CUMBERLAND â€” Chris Magill has had a history of top-three finishes at the Arnold Mills Road Race, an event heâ€™s won a record five times.
The 38-year-old former St. Raphael Academy standout had every intention to make an attempt at a sixth crown in the 43rd edition of the Cumberland race Monday morning.
Those thoughts, however, were quickly erased after the first mile.
Bobby Hartnett, a onetime Cumberland High all-stater and Columbia University grad, built a sizable 10-second cushion over Magill and the rest of the chase pack at the mile mark and won going away under a sweltering sun on the Fourth of July. Hartnett toured the moderately-challenging four-mile course in a winning time of 20:23.
In the battle for second place, Magill out-dueled Sam Spencer, 20, of Seekonk, crossing the finish line in front of the North Cumberland Fire Station in 21:18. Spencer was third among the 508 finishers at 21:22.
â€śRight after the mile mark,â€ť Magill admitted, â€śI knew that I was basically running for second at that point.â€ť
Hartnett, a 2006 grad of Cumberland where he earned multiple all-state honors, becomes the first from CHS to earn the individual title at Arnold Mills since Jim Dandeneau captured the 1998 race on the original four-mile course.
â€śThis is great,â€ť he said. â€śI knew most of the people cheering for me so that was pretty cool. It was exciting.â€ť
The 23-year-old runner, who graduated with a degree in Economics from Columbia in 2010, cruised through the opening mile in 4:58. By the two-mile mark, passed in slightly over 10 minutes, he was well on his way to victory.
â€śIt was hot out there,â€ť said Hartnett, who now resides in Manhattan and does financial operations for State Street Bank. â€śI just wanted to kind of be aggressive and get into a rhythm right away. I run for the New York Athletic Club and I live in Manhattan now. I have been doing some races and some good workouts so I knew I was in good shape.â€ť
A couple of those races that gave Harnett added confidence for Mondayâ€™s event occurred last month. On June 19, he was seventh among more than 4,600 participants at the NYRR Portugal Day five-miler in Central Park, running the hilly course in 25:16. The following day, he was second in a field of 15,000 at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge with a fast time of 17:42 for the 3.5-mile distance.
Hartnett was running Arnold Mills for the first time since placing 14th overall in the 2007 race.
â€śLast summer I was going to run it,â€ť he said. â€śI went out too late the night before watching the fireworks and changed my mind the day of. I felt I could have contended last year. I wanted to be in good shape to be able to do it this year.â€ť
Magill, who has had at least a dozen top-three finishers at the Cumberland race over the last few decades, was more than satisfied with his effort on Monday. Just two and a half months ago, he became the proud father of his third son, Copper Ross Magill.
â€śI canâ€™t complain with second place,â€ť he said. â€śHonestly, I always think there is a chance that I can win, even though I havenâ€™t won in a while. I have never lost that attitude. My legs may have lost a little bit, but I still have the kick and experience to hold off.â€ť
â€śI always run to win so I was chasing Bobby for a mile,â€ť he continued. â€śMy legs didnâ€™t have it. My mind had it. Various guys passed me, but I always positioned myself for a chance to finish as a runner-up.â€ť
Cumberlandâ€™s Yvonne Libano, a former Providence College runner, won her second straight womenâ€™s title, running just over six-minute pace with her time of 24:09, good for 27th overall. The 35-year-old Libano was followed across the line by two more Cumberland residents. Kim Maguire, 36, the 2008 champion, was second (37th overall) in 25:21. Another past winner, Katie Libby, 33, was third (43rd overall) at 25:35.
Libano, who lives on the course on Abbott Run Valley Road, was never challenged on the familiar roads. She hit the first mile around 5:50.
â€śI went out a little quicker than I thought, but it was helpful with all the people cheering me on,â€ť she said. â€śI just kind of stayed with a pack of guys and held on.â€ť
FINAL KICK: Utilizing the race as a quick tempo run for his summer training, last yearâ€™s champion Brian Doyle, a sophomore at Northeastern University, was ninth overall in 21:52â€¦Anthony Gonsalves, a former Tolman High standout and winner of the first annual PFC Kyle Coutu 5K this past May, finished fourth with a time of 21:28.