A four-year reign over the first place title in The Great Cow Harbor Run has been toppled. Fernando Cabada took the title Saturday from Mo Trafeh, who holds the course record.
Cabada, 28, finished the race in 29 minutes and 32 seconds. Hailing from Boulder, Colo., the runner had been on Trafeh’s tail through several races, coming in fourth place during his last Cow Harbor Run in 2011. This time around, he not only surpassed the four-time champion, but stayed ahead of all other runners throughout most of the race with an average pace of 4 minutes and 46 seconds.
"I just thought, 'Move my legs, move my legs, move my legs,'" Cabada said of his thought process during the race.
Cow Harbor was the winner's fourth race in four weekends, including the Philadelphia half marathon six days ago. Despite his winning record, Cabada said he wasn't sure he was going to win going into the race.
"I wasn't afraid of the place. I just wanted to try my best," he said.
"i just always keep faith. Believe, believe, believe" he added.
Trafeh, who came in eighth place with a time of 31 minutes, kept a big, bright smile on his face after the race.
The race favorite admitted that he wasn't in his best condition due to a hamstring injury in July that forced him to stay out of training for six weeks. Despite not being at his physical best, Trafeh said he wouldn't miss the Cow Harbor Run.
"It’s that time of the year. I had to be back in Northport. This is my race," he said with a laugh.
In the women's category, Mattie Suver, 27, took first place with a finishing time of 33 minutes and 31 seconds. She took the lead over Amy Van Alstine, 25, by just a second and a half.
This year, the race benefited the Special Olympics, the Veterans' Administration and a local food pantry.