Prior to the 35th Londonderry Old Home Days/Lundgren 5K Road Race last Saturday, Aug. 16, Amy Bernard said she thought it would be difficult for her to duplicate her 2013 women’s title victory at the event. But then she went out and duplicated it.
The former Pinkerton Academy running standout – and current teacher and cross-country coach at the Derry school – repeated as the women’s champion by finishing first among the many ladies and sixth overall in the annual race with her time of 18 minutes and 45 seconds. She also won her 30- to 39-year-old women’s race division.
Because there were so many strong young female runners in the 2014 Londonderry race, Bernard thought that finishing first would be a major task, to say the least.
“I’m not old, but there were a lot of good young runners here today and I don’t take winning for granted,” she said. “I haven’t done a 5K in a while, but this is a race I love.”
The Londonderry High School graduate and current Wheaton College student/ athlete Andreas Geiger was the overall winner of the race after finishing second overall in 2013. He posted a winning time of 17:22, and was followed by four other current or former Londonderry High Lancer runners in the 2014 race.
There were 221 total finishers in this year’s race, after 288 crossed the finish line in the 2013 event. But magnificent weather and great competition sent the majority of folks – including race director Larry Martin – away feeling pleased about this year’s race.
Derry runners who put forth noteworthy performances included Amy Jose, who was second among the 40-49 ladies; Jed Duchene (fifth among 20-29 men); Chad Hanley (second among 30-39 males); Joe Litman (second among 40-49 guys); Greater Derry Track Club president Jim Peters (third among the men in his 50- to 59-year-old division), and Bill Manning (second among the 70-79 males).
The existing course records have now stood for many years, with Dave Dunham’s male record of 14 minutes and 44 seconds having been set in 1991, and female record holder Maribel Sanchez having set her mark of 17:35 in 2000. Neither mark wound up being in jeopardy this year.
The race course takes participants through some of the most historic streets and country sites found in Londonderry. It begins on Mammoth Road in front of the Grange Hall, proceeds south to Peabody Row, advances onto Buttrick Road, and then returns back to the Grange Hall and the finish line.