Former Hendricken all-stater Brian Doyle is hoping to contend for individual glory at his father's race.
Online registration has closed for the 10th annual Bobby Doyle 5M Summer Classic, but there's still time to register for Sunday's race. Runners and walkers can still enter on race day, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at Narragansett Pier Middle School, the event's starting point.
Race director Jim Doyle predicts between 500 to 600 runners will toe the line for the 9 a.m. start.
The popular race, which will take place on the original (and faster) five-miler course, is offering a prize purse of $8,000, including $3,500 to USATF teams. According to Doyle, several top runners will be battling it out on the scenic Narragansett course. Among the field is former R.I. high school stars Trevor Crawley (Cumberland) and Brian Doyle (Bishop Hendricken).
The younger Doyle, son of the race's namesake, has potential to place high in this weekend's race. The ex-Hawk standout, who later competed at Division I programs Northeastern University and Providence College, feels he's ready to contend for a top spot, possibly winning.
"I think so," said Doyle, a runner-up at his father's race in 2011 and 2012. "I have been picking up my mileage lately. I will do my best."
Judging by Doyle's most recent races, it appears he has the ability of clocking a time in the low 24-minute range. Two months ago, he ran a personal best of 7:57 for the 3,000-meter run at the Adrian Martinez Classic in Boston. On July 4, he was 23rd overall at the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta, the USA Championships. He was timed in a PB of 30:30 for the 6.2-mile distance.
Both efforts were the only races the last six months for Doyle, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Davidson College in North Carolina. After running a low 4:04 mile at the Boston University Valentine Indoor Invitational in February, he missed a considerable amount of training in February and March due to sickness.
"For some reason I always seem to get sick during that time," said Doyle, who will be wearing the original Johnson & Wales Athletic Club singlet of his late father on Sunday. "That race at Adrian Martinez was off of very little training."
In order to prosper at the end, Doyle is well aware it won't be easy with the competition that awaits him. Crawley, who graduated from Providence in May, is one runner that could challenge up front. He has done 14:09 for 5K, 30:30 for 10K and has a best of 24:40 for five miles. Several others with PC ties will be looking to bring home the hefty $500 check to the winner. Providence alumnus Julian Oakley of New Zealand, a sub four-minute miler with a best of 13:55 for 5K, has indicated he'll be lacing up his racing shows. Another New Zealander and current PC runner, Marcus Karamanolis, is also scheduled to be at the start. Karamanolis has a best of 3:50 for 1,500m and 8:26 for 3K. Liam Harris, who recently transferred from Wagner University to Providence, has also indicated he'll show up. The Ireland native has done 14:20 for 5K.
How about the women's field? Right now, we have limited knowledge on most of the top talent. But if past history dictates, expect the competition to be fierce there, too. One runner that has confirmed she'll race on the scenic ocean-side course is North Kingstown's Kaela O'Neil, last week's individual champion at the Run4Kerri Road Race. O'Neil captured last Sunday's event by nearly a minute. Two other solid contenders are recent college graduates Dana Giordano (Dartmouth) and Caitlin Abelseth (Providence). Giordano has done 4:11 for 1,500m and Abelseth is a 4:48 miler.
Again if you haven't entered yet for this great event, which has distributed more that $60,000 to enhance youth and high school running, you can still register the day of the race, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at Pier Middle School, located on South Pier Road in Narragansett. All participants will receive an attractive Tech T-shirt and finishers' medals.