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NHS Alum Pat Dennen First As Road Race Finish Altered Due To Accident



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Pat Dennen, a 1998 Newtown High School graduate, was first across the finish line in the 13th Annual Newtown Road Race, on September 1. Dennen, 38 and of Middlebury, completed the 5K course in a time of 17:21.

The top female finisher, Brookfield's Molly Reilly, 33, was 16th overall in 22:07.

Runners had to navigate a slightly different final stage of the race due to an accident on Brushy Hill Road, near the entrance to Dickinson Park where participants would have made their way toward the finish line as in past years. Race officials said the accident occurred about an hour before the 8 am race start and they had to make a late alteration to the course.

Competitors entered into a lower Dickinson Park lot, and jogged across a field, and over a foot bridge above a stream before going up a short but fairly steep incline a few strides before the finish line.

"It turns out there's a path. It just worked out. Very unfortunate that there was an accident about an hour before the race," said Course Marshal Dean Pinto, who worked with other organizers to reconfigure the end of the course using vehicle odometers and apps on phones.

In the end, it ended up being a hair under the 3.1 mile 5K distance, but about as close possible under the circumstances.

The hill at the end made for a tough finish.

"You've got to really push the legs up more. It takes a lot out of you," said Jon Nahmias, 17, and a Newtown High cross country participant who ran along with several teammates.

Dennen said it was rewarding to finish the race and see his family members there to support him.

All the better when you're first overall.

Runners were treated to a much cooler day than we have had of late, with temperatures in the lower 70s at race time.

"It was a little humid but it was perfect overall," Dennen said.

This was Reilly's second road race. She previously completed the Sandy Hook 5K and her daughter, Maeve, 2, enjoyed the Sandy Hook 5K Kids' Run so much that they came back to Newtown for the Labor Day Weekend race, which also featured a Kids' Run.

"It's nice not to have to worry about so many cars," Reilly said of what she liked best about the Newtown Road Race course.

Raymond Luvara, 32, of Trumbull, was second in 18:54. Phil Tisi, 36, was Newtown's fastest finisher, completing the race in 19:04 for a third-place result. Anthony Chwanec, 31, of Bridgeport, was fourth in 20:02. Manoel Leal, 62, of Danbury, was fifth in 20:21.

The next four runners were hometown runners. Cody Gottharrat, 24, of Newtown, was sixth in 20:40; Graeme Marshall, 36, of Sandy Hook, came in seventh in 21:05. 8. Rogelio Frutos, 51, of Sandy Hook, was eighth, clocking in at 21:13. Luke Albrecht, 40, of Newtown, was ninth in 21:20. Rounding out the top ten was Bridgewater 16-year-old Aidan Mullen, who finished in 21:26, narrowly edging his dad, John Mullen, 51, also of Bridgewater, who finished in 11th with the same time.

All proceeds from the race are donated to Newtown Youth & Family Services. Jason "J" Edwards emceed the event, and Newtown High student Aidan Moulder sang the national anthem.

For complete race results, visit the Plattsys Timing webpage.

Runners take off at the start of the Newtown Road Race on September 1.
Pat Dennen, crossing a foot bridge near the end of the race, was also first to cross the finish line.
Molly Reilly was the top female finisher.
Raymond Luvara was second overall.
Phil Tisi was Newtown's fastest finisher and third overall.

Cody Gotthardt was sixth.

Graeme Marshall came in seventh.
Rogelio Frutos came in eigth.
Luke Albrecht was ninth in the race.
Paul Baldini, left, and Jeff Capeci head toward the finish.
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