Despite the inclement weather, nearly 1,000 runners from across the state and region recently gathered in front of City Hall to compete in the second annual Malden Half Marathon + 5 Mile Road Race on March 13. A total of 943 runners took part in this year’s event. Within that figure, 493 competitors ran the Half Marathon and 450 competitors ran the 5 Mile Road Race.
Jacob Shoemaker, 31, of Acton, won the Half Marathon with a time of 1:09:36. Madison Overby, 24, of Brookline, was the top female finisher in that race with a time of 1:23:13. Alexis Hatcher-Fernandez, 27, had the best time of the Malden runners, finishing in 1:23:18.
“It was really fun to get back out there,” she said, adding that she is a member of the Run Club of Malden and “It was a fun, fast course.”
Tyler Locke, 21, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., finished in seventh place with a time of 1:15:05. A student at Northeastern University, Locke said he is also training for this year’s Boston Marathon. “Malden looked like a good opportunity to test out my fitness for the Marathon and was super convenient to get to from Boston,” he said. “I really loved it; the atmosphere was amazing and there were so many runners and spectators despite the brutal cold.”
Amanda Stephenson, 30, of Malden, said she used to run seven miles a day – then came the COVID-19 pandemic.“I decided to take a step back,” she said. “I took two months off running, then started running three miles every other day.”
However, her desire to compete could no longer be suppressed and Stephenson was compelled enter the Half Marathon. “With cold temperatures and high gusts of wind, it was definitely a challenging race,” she said. “It really became a mental game to know I trained in snow and cold the past couple months and could similarly perform in this weather.”
However, Stephenson said there was plenty of motivation along the way. “The race was five loops, which allowed runners to constantly be surrounded by other runners,” said Stephenson. “It helped knowing others were tackling the same race and battling the same weather conditions. Staying close to downtown for the race also allowed a good amount of spectators to come and cheer runners on.”
Nofal Ouardaoui, 23, of Medford, won the 5 Mile Road Race with a time of 28:38. Jullien Flynn, 28, of Somerville, was the top female finisher with a time of 31:24. Flynn finished in third place overall. Monisha Reginald, 27, was the top Malden runner, posting a time of 32:20. Reginald finished in sixth place overall.
Mayor Gary Christenson also competed in the 5 Mile Road Race. “Now that I have recovered, I want to thank Malden Rotary and Cambridge5K for organizing and hosting our annual Half Marathon + 5 Mile Road Race in our community,” he said. “I am also grateful to both organizations for once again volunteering to donate a portion of the proceeds from the race to New England’s Wounded Veterans. I look forward to next year’s race so long as they change the 5 Mile to 5K.”