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November 29, 2013

Top racers know their place in Feaster Five



Remembering Ritzer

The T-shirts and the runners wearing them, stuck out like rays of sunshine.

Several dozen runners yesterday wore the pink T-shirts, which read “Remember Ritzer,” in reference to Colleen Ritzer, the Andover native and teacher at Danvers High, who was murdered, allegedly by one of her students.

A mother-daughter team, Lisa and Rachel Durbeck, both wearing the T-shirts, got a tad emotional talking about their fallen friend.

“We didn’t know Colleen, but we knew her family a little bit,” said Mrs. Durbeck. “Rachel went to school with her sister. But this touched a lot of people. We feel like we knew Colleen.”


Faces in the crowd

Several of the Feaster Five regulars were back for the 26th annual race, including WEEI’s Gerry Callahan (46:16 in 5M), WBZ’s Danny Roche (48:37 in 5M) and Barry Burbank (47:27 in 5M), Channel 7 newscaster Steve Cooper (25:24 in 5K) and state Sen. Barry Finegold (42:02 in 5M). Also spotted were local writer and first-timer John Milori (55:14 in 5M) and Red Sox media relations employee Abby DeCiccio, formerly of Andover, who finished in 51:01 in the 5-mile race.

Lest we forget Boston Marathon legend Bill Rodgers, who has been running this event for two decades, finishing in 46:00 with a smile from ear to ear.


Faces to watch

The stars of tomorrow’s Feaster Five races usually started as middle-schoolers. If that’s the case, we definitely have two future stars.

In the 5-mile race, 12-year-old Matt Perry of Plaistow, N.H., easily won the 12-and-under division in an impressive time of 32:38, which is 6:34 per mile. In the girls’ division, 11-year-old Elizabeth Tran finished in 37:11, or 7:24 per mile.

In the 5K race, 12-year-old Jacob Hudgins finished in 22:06, while 10-year-old Megan Gallagher of Andover finished in an amazing, 22:32.

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