Nearly 600 runners, young and old, fit and some not so much, paid homage to a mid-summer tradition last weekend in New Milford.

A field of 289 runners toured parts of Merryall and climbed Canterbury Hill while completing the 44th annual New Milford 8-mile road race.

Another 274 athletes, many families running together and those unable to run the longer distance, chose the 3.1-mile Village Fair Days 5K.

Huck Trafton, of Middletown, Del., and Vivien Lynch, of Westport, shared honors as the youngest runners, while venerable Ed Regner, 83, of Torrington, was again the oldest participant.

All three opted for the Village Fair Days 5K.

The events were hosted by New Milford Parks & Recreation with co-sponsorship by The Greater New Milford Spectrum.

Warm weather greeted the runners as they toed the line on Saturday morning on the east side of Main Street along the Village Green.

Less than 20 minutes later, Joe LeMay, 44, of Danbury, had kicked home on the west side of the Green as winner of the 5K race.

Mullyel Guymu, 27, of The Bronx, N.Y., captured 5K women's laurels with her 13th-place time of 21:05.

A short while later, amidst the slower 5K finishers, defending 8-mile champion Derese Deniboba, 28, from Ethiopia sprinted home in 40:59 to claim his second straight title.

His nearest rival was Joseph Ekuom, 41, from Kenya, at 42:07.

Many of the cheers of the Village Fair Days crowd along the Green were reserved for third-place Craig Hunt, a 2009 graduate of New Milford High School.

Hunt, 20, about to start his junior year at Central Connecticut State University, was the first of 10 current or former NMHS distance runners to finish among the top 33 on Saturday with his 42:54 time.

Mike Nahom, of New Milford, who dominated the 8-miler with five victories during the 1990s, offered a solid ninth-place effort in 45:27.

What had been a tight women's competition through much of the course turned into a comfortable victory for Malika Majdoub, 29.

The new champion clocked 47:06 to cruise past defending champ Misganaw Alemisehay by 53 seconds.

By 11 a.m., the last of the 8-mile stragglers had walked, jogged or limped their way to the finish line, all proud of their achievement.

For the race results and divisional leaders, check www.plattsys.com.

For more information, call New Milford Parks & Recreation at 860-355-6050.

MEN

2011 Derese Deniboba 40:59

2010 Derese Deniboba 40:51

2009 Abraham Ngetuch 39:43

2008 Shadrack Kijai 39:46

2007 Endale Abiyot 39:59

2006 Alene Reta 39:33

2005 Alene Reta 40:32

2004 Paul Mwangi 40:32

2003 Araya Haregot 39:44

2002 Kassahun Kabiso 40:34

2001 Patrick Nthiwa *37:57

2000 Daniel Too 38:13

1999 Ben Kimondiu 38:50

1998 Gideon Mutisya 39:30

1997 Mike Nahom 40:37

1996 Mike Nahom 40:15

1995 Nelson Rocha 43:56

1994 Robert Wilhelm 40:25

1993 Mike Nahom 40:23

1992 Mike Nahom 40:40

1991 Mike Nahom 39:57

1990 David Burke 41:27

1989 John Bysiewicz 41:02

1988 Doug Law 41:23

1987 Rodney LaFlamme 40:46

1986 Gerry Vanasse 40:17

1985 Gerry Kiernan 38:06

1984 Gerry Vanasse 39:15

1983 John McLaughlin 38:59

1982 Gerry Vanasse 39:42

1981 Bob Hensley 41:17

1980 Peter Squires 40:24

1979 Bob Hensley 41:17

1978 Peter Squires 42:36

1977 Mike Roche 39:03

1976 John Vitale 41:24

1975 John Vitale 39:29

1974 Tom Hollander 41:24

1973 John Vitale 41:33

1972 Phil Bonfiglio 42:49

1971 Tim Smith 43:28

1970 Joe Boyle 44:02

1969 Patrick Bastick 44:38

1968 Peter Squires 46:04

WOMEN

2011 Malika Majdoub 47:06

2010 Misganaw Alemisehay 49:00

2009 Salome Kosgei 47:32

2008 Maria Moraes 49:29

2007 Sidelil Harege 48:41

2006 Alemtsehay Mixganan 47:00

2005 Sarah Scholl 47:48

2004 Atalelech Katema 46:41

2003 Heather Gardiner 46:58

2002 Sue Faber 48:12

2001 Jeanne Hennessy 46:01

2000 Chris Junkermann 46:07

1999 Margaret Kagiri 45:51

1998 Irina Bogacheva *45:23

1997 Sue Faber 46:43

1996 Sue Faber 46:26

1995 Lori Hewig 47:05

1994 Allison Lapinsky 48:33

1993 Jean Chodnicki 47:51

1992 Jean Chodnicki 47:51

1991 Sue Faber 46:06

1990 Sue Faber 47:17

1989 Sue Faber 46:33

1988 Sue Faber 47:10

1987 Sue Faber 46:58

1986 Sue (Baxter) Faber 46:52

1985 Sue Baxter 46:14

1984 Sue Baxter 46:38

1983 Ellen Makarewicz 49:36

1982 Kathy McIntyre 49:39

1981 Mary Hensley 53:51

1980 Laurie Hall 51:21

1979 Mary Hensley 52:12

1978 Laurie Hall 53:00

1977 Brenda Saunders 55:08

1976 Brenda Saunders 55:05

1975 Carol Krolewski 54:47

1974 Cathy Schraede 53:25

1973 Nina Kuscsik 51:48

1972 Kathleen Lynch 57:27

1971 Not known

1970 Sally Rinehart 1:21:58

1969 No entries

1968 No entries

* Course record

Norm Cummings