For once, the Dundalk Heritage 6k race didn’t seem to be plagued by an over-abundance of vehicles driven by oblivious drivers unable to understand what the presence of police officers blocking streets and dozens of people in running attire entails.

I get it. People are trying to find a place to park for the parade. Some may not be familiar with the area, and the paths in our little warren can be confusing even for long-time residents.

But still, when you see dozens of people running in the street and police officers motioning for you to stop, even the densest of individuals should be able to understand: there’s a road race going on.

In the past, I’ve seen drivers try to cross Dunmanway at Yorkway despite the presence of the aforementioned pack of runners; then they somehow turn around and try to use the alley between Yorkway and Cornwall to enter Dunmanway.

That was better this year.

That leaves me with what I would dearly love to see at the Heritage 6k: Two or more runners turning off Liberty Parkway onto Dunmanway in a tight pack at the front of the ace.

The Heritage 6k race is starting to resemble high school football, with the race winner just (figuratively) beating the crap out of everyone else.

Andrew Cantor won this year’s race by one minute and 47 seconds; after he crossed the finish line, one got the feeling the rest of the race had taken a wrong turn.

Last year, Drew Landgren defeated Cantor by 47 seconds; in 2017, Dan Swain beat Landgren by a comparatively close 28 seconds (which is still a sizable margin).

In 2016 the margin of victory was 53 seconds; in 2015 it was 13 seconds (at least the runner-up was in sight of the winner as he crossed the finish line).

Gotta go back to 2014, when buddies Sean Caskey and Dan Swain ran the race in cut-off jeans and planned to cross the finish line side-by-side, but Swain stumbled making the turn into the Dundalk Middle School parking lot from Dunmanway and Caskey won by two seconds.

The women’s race has been the same. The closest women’s race in the past six races has been 2015, when Jennifer Trojan beat Melissa Todd by 17 seconds.

Meaghan Murray won by over two minutes last year, and by 1:46 last week.

The race organizers need to start recruiting more running buddies to enter.

***

While examining my photos from the race, I noticed something strange: The same woman finished the race twice.

That is, I had photos of a women finishing the race; a hundred or so photos later, there she was again, finishing the race. Same race number and everything.

Now, people tell me she likely just re-entered the race at some point to help a friend finish. Sure, that’s the story they want you to think. And unidentified flying objects are swamp gas.

Me, I’m thinking doppleganger or shapeshifter. Just to be safe.

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