Jeff Veiga led Team Run with a surprise overall victory at stop #3 of the 2014 USATF-NE Grand Prix Series. Veiga’s efforts also helped Team Run finish 3rd in the Men’s Open team category, their best finish of the year.
The conditions were wet and cold at the An Ras Mor 5k in Cambidge, MA this past Sunday for the Grand Prix event. Veiga, a UMass Lowell graduate and former DII All-American, formed a lead group with with Ruben Sanca (Veiga’s former teammate at UML) and Nick Karwoski, both of Whirlaway’s racing team. Eventually Karwoski dropped off and it came down to Veiga and Sanca, the 2012 Cape Verde Olympian. With 800 meters to go, it appeared Sanca was beginning to pull away, however, Veiga clawed his way back and was able to retake the lead with just under a quarter mile left and hold on for the win. Team Run hasn’t had a male champion at a Grand Prix event since Joseph Koech won the Lone Gull 10K in September of 2009.
The next Team Run finisher was Ethan Brown, rounding out the top-10 with a 15:24. Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day came from Justin Freeman, the former Nordic Skiing Olympian, who spends his winters on the skis. On almost no running prior to race day, Freeman managed 13th place in 15:28, sub-5:00 mile pace! Team Run’s 4th and 5th men were Ben Coughlin (37th) in 16:09 and Hombo Lucian (41st) in 16:18. These 5 combined for an average time of 15:36. It was a tightly contested team race as Whirlaway won with a 15:25 average followed closely by Greater Boston Track Club (15:27) and of course, Team Run (15:36).
Other Team Run finishers include Peter Omae (67th) in 16:27, who had a bit of an uncharacteristic off-day, and Titus Mutinda (136th) in 18:26. The Team has a long layoff until the next Grand Prix event on June 15th, the Ribfest 5 Miler in Merrimack, NH.