NEWBURYPORT – There was a strong police presence at Tuesday’s Lions Club Yankee Homecoming 10-mile and 5K road races, but they weren’t there responding to crimes or controlling the throngs of fans cheering on the runners.
Instead, Amesbury police Officers Jonathan Morrill and Troy Burrell, Newburyport police Officer Joshua Tierney, and Salisbury police dispatcher Schyler Reilly, were among the hundreds of runners braving nearly 90-degree weather to cross the finish lines.
“It was so hot,” Burrell said Thursday morning back on duty patrolling downtown Amesbury.
Burrell and Morrill said they both weren’t sure they’d make it the whole way pointing out they could have bailed out on the longer race and completed the 5K.
When asked if they felt like giving up, Morrill was candid.
“The whole way through,” he said, jokingly.
Morrill said the decision to enter the race was based mainly on two factors: training for a half marathon in October with other Amesbury officers and improving “the overall health of the department.”
For the record, Morrill said he finished the race in about an hour and 43 minutes. Burrell was a little more loose with his estimate: just under two hours.
Tierney’s decision to run was mostly personal. He also is training for a longer road race, the annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in October.
“It was certainly a challenge. I expected it to be difficult and it lived up to it,” Tierney said, who completed the race in an hour and 35 minutes.
“I definitely committed to the 10-mile race, for better or worse, but it seemed to come out the worst,” he added.
Tierney said he loved seeing the crowds, and his wife, Newburyport police Officer Megan Tierney, cheering for him and the other runners. He also appreciated the cooling effect of mist stations that cut through the swelter, if only for a moment.
Much to the surprise of his wife and other fellow Newburyport police, Tierney was back on duty the next day feeling “a little sore and dehydrated.”
Reilly, who is friends with Burrell and Morrill, stuck to the 5K race he’s run in the past. Reilly called the annual race fun and part of what makes Newburyport an awesome community.
“It was definitely hot but I was able to get through it,” Reilly said.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @drogers41008.