BRISTOL — Town resident Sam Booth recorded a noteworthy personal achievement Sunday morning, Sept. 29, winning the 5-kilometer road race portion of the 11th Annual In Step for Autism Run/Walk held at what has become its traditional home of Colt State Park.
For Mr. Booth, a Little Compton native and an avid runner, it was the first victory he’s earned in “hundreds” of races he’s entered since taking up the sport competitively roughly 12 years ago.
“I’ve entered tons of races and this is my first win,” Mr. Booth said shortly after completing the event on what was a brilliant, benign day at the bay side location. “It feels great. I’ve won my age division before but I’ve never finished first overall in a 5k, so it’s pretty cool.”
Mr. Booth, 34 and who once before competed in the In Step event at Colt when he finished eighth overall in 2011, began the race at the front of the pack in the starting gate and remained there pretty much the entire way. He finished with a winning time of 21 minutes, 51 seconds.
“The conditions were ideal. It was just a perfect day for it,” he added. “I train a lot. I run just about every day, almost every day. I’m part of the Rhode Island Roadrunners. It’s nice to finally win one. It’s a good test of your skills to run in races.”
Mr. Booth noted he ran at Colt the previous day in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor 5-mile race when he finished fourth over a slightly different layout than what he ran on Sunday.
For women’s division winner Tarsha Cicerone, a North Providence resident who finished fourth overall, the victory was her second in a row at the In Step race and held a bit more personal meaning. Her five-year-old son Michael receives Home Based Theraputic Services (HBTS) through the Groden Center, the major benefactor of the event.
“It was a beautiful day. I was really excited, really pumped up about the race today and I was running for my son,” Ms. Cicerone, only days removed from her 35th birthday, said.
Ms. Cicerone, who ran a 20:45 and placed fifth overall last year, topped the rest of the female runners Sunday with a time of 22:51.
“I couldn’t quite place it, but the course seemed slightly different than last year. I still think I ran an extra loop out there today,” she joked. “But I’ll come back and run another race at Colt. It’s a beautiful park, a beautiful place to race. You can’t beat sea-side running.”
For complete results from the 11th Annual In Step for Autism 5k Road Race click here…