The Manchester Running Company’s men’s club team picked up its fourth victory of the season and regained the (unofficial) overall lead in the open division USATF-Connecticut Road Racing Grand Prix at the Delaney Dash on May 24th in beautiful Old Saybrook. Garrett Ash and Jake Gurzler then took a couple of victories the following weekends at the Iron Horse Half Marathon and the East Hartford Memorial Mile, respectively.
Taking the fourth team victory of the year, the MRC men’s open team was able to grab a first place victory over Hartford Track Club at the Delaney Dash. It was a great Saturday down in Old Saybrook for a 9:00 a.m. start on a lollipop course. The race started with a comfortable tailwind for the runners and within the first mile a breakaway group had established themselves with Brian Nelson, Ash and Chris McCormack. The pace was quick, but not breakneck at just about 5:00 for the first mile. The course then wound its way through neighborhoods before heading back to the start along a mile long causeway. The lead was Nelson’s to control and he would take the win(20:42) by holding off Tim Milenkevich of TargeTraining by about 7 seconds. Nelson was third at the race in 2013 but was able to pick up the $100 pay day this year.
Ash ran a smart race, knowing the teams around him and was able to take 6th overall just one minute back of Nelson in 21:42. Matt Maynes was MRC’s third scorer in 9th place overall with a time of 22:26 while McCormack had difficulty in the final two miles fading to tenth overall with a 22:31 clocking. The MRC scoring was capped by Patrick Byrne’s 24:19 25th place finish.
The team had a cumulative time of 1:51:40 to outdistance Hartford Track Club by just under seven minutes. The squad now has four victories on the year and one non-appearance during the series. The men’s open squad has now won the CT 5-Mile, 5k, and 4-Mile Championship this season along with the Connecticut Cup.
Iron Horse Half Marathon
Ash ventured to the Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon on June 1st and came away with the win in Simsbury. Ash took the lead from the gun and never looked back. He had great support along the course from other runners in the 10k and 5k along with some competition just off his back in the half. Ash ran a consistent race, and was looking for a 1:15 overall time but didn’t quite have the pacers and competition with him to go that fast. The temperature was pleasant and as always the Hartford Marathon Foundation did a fine job putting on the event and Ash was able to win in 1:16:07, a very impressive 5:49 pace. (Though listed second in the results, Ash was the first runner across the line – wheelchair division listed first.)
East Hartford Memorial Mile
In an MRC favorite, the club showed up in droves to run the classic American distance on May 26th. The East Hartford Memorial Mile, now in it’s 27th year, is basically a straight shot down Burnside Avenue just before the town’s parade. The pre-parade race makes for great crowds along the entire closed course. Jake Gurzler took the lead from the gun and was looking to share the pace with McCormack, a 69 first quarter mile. The race’s solo turn comes just after the quarter mile along with a slight downhill. Gurzler took the lead at about 1/3 in and came through the half mile in 2:12 then never looked back to finish up with the win in 4:34; McCormack was second in 4:42.
Many other MRC’rs took home awards and great times in the 42 person. Complete results are here.
The men’s and women’s teams are back in action on Saturday, June 14th with a home race at the Spring Street Mile!