Mohamed Trafeh was the three-time champion of the Great Cow Harbor 10K, but entered this year's race only three weeks ago because he felt out of shape after straining his right leg in January at the Olympic marathon trials. Saturday, his uneasy decision was vindicated as he led most of the way and became the first four-time winner in the race's 35 years.
Trafeh, 27, of Duarte, Calif., won in 29 minutes, 19.94 seconds, well off the 28:17.4 course record he set last year. Sean Quigley, also 27, of Boulder, Colo., was seconds behind Trafeh in 29:25.33, but said he just couldn't catch up and knew it was over with about 400 meters remaining as they ran downhill to the finish at Northport Harbor. James Strang, 27, of Colorado Springs, was third in 29:38, and former Medford resident Anthony Famiglietti, 33, the 2005 Cow Harbor winner and now of Davidson, N.C., was fourth in 29:39.95.
Trafeh said his confidence flagged even as he led much of the race. "I was struggling. I was hoping I don't die," he said, explaining he resumed running only six weeks ago after an extended layoff.
In the women's race, Alisha Williams, 30, of Colorado Springs, surged past Stephanie Rothstein, 29, of Flagstaff, Ariz., with about 400 meters to go to win in 32:59.41. Williams had run Cow Harbor several times without winning. She trailed Rothstein closely for much of the race. "I haven't won anything in a long time," Williams said. "It gives you that extra motivation."