The Manchester Running Company Racing Team was out in full force at the Milford Winter Wonderland 5-Mile Road Race on January 25th in Milford. The MRC club featured an open men’s and women’s team along with a men’s Master’s and Grand Master’s team – it was the largest MRC contingent at a USATF-CT race to date. The race was run under fairly ideal conditions of sunny skies and temperatures in the low 30’s. There were a few icy spots on the course but nothing to complain about too much.
The men’s open team took second place overall of nine scoring teams while the women were fourth in the the nine-team field. The men’s master’s team finished eighth and the grand master’s were sixth, in very competitive fields.
Steve Clayton took the field out at an honest pace for the first half mile before settling in to the pack but Brian Nelson was able to keep pace with the leaders through the first four miles. Nelson would finish in fourth overall, just seven seconds out of second place, with a time of 26:48. Jake Gurzler was the second MRC finisher with a 27:07 clocking and Matt Maynes finished in 27:44, good enough for 10th overall. Ryan Miller made his MRC racing debut and was the fourth finisher for the men, crossing the line in 28:11 for 12th place while Clayton closed out the scoring in 16th place and 28:44.
The men were out-dueled by SoundRunner Racing by just over two minutes in the final scoring.
On the women’s side, Ashley Gurzler was the seventh overall finisher and the top MRC contender. Gurzler clocked a time of 32:15, for an average pace of 6:28 per mile. Gurzler was followed by Laura Tignonsini who completed the course in 37:09 (29th place) and Laura Nelson in 37:54. Emily Taylor (40:15) and Hillary Lawrence (45:35) made their MRC debuts to round out the top five women.
For the first time, Manchester Running Company featured a master’s team and a grand master’s team. Joe Hallisey led the way for both squads with an impressive time of 33:00 while Tom Soisson was clocked in 35:33 and Mark McCarty rounded out the master’s scoring with a 36:43 showing and 19th overall in the master’s men’s division. Alan McCall finalized the scoring for MRC, crossing the line in 45:11.
The teams are back in action on March 1st at the WPLR ShamRock n’ Roll in New Haven for a 5k. Anyone interested in joining the club is more than welcome and can find all the information here!