Temperatures were already in the mid-80's, and on their way to the mid-90's, but over 250 runners were not discouraged to line up for the 28th annual "Four on the Fourth" in New Canaan. The 2010 edition of the race was redubbed "Four on the Fifth" because Independence Day fell on a Sunday this year.
Ryan Hopkins, 20, of Greenwich finished first with a winning time of 21:45, narrowly beating local road-race fixture Anatolie Vartosu by three seconds. This was the fifth year Hopkins ran the annual New Canaan race, but it was his first victory.
"It was hot and pretty tough," Hopkins, a junior at Davidson College, said. "We started out pretty slow through two miles, but after the half way mark, [Vartosu] made a move...and I managed to hang with him, but the last half of the race the heat was just brutal."
The course begins at St. Mark's Church, winds down West Road for two miles where runners turn around and finish at the New Canaan Nature Center. Hopkins, who runs the 8K for Davidson cross country, said "Four on the Fourth" is a fun tradition and a nice change of pace from his school races.
Race director Jim Gerweck said about a third of the runners are from New Canaan and was glad moving the race to Monday did not affect the turnout.
"This is one of the biggest local races," Gerweck said. "This [race] is a little more stressful because of the heat, but it's fun. It's always good to see all the local people get out here."
The top female finisher was Amy Fredericks of Norwalk with a time of 25:02. For full race results, click here .
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