By Bill Burt
---- — It’s official. Andover’s Nick Enright is the road racer to watch in the future.
At least that’s what we expect after the 12-year-old wowed a lot of people at the 2013 Feaster Five Road Race on Thanksgiving morning last Thursday.
Nick won the 12-and-under boys division in the 5-mile race with a time of 32:57.
An avid hockey and lacrosse player, Nick apparently became interested in running after enjoying an obstacle course contest known as The Spartan Race this past summer at Amesbury Sports Park.
“Nick trained for the 5K over the last month by running around the block where we live,” Nick’s dad, Tim Enright, said. “Then the week before the race, he asked me if it would be OK if he ran the 5-mile race instead. I told him it was fine as long as he took it easy.”
McDonough wins first Feaster
Andover’s own Alanna McDonough, 20, coasted to victory in the 5K at 19:16, besting Caitlyn Clark, 29, who finished at 19:50 and Alexandra Brillaud, 23, of North Andover, who was not far behind at 20:03.
McDonough, a junior at Colby College in Maine via Governor’s Academy in Byfield, led from start to finish in beating her race time last year by exactly two minutes.
“I got a lot of `girl power’ shouts along the way,” McDonough said after the race. “It was freezing. In fact, I can barely speak right now.”
McDonough, who finished eighth in 2012, said the race “means a lot.”
“I really wanted to do well. I’m very, very happy,” she said.
Top Andover finishers
A couple of young men from Andover, 22-year-old Andrew Speen and 20-year-old Simon Voorhees, finished sixth in the 5K and 5-mile races respectively. Speen ran his race in 17:24, while Voorhees finished in 27:06.
IN THE 5K:
In one of the best “Andover” finishes of the entire race, the top three runners in the 12-and-under boys 5K race all hailed from Andover.
Jacob Hudgins (21:52), Aidan McBride (22:01), both 12, and Evan Arpin (22:38), only 11, were the first three across the finish line.
In the girls 12-and-under, 10-year-old Megan Gallagher copped top honors at 22:28.
In the women’s 40-49 division, Sonya Hamori, 45, took first place at 22:34, while Kathleen Williamson, 40, was second at 22:43.
In the women’s 50-59 division, Lisa Johnson, 50, took first at 23:34 and Eileen Sciarra, 52, finished third at 25:24.
In the 70-79 division, James Batts, 71, was the top male at 25:40, while Mary Wesson, 77, was the top female at an impressive 27:12.
IN THE 5-MILE:
Andover again claimed the top three spots in the 12-and-under boys division, with Enright besting fellow residents 12-year-old Zach Grover (39:18) and 9-year-old Preston Taylor (40:37).
Anya Zhong (40:30) and Sarah Sullivan (41:05), both 12, finished second and third respectively in the 12-and-under girls division.
Caroline Bjune, 39, won the 30-39 women’s division at 32:14.
In the 40-49 men’s division, Will Swenson (29:13), 42, and Brian O’Neil (29:54), 47, finished second and third respectively. In the women’s division, Kate Jagger, 43, finished third at 36:23.
In the 50-59 women’s division, Evelyn Caron, 53, finished second at 33:44.
Other Andoverites finishing in the top three of their age divisions were 73-year-old John Boness (39:47) and 71-year-old Renate Hunt (58:45), who both claimed third-place spots.
The T-shirts and the runners wearing them stuck out like rays of sunshine.
Several dozen runners wore the pink T-shirts emblazoned with “Remembering Ritzer” in reference to Colleen Ritzer, the Andover native and teacher at Danvers High School, who was murdered in October, allegedly by one of her students.
A mother-daughter team, Lisa and Rachel Durbeck, both wearing the T-shirts, got a tad emotional talking about the tribute.
“We didn’t know Colleen, but we knew her family a little bit,” Lisa Durbeck said. “Rachel went to school with her sister. But this touched a lot of people. We feel like we knew Colleen.”
There was a moment of silence before the race in memory of Ritzer and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Andover faces in the crowd
Several of the Feaster Five regulars who reside in Andover were back to run the 5-mile in the 26th annual race, including WEEI’s Gerry Callahan (46:16), WBZ’s Danny Roche (48:37) and Barry Burbank (47:27) and state Sen. Barry Finegold (42:02).
Quote of the day
“The proudest moment of this race every year, for me, is when Dick and Ricky Hoyt pass me. They are an example of what makes this event so special.”
— WEEI’s Gerry Callahan over the PA before the race to the 10,000 runners and walkers
Final tallies and tidbits
Here are some notes and nuggets sent to us by Feaster Five race director Dave McGillivray:
Final numbers were 10,616 entries — 55 percent women, 45 percent men (not including kids race-day registrations), about 100 less than last year
8,920 official starters (not including the kids) and 8,876 finishers.
Ironstone Farm in Andover, Bellesini Academy in Lawrence, Merrimack Valley YMCA and the Merrimack Valley Striders combined to raise well over $100,000 through the race.
Andover police get very high grades, enhancing support once again, with safety officer Chuck Edgerly and Andover public works department leading the war.
As a precaution in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, State Police used bomb-sniffing dogs to comb the starting and finish lines of the race.
Someone stole everything at one of the water stations — tables, barrels, cups, pitchers, rakes, shovels and trash bags. Crews had to go back to the race director’s warehouse to replace all the items that were stolen.
A lot of the leftover food after the race was donated to Lazarus House in Lawrence.