SCHENECTADY — Josh McDougal, a former NCAA cross country national champion, won the 39th annual MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 15k in 46:34 this morning, and Saratoga Springs native Megan Hogan smashed the women’s event record with a time of 51:09.
McDougal pulled ahead of a tight pack late in the race and held off runner-up Sam Morse of Camden (46:42) by just eight seconds.
“I got a little bit of a lead on the downhills and just played defense from there,” McDougal said.
Former Bishop Gibbons High School and Notre Dame runner Kieran O’Connor of Arlington, Va., was third in 46:49.
The lead runners were so close that O’Connor and Lou Serafini clipped heels after the four-mile mark, causing Serafini to hit the street. He recovered well enough to finish fifth, behind Patrick Geoghegan.
The Stockade-athon served as another step in the comeback from years of injuries for McDougal, a national-caliber home-schooled runner from Peru who went on to beat Galen Rupp for the NCAA title while running for tiny Liberty University in Virginia.
Hogan, a 26-year-old Saratoga Catholic High graduate who didn’t establish herself as a runner until she was in college, scorched the reconfigured Stockade-athon course in a time that was 25 seconds faster than the race record of 51:34 established by Lori Hewig in 1993.
The Stockade-athon covered much of its traditional route this year, but in reverse direction and starting and finishing downtown instead of in Central Park.
Hogan was 1:50 ahead of Hannah Davidson, whose 52:59 actually was 1:13 faster than she ran while winning the Stockade-athon last year.
The 2012 women’s winner, Maegan Krifchin, was third in 54:21.
On a comfortably cool, overcast day, the 15k drew 1,880 entries, of which 1,671 finished, the second highest total in the history of the race. A total of 1,871 finished last year.