HARWICH ─ Thanks to an unprecedented display of athleticism, the 2016 Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon will be one for the history books.
Each of the top three men's runners – Jim Spisak, Amos Sang, and Glarius Rop – soundly broke the record for fastest Cape Cod half marathon set in 1991 by Larry Bartholomew. Bartholomew claimed victory in the Hyannis half marathon with a finish time of 1:06:56, which each of the aforementioned finishers trumped.
Spisak, who hails from Woonsocket, R.I., crossed the finish line with a time of 1:04:34, closely followed by Sang of Chicopee at 1:04:42, while Rop finished at 1:06:24. Rounding out the top five were Antonio Wilson of Everett with a time of 1:07:46 and Louis Serafini of Brighton who finished at 1:08:24.
“The first two guys crushed the record, and Rop could be considered a crush, too,” said Paul Collyer of BA Event Promotions, which sponsors the event.
Holly Rees of Somerville took the top women's spot, and though she didn't break the record for fastest time of 1:15:41 set in 1991 by Julie Peterson, Rees came mighty close with her time of 1:16:48.
“She didn't break the record, but hers was the second best time in almost 30 years,” said Collyer.
Completing the women's top five were Katrina Spratford of Woonsocket at 1:20:24, Apryl Sabadosa of Westfield at 1:23:18, Beth Shutt of Brockton at 1:23:52, and Heather Mahoney of Westford at 1:24:05.
Top male and female winners of the half marathon won cash prizes ranging from $1,000 for first place and $100 for fifth.
The 10K proved equally exciting, with Ben Haber of Harwich taking the top men's spot with a finish time of 38:46, closely followed by Eric Kimball of Manchester, who finished at 38:49. Next across was Jason Parrent of Harwich at 41:22, followed by Dave Fay of Dennis at 41:54, and Jim Loiselle of Centerville at 42:44.
Kimberly Robbins of South Chatham claimed victory in the women's division with her first-place time of 43:15, with Lynne Giesecke of Jamaica Plain coming in second at 45:48. Tara Harmon of Scituate placed third at 46:58, followed by Kristen Margeson of Cambridge at 47:20, and Sue Donovan of Billerica at 48:38.
Though it had been raining in the days leading up to the event, race day dawned cloudy and cool but dry and comfortable for running. Finishers and their supporters celebrated their successes after their runs at the event's new wine and beer garden, which also featured live entertainment from the Grab Brothers.
The fast times made the half marathon that much more special.
“That's just amazing, seeing fast times back on Cape Cod,” said Kevin Petrovek, a longtime runner and keeper of race history in the region.
“The big time road race has moved from Falmouth to Harwich,” said Collyer.
For full results, visit coolrunning.com and look for the Harwich Cranberry Festival Half Marathon under “results.”