Trevor Murray, 32, of Far Rockaway, took the lead from Carlos Castro a half mile into the race and captured the third annual Eamonn Coghlan 5K classic in 14:34 at Belmont Park last Sunday morning.
The 29-year-old Castro of Levittown went out fast and took command at the early stages, but couldn’t hold on.
"He took off and was fast," Castro later said. "I couldn’t go after him. If I did I wouldn’t have finished second. I was comfortable at this point."
Murray went out at a 4:37 pace for the first mile and was clocked at 9:04 at the two mile mark at which point he felt confident.
Castro wound up second in 14:50, well ahead of Tom Youngs, 20, of Rocky Point (15:15), John Enright, 22, of Oceanside (15:23), and Pascual Vichis, 17, of Astoria, who covered the course in 15:47.
Luigi DeMaio, who placed sixth in 15:53, Skip Murphy (15:59 for seventh), Charles Hornak (16:01, eighth), Mike Hudzik (16:10, ninth) and John Traugott (16:33) rounded out the top ten.
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Susan Menz, 36, of Ossining was the women’s winner in 19:09. Running an excellent time, Menz, a member of the Westchester Puma Track Club, placed 34th overall and was way ahead of Kathy Dormer, whose 19:55 earned her 49th place, overall. She nosed out Lauren Hoffman, whose 19:56 placed her 50th in a field of 260 finishers.
Eamonn Coghlan, a former world class runner, and the first and only athlete over 40 to break the four minute barrier, ran a 17:27 for 19th place.
Last year’s winner Alem Kahsay of Manhattan missed the free bus that left the New York Road Runners Club and wasn’t able to get to the start on time. Therefore he missed the chance of defending his title and having a battle with Murray.
Asked if he was disappointed about Kahsay not competing, Murray said, "I’m happy he didn’t come."
Murray, who belongs to the West Side YMCA, is coming off a 25:01 for 10th place in the 5-mile Club Team Championships a day prior to the Eamonn Coghlan race when he led his team to third place with 311 points behind Westchester Puma (187) and Warren Street Club (284) for the team title.
Murray said that the heat bothered him during the 5K. "After a mile and a half I started to widen my lead," he added. "At the two mile mark I felt confident."
Murray put in about 80 miles a week for the two weeks prior to the Eamonn Coghlan race. He’ll pick it up to 100 miles a week in September before tapering off in preparation for the New York City Marathon when his goal is to break 2:20.
The race over a flat, fast two loop course was contested as part of the New York Irish Family Festival. It started outside the track and the course did not take the runners on the thoroughbred track itself. People in attendance at the festival were able to view the race, held with the cooperation of the New York Racing Association and College Point Road Runners Track Club, who timed and administered the event.
"The footing is great and everybody liked the course," said Leo Nicholas, of the College Point Road Runners Track Club, who helped to make the race a success. Of course, they would have liked more people to enter the race.
"I’m delighted to be associated with this big event," noted race director and promoter Steve Duggan. "The race is getting bigger every year. We thank the New York Racing Association for letting us hold it. Everyone enjoyed it."
Coghlan also thanked everyone for coming out.
"New York is a great place to race," he said. "And it’s a great pleasure to be back in New York. Murray ran an exceptionally fast race."
Murray and Menz each received $250 for winning the race. Second place was worth $150 and third place $50.