The Manchester Running Company men’s Masters racing team saved their best race for last, taking the win at the New Haven Road Race 20k on Labor Day; it was the first win of the year for the masters team and propelled them to fourth place finish in the overall team standings for the 2016 campaign.
In some of the best running conditions of the year, low 70’s and fairly low humidity, Kevin Vallez led the masters team to victory with an MRC-record tying run of 1:13:33 through the streets of New Haven. Adam Bulewich battled some digestive distress during the race but was able to muster a strong 1:14:00 performance and Suresh Jatti closed the scoring in 1:18:33. The cumulative time for the squad was 3:46:09, nearly seven minutes in front of Milford Road Runners and ten minutes clear of SoundRunner. The team earned 11 points in the Grand Prix standings and finsihed the year in fourth, just 2 points back of second place. The masters team got help from Dave Fusfeld (1:26:42), Chris Eckett (1:29:55), Michael Westfall (1:31:08), Tom Soisson (1:33:59), Gary Kravitz (1:40:11) and Ito Pizzaro (1:43:07).
The three scoring masters men along with Morgan Kennedy (1:08:27) and Adam Gootnick (1:15:49) comprised the men’s open team, which finished second behind SoundRunner and well in front of Milford Road Runners. This was the 5th runner-up performance of the year for men’s open team, which closed out the 2016 campaign in second place overall with 68 points.
The MRC women finished up the year in second place in both the open and masters divisions; the masters ladies just one point behind first place despite not fielding a team for two of the eight races. In New Haven, the masters women placed third with Melissa Emmerich leading the way in 1:38:05 while Sarah Ferrero and Shelley Kay anchored the scoring in 1:43 and 1:45, respectively.
In the open division, MRC’s most consistent contributor, Briana Demers was first across the line with a time of 1:25:20 and she was joined by Linda Yamamoto in 1:28:11 and Emmerich closed out the scoring for the fourth place team finish, just two minutes off the podium.