2003 FSC senior captures Worcester Firefighters 6K race
June 09. 2003 5:15AM

FSC senior captures Firefighters 6K race

Kristin Lee


An enormous American flag hung over the starting line on Salisbury Street as the horn on Worcester Ladder 1 sounded. Fitchburg's Danny Savukoski jumped out to a quick lead, held it throughout the streets of the city, and crossed the finish line first in the fourth annual Worcester Firefighters Memorial 6K yesterday.

His time was 19:35.

Worcester's Paul Noone and Rob Lind finished just behind Savukoski, posting times of 19:39 and 19:44, respectively.

"I took two weeks off after my college season and I just wanted to see where I was right now and start up my summer training program," said Savukoski, a 21-year-old Fitchburg State College senior whose ultimate goal is to be like the legendary Johnny Kelley. "I led the whole way. I could have gone faster if someone had pushed me."

Picking up the win in the women's division and finishing 22nd overall, with a time of 22:17, was Emily Logan, 20, of East Walpole.

"I just wanted to come out and have a good time," said Logan, who will be a senior at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. "I'm just starting back to run again (after the Ivy League Championships) and I didn't expect to do this well."

Unlike Savukoski, Logan didn't lead the whole way, but instead picked it up at the end to beat out Maureen Moran of Worcester by 10 seconds.

"(Maureen was with me) right up until probably the last 100 to 150 meters," Logan said. "She was in front of me for a while and we were running together for a bit, so I was just trying to stay with her and I actually ended up passing her."

Logan's sister, Amanda, finished third in a time of 23:40.

Before the race, the crowd fell silent at Institute Park. The Worcester Firefighters Pipes and Drums Brigade played "Amazing Grace" as more than two dozen red, black and yellow balloons were released over the 1,200 runners and walkers in memory of the six Worcester firefighters who lost their lives in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire.

The race winds in a figure eight around Worcester, passing by the two fire stations where all six men worked, as well as the future site of a permanent memorial on Grove Street.

The event raised close to $45,000 for the Firefighters Memorial Fund and four other local charities: Sherry's House, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Matthew 25 and Kids Cafe.

"We're trying to get across to everybody that this is not your normal race and it's not a normal charity event," said race director and Worcester firefighter John Franco. "We're trying to make it a community event where everybody can get together. The mourning phase for our guys is over, we're just trying to celebrate their lives now and have great time."

Danny Savukoski won the fourth Worcester Firefighters Memorial 6K by just four seconds. (T&G Staff / CHRISTINE PETERSON)