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They're off!


Keith Sansone, a sophomore at Bucknell University,  pulled away from former Shelton High School teammate Phil Padilla over the last quarter mile to finish 12 seconds ahead of Padilla and capture the 2009 Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day Road Race.

Very early in the race a group of five runners that included Sansone, Padilla, four-time defending champion John Critelli, Robert Yamnicky and Joe Ferro moved to the front with only footsteps separating them as they jockeyed for the lead.

They stayed that way as they crossed under the gigantic American flag on the Derby/Shelton bridge and headed into Derby. The fast pace and close race continued up Elizabeth Street, past the Derby Green to the turn around at the Derby Public Library.

Things remained extremely close all the way down Elizabeth Street to Main Street where Sansone and Padilla started to pull away slightly from the rest of the pack with Ferro in third place.

They remained neck and neck as they headed back into Shelton and Sansone had a step lead as they passed the Farmers Market and headed onto the Riverwalk. John Critelli had moved into third place at that point followed by Ferro and Yamnicky.

As they headed along the river, Sansone opened his lead. He had opened about a 30 yard lead as they headed back down Canal Street to the finish line. Padilla finished 12 seconds behind followed by a hard charging Critelli. Yamnicky had passed Ferro along the river, and he captured fourth place by 7 seconds.

Kim Battipaglia had a much easier time in winning the Women's Division as she posted her best time in 19:10 which was almost 2 minutes faster than runnerup Dorothy Sliwonik.

The pace was very fast, however neither time was a course record as the Men's Division record was posted by Jeff Roginielewicz in 2003 with a time of 15:44. That same year, Kristin Wenstrom set the Women's record in 18:50.

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