NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan’s Will McDonough won the overall title in the Boston Buildup running series last winter. Whether he repeats in 2013 might be in the hands of a couple of young children.
McDonough, 28, plans to be on the starting line for Sunday’s 10K at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk. It is the first leg in the 35-year-old, four-race series. But with a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old at home, McDonough has to remain flexible with his training and racing schedule.
“I don’t think I’m going to be in all four,’’ said McDonough, who won one race, finished second twice and was fifth in the 10K last year. “I’m going to feel it out, see what the weather is like and be flexible. I’ll run as many as I can.”
Other constraints could hold him back. He is a full-time teacher at New Canaan Country School and is pursuing his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Many runners use the series to prepare for Boston and other spring marathons. That will not be McDonough's goal this year.
“I’m doing so much of my training with jogging stroller now,’’ he said. “Running a marathon is not part of the plan.”
McDonough edged Tim Milenkevich for the overall title by 37 points, one of the tightest title races in the event's history. It was the first time McDonough ran in the series. The New Hampshire native ran track and cross country at Middlebury College.
“It’s such a neat challenge,’’ he said of the series, which includes races of 15K, 20K and 25K. “I’m running against guys I’ve raced against in college and have had a good time with. It’s a lot of fun to help you make it through those lonely, cold months in the winter.”
The race culminates with the challenging 25K on March 3 beginning at Silvermine Elementary School. The hilly 15.6-mile course crosses into New York State and finishes with a steep descent over the final few miles.
“The downhills destroyed me by the end,’’ McDonough said. “I didn’t know how close I had to be to Tim to win the series. I was just trying to hang on.”
Sunday’s 10K is one of the most popular in the series. Last year’s race, which was run in ideal winter conditions, featured 418 finishers. More than 300 runners have finished the 10K in each of the last five years.
Sunday’s outlook is good, with temperatures expected to be in the high 30s with little wind and no precipitation.
The complete race schedule and registration information is available at clubct.org.