Manchester, Conn. (June 14, 2014) – Elizabeth Eberhardt of New Britain and Craig Hunt of New Milford each set course records en route to victories in the third edition of the Spring Street Mile in Manchester on Saturday morning. The Spring Street Mile is a certified course that rolls slightly downhill from Tam Rd. in Manchester to the Globe Hollow Reservoir.
In muggy, but tolerable conditions of about 75 degrees and cloudy, Eberhardt was content to let New Haven’s Amanda Pellowe take the lead from the gun as Pellowe held a 3 meter lead at the quarter mile as the ladies came through in about 72 seconds. Pellowe would jump out to a 7-8 meter lead about 1/3rd of the way through and appeared to be looking for some help at the front of the pack.
By the half mile mark it was a clear tw0-woman race with Eberhardt sitting comfortably on Pellowe’s heels with 2:20 showing on the clock. Eberhardt was able to take over the lead shortly after the 800 meter mark but Pellowe would not go quietly as the two raced side by side with no one in site behind them through the 3/4 mark in 3:40. With 300 meters to go Eberhardt kicked it into another gear and would not look back, as she took the victory in 4:54, to set a course record by three seconds. Pellowe was also under the previous course record by one second as she crossed the line in 4:56. The two cleared the field by 13 seconds as Kristen Leslie took 3rd in 5:09.
The men’s race featured some of the fastest miler’s the state has seen and the results would prove that with ten men under 4:20 and the winner narrowly missing the 4:00 barrier.
The race started quickly with a 71-man field; James McKirdy of New Britain out from the gun leading the pack to a 61 second first quarter mile. McKirdy held the lead at the 1/4 with Stephen Pretak of Torrington, Jake Gurzler of Manchester, Chris McCormack of Bristol and Hunt all within striking distance.
The field spread across the road in a display of every man for himself by 1/3rd of a mile as Matt Maynes of West Haven crept into the pack with McKirdy still holding a 2 meter lead and Hunt settling in the pack. At the half mile, McKirdy’s lead was about 3 meters with Maynes, Gurzler and Pretak in contention; meanwhile Hunt had begun to make his move into 3rd place. The half mile was run in 2:01 for McKirdy while the chase pack was a mere second behind.
With 700 meters to go Hunt had made his move and caught a fading McKirdy and it was now a race between Pretak, Hunt, and Gurzler; with Hunt holding the clear advantage. Hunt had broken the field with 1/4 to go, coming through in 3:01 and was only getting faster towards the downhill finish. He would hold on to his lead and finish in a very impressive 4:02.80. Pretak held on for second place in 4:05, Gurzler was third (4:08), McKirdy fourth (4:11) and Maynes rounded out the top 5 in 4:15.