Conditions were nearly perfect for Saturday's 15th Last Train to Boston Marathon: temperature in the 50s and a drizzle that cooled off the field of 194.
The only drawback was a fog that blanketed the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground and prevented the lead runners from keeping an eye of their closest competitors on the four-loop trek around the arsenal.
But save for a wrong turn on loop one that cost John Duffy 2 1/2 minutes and dropped him to fifth place, not even the fog was much of an impediment as Duffy ran off a 3-minute, 41-second victory over second-place finisher Robert Yara.
"I didn't make a wrong turn; I went straight. That was my problem," Duffy, 28, who finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 9 seconds, said. "I came close to running off the base. I almost got to the gate [before he realized his mistake]."
"I whistled to you [that he was going off course]," Yara, 37, who will compete in the Men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Columbus, Ohio, April 11, said, "but you obviously didn't hear me."
"I was fifth by the time I got back on course," said Duffy, an attorney with the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. "I think I went through four [miles] at 22 [minutes] so I was on a 5:30 pace. I went through 5 at 30:18, so it was like an eight-minute mile."
But by six miles, Duffy had taken the lead, "a half-mile before I completed the first loop," he said.
Duffy, who hopes to run the Virginia Beach Marathon in two weeks, had intended to use the Last Train as a workout.
"It was a little harder than that," said Duffy, a native of Absecon, N.J., who ran a personal-record 2:24 at the New Jersey Waterfront Marathon several years ago.
For Yara, the run was a good workout.
"I had a hard workout Thursday," he said. "I just want to jump in some races between now and April 11 and keep my edge. I would like to run a 2:17 at Columbus and maybe even a PR."
Yara's best marathon was a 2:16 in Oregon seven years ago.
In the women's division of the Last Train, Mary Ellen Derocher, 24, of Arlington, Va., finished first in 3:03:33.
The top finishers:
Males: 1. John Duffy, 28, 2:32:09; 2. Robert Yara, 37, 2:35:50; 3. James Pryde, 38, 2:38; 4. Larry Pickett, 30, 2:49:10; 5. Steve Dosch, 31, 2:51:37; 6. Bill Schultz, 39, 2:51:50; 7. Donald Vandrey, 43, 2:53:18; 8. Nathan Boyer, 30, 2:53:59; 9. Peter Phillips, 39, 2:54:02; 10. Ed Kelly, 41, 2:54:34. Masters: 1. Vandrey.
Females: 1. Mary Ellen Derocher, 24, 3:03:33; 2. Nancy Weeks-Fuhr, 40, 3:28:11; 3. Debby Dorsett, 34, 3:28:53; 4. Barbara Johnson, 43, 3:33:44; 5. Kim Watson, 32, 3:36:39; 6. Joni Laura, 31, 3:38:20; 7. Yolanda Lewis-Haughland, 30, 3:41:07; 8. Katie Tiedemann, 22, 3:41:13; 9. Jane Hancock, 43, 3:44:26; 10. Leann Reimann, 34, 3:52:14. Masters: 1. Weeks-Fuhr.
NOTES: The Oriole Advocates 8K Home Run on April 5 is subscribed fully. Entries reached the 2,000-point cutoff Thursday. . . . David Lieb and Rose Malloy won their divisions of the inaugural B&A Trail Marathon on Sunday