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First-timers win Bridge of Flowers 10K

  • Runners begin their trek at Saturday’s 39th running of the Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic in Shelburne Falls. RECORDER STAFF/JEFF LAJOIE



Recorder Staff
Saturday, August 12, 2017

SHELBURNE FALLS — John Busque found out Thursday night that his online registration for the 39th annual Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic did not go through and he was not registered for the race, so he showed up in Shelburne Falls on Saturday morning to officially register for the event.

The Manchester, Conn. native and first-time Bridge of Flowers participant then went out and won it.

Busque’s push over the final three miles of the event helped him pull away from defending champion Glarios Rop and cruise across the finish line with a time of 31 minutes, 48 seconds to win by 43 seconds.

Another first-timer also captured the women’s title as Holly Rees of Cambridge crossed the line in 37:05 to win the women’s race by over one minute.

Busque and Rop battled throughout the race and the first half saw them remain within five seconds of each other. Busque led much of the first-half of the race, including when the runners reached the peak of Crittenden Hill, the one-kilometer climb that takes place at the 2-mile mark. Busque held a five-second lead at the top of Crittenden, but Rop quickly closed the gap and by the time the runners hit the bottom, Rop had taken a one-second lead. But when the runners got out on the flats of Route 112 for a run that took them past Mohawk Trail Regional High School, Busque overtook Rop and by the time the runners hit North Street for their final mile, Busque had a 10-second lead he only extended. Rop finished second in 32:31, and Scott Mindel of Burlington took third in 33:15.

On the women’s side, Rees led throughout. Rees, who hails from England but is working on her doctorate in chemistry at Harvard, found out about the Bridge Race through BOF Elite runner coordinator Dan Smith and she decided to give it a try. She said that she did not want to use up too much energy on the hill and felt she was in good shape physically when she hit the top and was able to enjoy the scenery as she descended the backside.

Her time of 37:05 was 65 seconds faster than Emma Spencer, who took second in 38:10. Apryl Sabadosa finished third in 38:20.

For much more on the race see Monday’s Recorder.