By David Monti
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
NEW YORK (31-Dec) — While a 20-minute-long fireworks display boomed overhead, Delilah DiCrescenzo and Christian Thompson of the NJ-NY Track Club won tonight’s 34th Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park in comfortably cold conditions. About 4000 fun-runners, many in festive costumes, finished the hilly four-mile race behind them.
DiCrescenzo, 29, who lives in Manhattan, was the class of the women’s field, clocking 21:07, the fourth-fastest winning time since the race changed to the four-mile distance in 2000 (it has been 5 miles and 5 kilometers prior to that). She sailed through the finish line 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Frances Koons of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and 34 seconds ahead of her clubmate Ashley Higginson of New Brunswick, N.J.
“It was awesome,” said DiCrescenzo, a steeplechaser, who won the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day. She continued: “It’s a really fun atmosphere to, like, get wrapped up in it and I was just having a blast out there. It was a ton of fun.”
The women’s race had excellent depth, with six women breaking 22 minutes (5:30 per mile).
Thompson, 24, of Elkins Park, Pa., had a tougher time getting the win. He battled the Boston Athletic Association’s Tim Ritchie of Brighton, Mass., throughout the entire second half of the race, and was only able to break away in the final 400 meters, clocking 18:49.
“I came around the last turn and I saw that he (Ritchie) was just behind me,” Thompson, a University of Colorado alumnus, explained. “Right when I made the turn, everybody just kind of started cheering, so I thought he was making a big move. So, I just tried to go as fast as a I could.”
Thompson, who works three part-time jobs to support his athletics career, timed his kick perfectly, and put five seconds on the versatile Ritchie, an assistant coach at Boston College, at the line. Two-time Ethiopian Olympian Mulugeta Wendimu got third in 19-flat.
“First time in Central Park, so I guess I’ll have to come back,” Thompson added.
Both DiCrescenzo and Thompson earned $600 in prize money and time bonuses, and were presented with trophies and special gift bags by race sponsor, Emerald Nuts.
1. Christian Thompson, NJ-NY Track Club, 18:49
2. Timothy Ritchie, Boston Athletic Association, 18:54
3. Mulugeta Wendimu, West Side Runners (ETH), 19:00
4. Tesfaye Dereje Girma, West Side Runners (ETH), 19:06
5. Liam Boylan-Pett, NJ-NY Track Club, 19:19
6. Gregory Leak, Unattached, 19:24
7. Demesse Tefera, West Side Runners (ETH), 19:27
1. Delilah DiCrescenzo, NJ-NY Track Club/Puma, 21:07
2. Frances Koons, New Balance, 21:24
3. Ashley Higginson, NJ-NY Track Club/Saucony, 21:41
4. Renee Tomlin, NJ-NY Track Club, 21:44
5. Nicol Traynor, NJ-NY Track Club, 21:54
6. Allie Kieffer, Hudson Training System, 21:56
7. Esther Erb, ZAP Fitness/Reebok, 22:01
8. Heather Wilson, NJ-NY Track Club, 22:11
9. Rolanda Bell, Unattached, 22:14
10. Amanda Marino, Riadha/Mizuno, 22:17