After about four miles, the Great Cow Harbor 10K came down to a two-man duel Saturday, with defending champion Mohamed Trafeh and Aaron Braun pounding down Main Street together toward Northport Harbor. With perhaps 30 yards left, Trafeh made his move and won by two-tenths of a second.
"I was struggling in the last two miles with pain in my back and [stomach] cramps," Trafeh said. "I really dug deep and gave it my best."
Trafeh finished the hilly 6.2-mile course in 29:22.7. Andrew Carlson, 28, of Flagstaff, was third in 29:56.
Will Fodor, a race director, said it was the race's closest finish in 33 years. "It was one step," Fodor said of Trafeh's decisive move. "I think because he was defending champion, he had that little bit of adrenaline rush to win."
The women's race also featured a duel, with 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, 37, of Oakland, Calif., running much of the race with Stephanie Rothstein, 26, of Flagstaff. Lewy-Boulet said she made a surge with a quarter-mile left to win in 33:59.1. Rothstein finished in 34:11.3. Nan Kennard of Westminster, Colo., was third in 34:38.5. The three finished in the same order on Sept. 6 at the New Haven 20K race.
Lewy-Boulet, a contender to win the Chicago marathon in two weeks, said she set out to challenge the Cow Harbor women's course record of 32:33 set in 1994 by Jane Omoro. However, she said that after scaling the course's notorious James Street hill, she knew her pace was off. "I got to the top of the hill and knew that the course record wasn't happening," she said. "It was mostly the humidity."
In the field of 4,700 runners, Frank Corrigan, 26, a Northport High School graduate, was the top Long Island racer, finishing 11th overall (32:19.9). Heather Williams, 35, of Centerport, was the top female Long Island resident; she was 67th overall (39:08.3).
Katie DeCamillo, 23, formerly of Holy Trinity High School and Garden City, now living in Rhode Island, was fifth among women and 31st overall (35:08.2). Lindsay Sundell, 24, another Northport grad, now living in Florida, was seventh among women, 36th overall (35:47).