O'Malley's bridge win spans 3-year wait

May 07, 1991|By Michael Reeb

Pat O'Malley had plenty of time to think about Sunday's Governor's Bay Bridge 10K.

Three years ago as a senior at the University of Maine, O'Malley got his first glimpse of the bridge when his school's track team competed against the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

"I had heard about it [the race]," O'Malley said Sunday after he crossed the finish line at Sandy Point State Park first in 31 minutes, 37 seconds. "I can remember riding across in a bus and one of my teammates telling me they have a race there. I thought it would be nice to run it one day."

O'Malley got a more frequent look at the bridge when his job with Nike moved him from Freeport, Maine to Queenstown. He took up residence in Stevensville and the bridge became part of his daily view.

"I can see it from my back porch," O'Malley, 24, said. "There's a run I do just about every morning, and it takes me by a pier where I get a real good view."

Sunday, he got a better view of the 4.3-mile eastbound span. O'Malley took an early lead en route to a 55-second victory over Ed Ramos, 32, of Alexandria, Va.

"I didn't want to take the lead as early as I did," he said, "but some guy who had beaten me two weeks ago took the pace, and I didn't want to let him get too far out front."

In the process, O'Malley got a quick lesson in bridge running -- the rigors of running on concrete over steel, an unavoidable head wind and the lack of a gallery.

"When you have a crowd, you can tell how far someone is behind," O'Malley said. "That was difficult to do today."

Nevertheless, he wouldn't trade the experience.

"This is by far the biggest road race I have won," he said.

Maureen Hall, 26, of Parkville won the women's division in 37:19.

The top finishers among the field of 3,000:

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