Norwood Residents Finish First in Norwood Firecracker 5K

By Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
August, 2017
Article Body: 

The 22nd Annual Norwood Firecracker 5K took place prior to the town’s Fourth of July Parade on Washington Street on the holiday. The gun went off approximately 5 p.m., outside the Norwood Town Hall and the Town Commons and proceeded down Washington St. The course ran to the Hawes Pool at the bridge where the runners turned around and headed back to their original starting point.
As far back as records go, the Firecracker 5K began around 1995, thanks to its original organizers Gary and Lynn McNeil. While it has added a great element to the afternoon holiday celebrations, through the years, the town has thought about moving the race to the morning hours, but decided against it.
“We used to get 200-250 runners in the past, but because of the competition the day before and the morning of the holiday, numbers have dwindled,” Event Director Jim Henry said. “Overall, it’s a pretty local race where we got 100 runners last year. This year, 136 runners turned out to take part in the race.”
Norwood’s Dan Curley (19) was the first runner to cross the finish line at 16:04 and was followed closely by another Norwood resident, Steve Curley at 16:05. Jack Bushway from Walpole was third at 17:56, with Patrick Garratt from Westwood at 18:09 and Tarek Zaki from Norwood at 18:50.
The first woman to cross the finish line was another Norwood native, Emily Stover (33) who finished in 11th place overall with a time of 19:54. Norwood represented another three of the top five women: Elisa Quinn (21:02/15th overall), Olivia Beaudet (21:50/19th) and Maria Conley (22:24/23rd), while Rhoda Reeder from West Warwick finished smack dap in the middle of the four Norwoodites as the third female across the finish line with a 21:50 and 19th overall place.
Other winners in the 11 field race were Beaudet (female 1-19); Meghan Vandiver (20-35) from Norwood finished with a time of 23:09; Kristen Boger (36-49) from Norwood 23:03; Conley (50-59) also from Norwood had a time of 22:24; Collene Murphy (60-69) from Brookline crossed at 27:47 and Betsy Knapp (70-79) from North Weymouth at 39:29.
Male winners in their age group were Garratt (1-19); Somerville’s Stephen Salinas (20-35) finished with a time of 19:49; Norwood’s Padriac Coavin (36-49) had a time of 18:58; Warwick RI’s James Valkoun (50-59) at 22:07 and Norwood’s Bruce Thistle (60-69) finished at 23:56.