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Robaczynski pulls away to win another Lobster Loop road race

Marc Robaczynski takes the early lead over Cullen McHale at the Lobster Loop road race Sunday morning in Canton.

Marc Robaczynski takes the early lead over Cullen McHale at the Lobster Loop road race Sunday morning in Canton.

CANTON – Runner Marc Robaczynski lived in New Hartford for years. “I’m still used to running those hills,” he said Sunday morning, referring to running up Route 219, West Hill Road, Gillette Road or South Road. 

Robaczynski used that training to pull away from Burlington’s Cullen McHale on Hill Street to win the 23rd annual Lobster Loop road race in Canton. Robaczynski tied a race record by winning the event for the eighth time in 16 minutes and three seconds for an 18-second win over McHale. 

Robaczynski, who now lives in Avon, last won the race in 2010. Canton’s Mary Lynn Currier won the women’s race eight times. 

“It was a good way to build up my appetite for breakfast,” Robaczynski with a grin. “It was a choice of staying in bed and sleeping or waking up and running. It wasn’t an easy choice.” 

Despite the 8:30 a.m. start, Robaczynski looked strong from the start. McHale, a 19-year-old student who begins his sophomore year at Bentley College next month, stayed with Robaczynski for nearly two miles. “I lost him on the hill. He gained 10 seconds on me there,” McHale said. “I was glad someone was there to push me.” 

McHale finished in 16:21, his best time in the race while Suffield’s Jimmy Clark was third in 16:49. James Yost, who will be a senior at Canton High next month, was fourth in 17:20 while Avon’s Collin Pritchard, who will be a senior in September at Avon High, was fifth in 17:38. Yost was the first runner from Canton to finish the race. 

Goshen's Sami Glass

Goshen’s Sami Glass

Goshen’s Sami Glass, 18, who will begin studying at Yale in September, won the women’s race for the second year in a row with a time of 17:44 over the 3.1 mile course. She was sixth overall in the field of 413 runners and walkers. Glass had a comfortable win over Kathleen Shaw of East Hartland, who was the second woman across the finish line in 20:30. 

Glass, who won the New England championship in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters at Hotchkiss in track and field, again used the Lobster Loop as part of her summer preparations for her fall season of running. 

“It’s a beautiful loop and I love the competition here,” she said. “The guys that run here are so supportive.” 

Eliza Chekas, left and James Yost were the first runners from Canton at the Lobster Loop road race.

Eliza Chekas, left and James Yost were the first runners from Canton at the Lobster Loop road race.

The first woman from Canton across the line was Eliza Chekas, 19, in 20:48. She finished 36th overall. Race proceeds benefit the Canton Middle School’s Parent Teach Organization (PTO). The race generated nearly $10,000 last year. 

Robaczynski’s winning time of 16:03 was the fastest since he won in 15:41 in 2010. Robaczynski owns the course record of 15:27 set in 1997. The women’s course record is 17:29 set by New Hartford’s Kate Padden in 2002. 

2014 Lobster Loop road race results

Top 10 results
1. Marc Robaczynski, Avon, 16:03 for 3.1 miles, 2. Cullen McHale, Burlington, 16:21, 3. Jimmy Clark, West Suffield, 16:49, 4. James Yost, Canton, 17:20, 5. Collin Pritchard, Avon, 17:38, 6. Sami Glass, Goshen, 17:44, 7. Brandon LeClair, Goshen, 17:47, 8. Dean Yost, Canton, 17:49, 9. Mario Longo, Cheshire, 18:04, 10. Max Rusch, Farmington, 18:18

Top 10 women
1. Sami Glass (6th overall), Goshen, 17:44, 2. Kathleen Shaw (31), West Hartland, 20:30, 3. Eliza Chekas (36), Canton, 20:48, 4. Sara Stokesbury (43), Avon, 21:37, 5. Sue Mantie (46), New Hartford, 21:43, 6. Alexander Poole (52), Farmington, 21:52, 7. Sarah Mascou (58), Avon, 22:12, 8. Elise Hildebrandt (59), West Simsbury, 22:15, 9. Cameron McCauley (53), Canton, 22:24, 10. Catherine Lyons (55), Bloomfield, 22:34

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Checking out the results on the town green.

Checking out the results on the town green.

Age group results

GIRLS

8 and under: Bella Murphy, New Hartford, 31:01, Ellie Bahre, Canton, 33:25, Morgan Babbitt, Canton, 38:23
Ages 9-12: Alexandra Poole, Farmington, 21:52, Abby Charron, Canton, 24:08, Robin Wright, Goshen 24:45
Ages 13-14: Elise Hildebrandt, West Simsbury, 22:15, Jane Frawley, Canton, 22:41, Belle Magna, Canton, 22:49
Ages 15-18: Sara Stokesbury 21:37, Sarah Mascou 22:12, Cameron McCauley 22:24

WOMEN

Ages 19-29: Eliza Chekas, Canton 20:48, Rachael Rheaume, Canton, 22:52, Veronica Dambrauskas, Wolcott, 23:26
Ages 30-39: Erin Pirro, West Granby 25:26, Jennifer Dingee, Canton 26:47, Caitlen Rossi Torrington 26:48
Ages 40-39: Kathleen Shaw, East Hartland 20:30, Elizabeth Webb, Canton, 22:43, Amy Fry, Canton, 26:06
Ages 50-59: Susan Mantie, New Hartford 21:43, Catherine Lyons, Bloomfield 22:34, Lauren Hurst, West Simsbury 23:50
Ages 60-69: Mary Tomolonius, Canton 30:08, Amy Gavalis, Bolton 30:28, Jesse Hill, Canton, 31:02
Ages 70-79: Wini Hanson, New Hartford 41:02, Joan Navin, Avon, 47:11
Ages 80 and over: Marcia Herbst, Canton, 50:46

BOYS

8 and under: Luke Miller, Avon, 30:59, Nicholas Leadbetter, Canton, 39:23, Liam Mortimer, Canton, 42:00
Ages 9-12: Pink Wright, Goshen, 23:30, Griffin Weller, Canton, 23:48, Diego Esquiel, Avon, 24:07
Ages 13-14: Jack Stokesbury, Avon, 20:08, Aidon O’Donnell, Canton, 20:55, Patrick Lagonigh, Canton 21:49
Ages 15-18: Jimmy Clark, West Suffield, 16:49, James Yost, Canton, 17:20, Collin Pritchard, Avon 17:38

MEN

Ages 19-29: Cullen McHale, Burlington, 16:21, Max Rusch, Farmington, 18:18, Joseph Schippani, Harwinton, 19:35
Ages 30-39: C.J. Fusco, West Hartford, 18:35, Darrin Smith, Simsbury, 20:21, Marshall Mineax, Canton 21:49
Ages 40-49: Mario Longo, Cheshire 18:04, Patrick McCue, Canton 18:56, David Poirot, Simsbury, 18:57
Ages 50-59: Roger Mahieu, Torrington, 19:16, Jeff Loureiro, Canton 19:27, Ron Kirschbaum, Suffield 19:54
Ages 60-69: Bruce Bussiere, Canton, 21:52, Ian McCracken, Avon 21:53, Ronald Bush, West Hartford 23:12
Ages 70-79: Fred Gohringer, Milldale, 24:24, Erling Schmidt, Bloomfield 28:11, Harvey Strauss, New York City, 32:06
80 and over: Bob Davidson, Canton, 39:37, Edward Regner, Torrington 48:24

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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