By Bill Burt
---- — ANDOVER — As expected, it was a record-setting day on the 25th annual Feaster Five Road Race with 10,720 runners and walkers participating.
With the weather perfect for running — 50 degrees and no wind — it was thought this might be the day there would be some records set on the race course, too.
But despite a few close calls, including Reading native Allison McCabe’s all-out sprint over the last 200 yards in the women’s 5K, the record book won’t change.
”I really was hoping to beat it,” said McCabe, 30, who ran a 17:56, 12 seconds off the record. “I ran a PR (personal record) in the New England Cross Country Championships (last month). I’m in great shape. But I just fell short.”
McCabe, who missed last year’s race with a stress fracture, has now won the 5K race five times.
In the men’s 5K, it was a new name, Bradford’s Pat Fullerton, winning at 15:46, only six seconds behind the all-time mark of 15:40 set by multiple champion Harry Norton. The 24-year-old suffered a cramp before the first mile, which slowed him down considerably.
“I really thought I could break it today,” said Fullerton, who was the 2006 Eagle-Tribune cross country MVP at Haverhill High and then an All-American at Stonehill College. “Once I got past the cramping, I felt real good. It was a great day to run.”
Andover’s Nate Jenkins won his fourth straight Feaster Five 5-mile race, this time finishing in 24:43, well off the record of 24:04 by David Hinga in 1999. Jenkins’ pace yesterday was 4:57 per mile.
”I am in pretty good shape, but I’ve been running, not training,” said Jenkins, a 2:14 marathoner.
“It was a great day to run, but I was slow the first two miles and third mile was still slow. I tried to hang with Pat (Fullerton, who won the 5K) up the hill but I couldn’t.”
In the women’s 5-mile race, Brookline, N.H., native Catherine Beck won her second Feaster Five, in 28:10.