No. 1 runner Ryan Baker smiled when Race Director Tim Bamfiorth handed him bib 613 for the March 12 Lucky Leprechaun 5K in Milton.
“I’m crushed here today with 514 runners and a bunch of dogs, cooks carrying boiled dogs, guys wearing leprechaun beards,” said Bamforth. “I just need to get everyone off on time and get them back safely. Ryan knows he’s No. 1 and doesn't need a bib to prove it.”
Baker was hounded early by eventual masters winner Matt Marcini, 46, of York, Pa., who stayed within striking range throughout the race, but his 5:32 mile pace couldn’t close the gap on Baker, who won in 16:43 to Marcini’s 17:13.
The top 20 runners were men, with spot No. 20 going to Beau Croll, who was pushing his son Axel in a buggy and finished in 21:48.
Zoe Miller, 15, of Milton was the first female in 22:07. She was followed by Maddie Bowen, 23, of Washington, D.C., in 22:37 and Arina Varrato, 17, of Georgetown in third in 22:57. Lori Holdsworth, 61, of Lewes won the women’s masters in 24:37.
Notables: Matt Sparacino aka the Harrington Harrier won the 40-49 age group in 18:27. Mark Baker, 50, ran his first 5K and won the 50-59 age group in 23:05. John Costello, 62, won the 60-69 age group in 20:57. Ruby Leps won the 13-and-under female race in 25:21. Mary Kessler, 73, won the 70-79 age group in 25:21, just 20 seconds off the age-group state record. The top 156 runners broke 30 minutes.