Despite the threat of rain 767 runners registered for the 48th Annual Yankee Homecoming 5K at Lynch Park last night. Hamilton’s Patrick Rich won in a very quick 15:23, and Larissa Park from Somerville was the first female and sixth overall in 17:14.
Rich, a 36-year old track coach at Gordon College, took the lead at the two mile mark and kept it the rest of the way. It was his fourth Beverly Homecoming win and in his fastest 5K time ever.
“I’m 36, and it was exciting to run my fastest time,” said Rich, who last won in 2009. “I did a 10 mile in Newburyport earlier in the week, but felt good. For the first two miles I was with Tim Richard and Jordan Kinley; we took turns taking the lead, but coming down the hill after Boyles Street I put a little distance between us.
“The last time I ran here in 2010 Richard beat me by one second so I was a little nervous when I heard footsteps in the last three quarters of a mile. I didn’t want to turn around, but I found out later it was Tim. I’ve run this race 10 times now.”
For Park, it marked her second Beverly Homecoming win. She came in first several years ago, the only other time she entered the race.
“This was a good night for running because it wasn’t too hot, and the breeze really felt good,” said the 33-year old Park. “I felt strong the whole way.”
Meagan Nedlo of Salem was the second female finisher and eighth overall in 17:25. She was one of several employees of Karhu Craft Company competing.
“Our company is located in the Cummings Center, and a bunch of us ran tonight,” said the 30-year old Nedlo, who won the race last year. “Karhu Craft is one of the sponsors of the race, and we’re having a company cookout here afterward.