Just over 600 people of all ages and sizes completed the Tenth Annual
Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race through the downtown street of Shelton and
Derby. For Joe Poulsen, it was his first Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K
Road race win while for Kim Battipaglia, it's almost old hat - if that can
ever be the case - as she captured the Women's Division title for the fifth
On a picture perfect morning for a race, Honorary Starter Dominick
Thomas, Jt. Fired the starting pistol. A pack of about ten runners sprinted
away from the rest of the field and set the early pace until the runners
crossed the Derby/Shelton Bridge. At that point Poulsen, an Oxford resident
and Tim Milenkovich of Ansonia started to move away from the pack. By the
turn around at the Derby Public Library, it was clearly a two man race as
Poulsen and Milenkovich battled for the lead. Poulsen started to assert
himself as they turned the corner from Elizabeth Street onto Main Street and
back over the Derby/Shelton Bridge.
As they headed down Howe Avenue in Shelton, Poulsen opened space between
himself and Milenkovich. That trend continued as they ran along the
Riverwalk and onto Canal Street. By the time that he had hit the tape in a
time of 16:12, Poulsen had opened up a 17 second gap over Milenkovich. Clark
Shurtleff of Bethany finished third in a time of 16:44. Brothers, and former
winners, Mike and Phil Padilla sandwiched fourth and sixth place finishes
around Bart Wasliolek's fifth place finish among the 604 runners who
officially finished this year's race.
Battipaglia's time of 20:07 was not as fast as her 18:58 a
year ago, but it was more than enough to top Lauren Flament's runner-up time
of 21:19 in the Women's Division.
No records with set this year, and the best winning times
for both the men's and women's divisions were set back in 2003. The slowest
times in each division were recorded in 2005.
Click here to learn more about all of the previous winners and times.
The race was held under near perfect running conditions with
temperatures hovering in the mid-40's with very little wind on a bright,
brilliant day. There were plenty of refreshment an entertainment before and
after the race, and this year the Derby Middle School Band pepped up the
runners by playing from the historic Birmingham Green in Derby. Members of
the Derby Middle School running club ran in the race for the first time.