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GROTON — Weather was cool mid-40s, overcast, and a few showers — perfect running weather!

Even though over 2,500 runners, including over 1,800 individuals, have participated in the Groton Town Forest Trail Races over the past 13 years, the course record and numerous age group records were shattered during this year’s event.

The weather did not keep runners at home this year, as a field of 235 finishers also established a new record, last set in 2002 when there were 217 finishers. All the runners were treated to a tapestry of fall colors in the Groton Town Forest thanks to a lingering fall.

In the 9.5 mile race, Steve O’Brien (Groton) time of 55:40 smashed Dave Hinga’s (Lowell) course record of 57:14 set in 1999.

In the women’s 60-69 age group, Kathleen Furlani (Broad Brook, CT) bested the record by 16 minutes, with her time of 1:32:25.

Marshall Randolph (Wellesley) beat his own age group (60-69) record set two years ago by 7 seconds with a time of 1:11:10.

In the men’s 80-89 age group, veteran trail runner Richard Busa (Marlboro) established the first record in that age group in a time of 2:00:26. Richard’s record is likely to stay on the books for a very long time.

The first female was Erica LaBella (Sugar Hill, N.H.) in a time of 1:12:19.

In the 3.4 mile race, Ray Johnson (Littleton) won in a time of 22:20. Paul Funch (Groton) came in third and lowered the 60-69 age group record from 27:19 to 23:41.

The most impressive runner of the day, however, was Katie Schmitt (Durham, N.H.). Her father (Keith, who finished fifth overall, was first in his 40-49 age group in the 9.5 mile race in a time of 1:02:20) and uncle (Lee) are consistently among the top trail runners in New England. Others in her family are also top-notch runners, including her aunt, Kirsta Davey (Groton), who finished first in her 40-49 age group in 28:32.

But Katie, while only 11 years old, was the 8th finisher and was the first female to cross the line in a time of 25:07. With her time, she lowered the previous record for her age group of 26:19 that was set in 2002 and she also bested the records for the 15-19, 30-39, and 50+ age groups! Katie ran very smoothly and with a big grin on her face. Finally, Olivia Box (Groton) lowered the 15-19 age group record from 29:57 to 28:10.

The results for local runners and those mentioned above are provided below:

9.5 Mile Race

Place/Last Name/First Name/Sex/Age/Town/Time

1, O’Brien, Steve, M, 22, Groton, 0:55:40; 4 Kinnee, John, M, 31, Ayer, 1:02:03; 5, Schmitt, Keith, M, 42, Durham, NH, 1:02:20; 16, Tonelli, Mark, M, 16, Ayer, 1:10:53; 17 Randolph, Marshall, M, 62, Wellesley, 1:11:10; 19 LaBella, Erica, F, 31, Sugar Hill, NH, 1:12:19; 21, Lyman, Erin, F, 31, Groton, 1:13:12; 24 Xue Yong, M, 48, Harvard, 1:15:20; 25, Ashburn, Michael, M, 40, Groton, 1:15:21; 33 McFague, Cheryl, F, 43, Townsend, 1:18:23; 38 Box, Jeffrey, M, 46, Groton, 1:18:59; 49 Lacey, Neil, M, 55, Ayer, 1:21:50; 50 Coveno, Rick, M, 45, Groton, 1:21:51; 53, Schmitt, Liz, F, 40, Durham, NH, 1:22:34; 55 Graham Chris M 42 Groton 1:22:54; 57 Hadland Nick M 39 Groton 1:24:08; 60 Vandermillen Michael M 48 Groton 1:24:44; 72 Steers Ronnie M 32 Townsend 1:27:48; 76 Wiesner Lisa F 40 Groton 1:29:23; 80 Furlani Kathleen F 62 Broad Brook, CT 1:32:25; 84 Niell Arthur M 68 Ayer 1:32:49; 94 Morlock Jennifer F 41 Groton 1:39:44; 100 Lagrutta Joy F 35 Shirley 1:42:00; 125 Busa Richard M 80 Marlboro 2:00:26.

3.4 Mile Race

Place Last Name First Name Sex Age Town Time

1 Johnson Ray M 46 Littleton 0:22:20; 2 Wiesner John M 41 Groton 0:22:56; 3 Funch Paul M 60 Groton 0:23:41; 8 Schmitt Katie F 11 Durham, NH 0:25:07; 10 Crane Brian M 46 Townsend 0:25:24; 14 Fournier Robert M 46 Groton 0:26:33; 16 Strauss Kerri F 36 W. Groton 0:27:37; 18 Box Olivia F 15 Groton 0:28:10; 19 Davey Kirsta F 44 Groton 0:28:32; 22 Hart David M 38 Groton 0:29:05; 24 Andrews Paul M 50 Groton 0:29:08; 25 Acaba Ralph M 47 Groton 0:29:11; 27 Ordemann Robert M 49 Groton 0:29:37; 29 Lagrutta Thomas M 37 Shirley 0:29:51; 34 Hughes Adam M 37 Harvard 0:30:27; 35 Glennie Becky F 17 Groton 0:30:29; 36 Kosiba Kristen F 37 Dunstable 0:30:32; 37 Waterman Matthew M 40 W. Groton 0:30:36; 39 Cockin Chris M 35 Pepperell 0:31:00; 40 Glennie Dan M 50 Groton 0:31:05; 46 Gerath Mark M 51 Groton 0:32:27; 47 Introne Fredrica F 34 Harvard 0:32:51; 58 Lynch Finn M 9 Groton 0:34:50; 59 Nyilis John M 48 Groton 0:34:51; 63 Penny Tom M 42 Pepperell 0:35:07; 64 Lynch John M 43 Groton 0:35:10 ;65 Graham Jackson M 10 Groton 0:35:16; 68 Shepherd Sue F 42 Groton 0:35:24; 70 Wenzell Jessica F 35 Groton 0:35:28; 72 Atwood Jeff M 53 Dunstable 0:35:39; 73 Falkner Jay M 49 Dunstable 0:35:51; 80 Graham Melinda F 42, Groton, 0:37:19; 81 Saunders, Pauline, F, 51, Groton, 0:37:29; 82 Ordemann, Wiley, M, 10, Groton, 0:37:46; 83; Falkner, Beth, F, 41, Dunstable; 84, Lienhard, Todd, M, 44, Groton, 0:38:25; 87; Twitchell, Jennifer, F, 31, Groton, 0:39:06; 92, Mynttinen, John, M, 40, Groton, 0:40:25; 93; Melanson, Jen, F, 38, Townsend, 0:40:26; 94 Shepherd, Mark, M, 45, Groton, 0:40:57; 95 Dean, Elizabeth, F, 11, Groton, 0:41:01; 97 Dean, Dave, M, 45, Groton, 0:41:12.

After the races, stories were exchanged over some light refreshments that were put out in the Groton Senior Center, which was the race headquarters once again. While the volunteers set up the registration area in the Senior Center and the Start/Finish Line on “Newell’sCrossing” (the abandoned railroad bed across from the entrance to the Senior Center) starting at 9:30, most people arrived between 11 a.m. and 12:30, when the first race started.

By 4 p.m., all the runners had returned and the volunteers had cleaned up the area and packed everything away for another year.

It was a brief event that treated the runners to a challenging race course and a visually stimulating view of Groton that many who live in the area have never seen, but one that 1,800 other people have also enjoyed in similarly brief events over the past 13 years.