Tuxbury takes LHRR women’s title

LITCHFIELD – How happy was Anne Marie Tuxbury early Sunday afternoon? Well, try this one on. When reminded / told that she had won $1,000 for winning the Litchfield Hills Road Race this was her reaction.

“I wouldn’t care if I won any money, I’ve wanted to win this race since I was in the kids’ race,” Tuxbury said.

Tuxbury fulfilled a childhood dream leading from start to finish to capture the women’s title, covering the 7.1 mile course in 39:50.00, outrunning Angelia Rafter of Vernon (40:09.51) and Whitney Macon of North Carolina (40:13.55).

A raw, rainy, overcast morning gave way to bright sunshine just two minutes before the start of the race. But nothing shone brighter than the smile on Tuxbury’s face less than an hour later.

“It’s really cool to be in this race,” Tuxbury said. “I grew up watching women in the Zap Endurance (professional running club in Blowing Rock, N.C. that Tuxbury now trains with) win this race and I grew up in the White Woods Running Series. Winning was my goal today.”

The victory capped off a steady march to the top for the 30-year-old former Northwestern Regional track and cross country standout. She finished third in 2022, fifth in 2019, and fourth in 2017.

Tuxbury won by not sticking to her prerace plan which was to pace herself.

“Once the gun went off I wanted to build up a lead from the start,” Tuxbury said. “I didn’t want anybody near me on the hills (Gallows Lane).  I knew Whitney (Macon) and Angelia (Rafter) were working for PRs (personal bests). “

Tuxbury also never worried about who was behind her or how close. She kept her focus on the forward.

“I wasn’t sure how close they were, I thought If I looked back and saw that they were there I might panic,” Tuxbury said.

On a day that was much to the runner’s liking with cooler temperatures, Tuxbury would have preferred the heat but was not deterred.

“I like heat, I like to suffer,” she said. “Today was okay, I’m glad it didn’t rain. “

The day was more than okay for Tuxbury. It was the day she become the Queen of the LHRR, a lifetime goal and dream realized. The sun came out and she stepped right in its spotlight.

Other area runners that fared well included, Thomaston’s Mo McMahon who captured her second straight 60-69 division title (57:28.51), Thomaston’s Carol Morenz who topped the 70-79 division (1:03.14), Goshen’s Bradley Bozzuto who topped the 15-18 field (41:18.73), Goshen’s Kaiden Lynch who led the 12-14 field (49:18.56), Bantam’s Jillian Saunders who won the 15-18 division (1:00.05) and Terryville’s Colby Brown who finished 8th overall (40:34.69).  

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