Eneas Freyre and Amanda West took very different roads to arrive at the same place Sunday morning. Both runners were first across the finish line in their respective divisions at the Boston Buildup 25-kilometer run, which started and finished near Silvermine Elementary School in Norwalk.
Freyre, from Norwalk, and West, from New York, ran off with commanding victories in the hilly 15.5 mile race that ventured into New Canaan, Wilton and Vista, N.Y., before returning to Norwalk's Silvermine area. Freyre, 34, won in 1:31:34. West conquered the women's field in 1:44:40.
Freyre won by 39 seconds over runner-up Tim Milenkevich of Ansonia. Freyre won the overall series title as well. Milenkevich, who works with Freyre at Target Training in Westport, won the overall title last year.
Freyre considers himself more of a cyclist. He's working at improving his running, which is why he entered the Buildup series. He also won the 20-kilometer race, and was third in the 10k and 15K. "I wanted to work at my running, and the races were local,'' Freyre said. "I can ride my bike to most of them and my family can come out and watch. It's a nice local event."
Anthony Ryba of Berlin finished third, while Westport's Blake Benke (fifth), Old Greenwich's David Thompson (eighth) and Stamford's Jeff Watson (10th) finished in the top 10.
West traveled from New York to get in a distance workout in preparation for the Sun Trust National Marathon in Washington, D.C., on March 26. It was her first Buildup race. "I think it was beautiful,'' West said. "I'm trying to run a sub-3 hour marathon at Washington, so I wanted to gauge my fitness. There were a lot of hills, and a nice race."
Darien's Liz Herbert took second in the women's field, running 1:47.29. She claimed the overall series women's championship. Michelle Rork of New York finished third.
There were 215 finishers, 18 fewer than last year's record field. Runners raced in near ideal conditions, as a storm forecast for late Saturday night and early Sunday morning failed to produce much of a punch. Despite the harsh New England winter, just one race was postponed one week because of weather concerns.
The races have become a fixture in the Fairfield County running community. Many athletes use them to prepare for the Boston Marathon and other early spring races.
Complete results are available on clubct.org
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