state park. She is pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of Florida and training with the Florida Track Club. She is an annual staple among the top three women, although she had never finished in the top spot before yesterday.
“This is my best time here by 11 or 12 seconds,” Suda said. “I take most of the winter off for health reasons, I’m anemic. I always try to be kind of fit for this one, but it doesn’t always work out.”
In past years, Suda has held the lead in the women’s race, even as late as the last 800 meters, before turning it over to a late-breaking competitor. This year, she made an effort to take the race out slower, and it resulted in a top finish.
East Boston resident Victoria Barnaby finished 12 seconds behind Suda (17:52) for a second-place finish among the women. Andover’s Caroline Bjune was third in 17:54. A surprising five women finished in a time of 18:47 or faster.
“I tend to go out really hard,” Suda said. “This year, I felt like I controlled it a little bit better. I had more of a kick at the end, and I needed it because the other girls were closing in on me.”