The first Narragansett beer promo at Coop De Ville on Martha's Vineyard this past Friday went very well. Through out the night the bar staff handed platters of steak tips and Gansett's out to everyone in celebration of them opening and being the first official day they sold Gansett. It was packed and everyone knew each other. So it was super cool being right on the harbor. Great place for the summer with maybe a 3-5 minute walk from the docks. Everyone loved the Hi Neighbor t-shirts and bumper stickers. We'll be back anytime! Check out the photo gallery below.
Spirits were high at the finish line of the Gansett Marathon on Saturday morning, where staggering finishers greeted friends and family with smiles and congratulated fellow competitors between gasps.
Born last year in Exeter as the Exeter Marathon, the marathon moved to its new course in Narragansett this year, where the inaugural run was greeted with gray skies and a biting wind off the bay.
Undaunted by the inclement weather, 162 qualifying endurance athletes from as far afield as Canada and Puerto Rico competed in the 26.2-mile race.
Narragansett resident Ryan Blazejewski won the marathon with a time of 2:39:10, followed by Brian Allen of Fitchburg, MA, and G. Casanova Alig of Princeton, NJ.
Brian McNeiece of Narragansett and David Principe of Cranston rounded out the top five.
Allen and Blazejewski ran together for most of the race, completing the first loop neck-and-neck, but Blazejewski pulled away during the last mile, Allen said.
Allen, who finished in 2:39:49, praised the race management and the course.
"[It was] one of the nicest courses I’ve ever run for a marathon, it was beautiful," Allen said.
"I did Exeter last year, and this looked like a good course so I thought I’d try it out, and I’m very happy I did," he said.
The course is a double loop, beginning on Ocean Road, near the intersection with Beach Street, and continuing to the end of Ocean Road before following a circuitous route back to the start.
Meghan Lout of Holyoke, MA, who won the women’s division with a time of 3:04:04, expressed a similar assessment.
"It was a great course, it was just very windy which made it very difficult, but it was a really beautiful course," Lout said.
Lout, who could not compete in the Boston Marathon because she ran her qualifying time at a marathon not accepted as a qualifier, thanked the Narragansett race’s organizers for their personal attention to runners.
The Gansett Marathon has similar standards for qualifying races, but makes exceptions based on individual review.
"They were so nice," Lout said. "I couldn’t not want to run a race where the directors cared so much about runners, I’ve never had that personalized attention before."
The Gansett Marathon is organized by the Narragansett Running Association under the direction of association president Mike Tammaro, who founded the race last year in Exeter.
According to race organizers, the Gansett Marathon is the only qualifiers-only marathon in the country outside the Olympic trials.
This exclusivity and the relatively small size of the event were big draws for competitors.
"I ran the Exeter one last year ... and the Boston experience is just a little too big - and hard to get into these days - so I decided to come here today," said Principe, fifth to cross the finish line.
While qualifying standards for the Narragansett race are five minutes faster than those of its older cousin, the Boston Marathon enjoys massive popularity in the U.S. and international running communities, and tends to sell out quickly.
Complete race results can be found on the Cool Running website here.