Paul Mwangi’s debut in the fifth annual Eamonn Coghlan 5K road race was a successful one.
Originally from Kenya, the resident of Ossining, competing for the Westchester Puma Track Club, took an early lead, maintained it and easily captured the 3.1-mile race at Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont in a course record time of 14:27, breaking the old record by one second.
The race, put on with the cooperation of the New York Racing Association and the College Point Road Runners Track Club, was held on the paths of Belmont Park. The two-loop course is mostly flat.
Tom Nohilly of College Point wound up second by about 200 yards behind the winner, finishing in 15:08, 5 seconds faster than Far Rockaway’s Trevor Murray.
Gordon Bakoulis was the female winner in 17:25, good for 16th place overall in the age group event, conducted as part of the New York’s Irish Family Festival.
Mwangi now has a winning streak of four races in a row, including the individual title in the Club Championships, conducted by the New York Road Runners Club on Saturday in Central Park.
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"I’m very happy that I won," Mwangi said about the Coghlan 5K. "No one went with me. Maybe I’ll be back next year (to defend my title)."
For winning the race Mwangi took home $250.
Coghlan himself competed in his race. His goal was to win his 40-49 age group. However, he settled for 17:35 and third place in a field of 315 finishers.
"For an old man, my time wasn’t too bad," the 48-year-old Coghlan said. "At this stage of my life I’m just a jogger now. I’m no longer trying to break records. My only goal this year is to be fit enough to run the New York City Marathon and bring a team over from Ireland.
"Today’s race could have been a little more competitive up front; but then again we had Tom Nohilly, who competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials."
The following are the age group winners:
Men — 14 and under, Shane O’Leary, 20:31; 15-19, Argilio Rodriguez, 17:25; 20-29, Michael Tully Nehr, 15:28; 40-49, Walter Dupont, 16:16; 50-59, Alston Brown, 17:04; 60 and over, Dennis Daly, 20:32.
Women — 14 and under, Shannon Kern, 25:49; 15-19: Sarah Todd, 21:47; 20-29: Nilha Jupchirchic, 18:27; 30-39: Una Broderick, 19:14; 40-49: Kathleen Gilhuley, 22:12; 50-59: Judy Anker, 22:30.