by Tom Walski
KIRBY PARK, WILKES-BARRE, PA, MAY 5, 2019–In recent years, the margin of victory in the Cherry Blossom Five Mile Run has been large. In 2018, Chris McCabe won by 3:40; in 2017, Jeff Bachak won by 1:17; in 2016, Jeff Skwierz won by 1:46; and in 2014, Robert Moulton won by 2:28. But no one expected Moulton to surpass all these victory margins by returning to win by 4:13 in 27:08. This was Moulton’s third win following his triumphs in 2014 and 2015.
In contrast, Josey Rupert waited until the final quarter-mile to scoot past Amy Rome and win by three seconds in 34:10 in the women’s division.
As usual in Striders races, it was the older age-group runners who shone. At 56, Paul Leonard took third overall in 31:24 while 52-year-old Rome was the second woman in 34:17. At 67, Patti Turissini’s 39:15 was especially noteworthy.
And as usual, the race was run in rainy conditions which has become the tradition for this race along the Susquehanna River. The weather did not discourage runners as the 125 finishers was the largest number since 2015.
The race also served as the second jewel in the Vince Wojnar Triple Crown, which will reach its climax at the Striders 20K race in the Lehigh Gorge State Park in November. Moulton and Rome are now the leaders in the Triple Crown battle.
Categories: Race Coverage