Half Marathon's date switch benefits runners

Zachary Patsy was the first Milford finisher, and placed 17th among 1,980 finishers, in Sunday’s Faxon Law Group Fairfield Half Marathon that began and ended at Jennings Beach.

Patsy finished in 1:25.06 and was first in the male 20-24 age group.

Milford's Fred Chen was 127th in 1:37.37.

Milford’s fastest female runner was Nicole Semanchik, who was 184th and fifth in the female 35-39 group. She completed the course in 1:40.09.

Kimberly Nappp was 315th in 1:43.59. Dana Cialfi came in 350th in 1:46.01. Christina Zakos was 395th in 1:47.33. Lily Stiffler came in 451st in 1:49.00.

This race used to be held in late June, but was moved to the first weekend of the month along with an earlier start time of 8 a.m. The runners enjoyed temperatures in the high 50s.

“The weather was perfect. It was ideal for running. It made a huge difference,” said Milford’s Kristin Breda, who ran her third Fairfield Half Marathon. “I like to challenge myself and it’s therapeutic for me. You’re running by yourself with a whole bunch of other people who are motivated like you are.”

Breda was joined by Lauren Tarsi and Alissa Tarsi, siblings who ran the race for the first time.

Lauren Tarsi said the support among residents who cheered on the runners along the way helped motivate participants.

“It was fun. Definitely tiring, but it was a fun run,” Alissa Tarsi said.

Among the participants from the Milford Road Runners who completed the course was Michael Ruospo, who was 194th in a time of 1:40.49.

“I love it. I’ve done it every year except three times because of work,” Ruospo said.

“Last year, a lot of people suffered. But not this year,” Ruospo said of the cooler conditions.

Ruospo ran along with Westport’s Lorraine Watkins, who was 131st overall in 1:37.52.

“The wind was really good going out. Coming back it was tough. Our time was really cooking in the first half with the tail wind. We put the hammer down. The runners were fighting the head wind to come in and get their time,” Ruospo said.

Kemal Birhann Dare, of New York, won the race in a net time of 1:06.24, beating out last year’s winner, Everett Hackett of Hartford, who finished in 1:06.37. The top female was Harwinton’s Anna Shields, who was 12th overall in 1:24.16.