The Manchester Running Company women’s team wrapped up the 2015 USATF-CT Road Racing Grand Prix in style with a victory at the Old Wethersfield 10k on August 23rd and followed that with a runner-up showing at the New Haven Road Race on Labor Day. In a growing and competitive women’s circuit, the MRC ladies showed depth and versatility during the second half of the season with top-two showings in distances from the mile to the 20k.
The Old Wethersfield 10k was run under fairly ideal late-August conditions, low 80’s and a bit of humidity but that certainly did not slow the competition down. MRC was led by third-place overall finisher Melissa Stellato who completed the two-lap course in 38:38; Stellato took third place from the gun and was never passed, holding a strong 6:13 pace throughout. Kristina Miner was the second MRC runner across the line and was fourth overall with a time of 39:01, and it didn’t take long for Tracy Deeter to close the book on the scoring three as she was less than a minute behind Miner in 39:58. The MRC scorers had backup not far behind in Kathleen Shaw and Lanham (Marks-Hamilton) Miller who were 18th and 19th, respectively, in 43:48 and 43:56.
In a very close team competition, MRC finished with a total time of 1:57:37 just 1:03 in front of Milford Road Runners and 3:05 ahead of SoundRunner.
MRC carried the momentum into the New Haven Road Race 20k on September 7th (Labor Day). The weather was again cooperative with low humidity and temperatures creeping into the 80’s. The New Haven Road Race also serves as the USATF National 20k Championships so there was world-renown competition in the field.
Kristina Miner led the charge this time for the MRC squad, finishing in 1:19:54 and was the third overall CT female, earning her an extra $50 cash. Ashley Gurzler got into the scoring just a few spots behind Miner with a time of 1:21:47 while Deeter was once again third for the team with an impressive 1:22:23. All three of MRC’s scorers kept well under 6:40 pace for the 12.4 mile effort. Linda Yamamoto was the final runner for the team in 1:27:53.
The team scoring was once again very tight with SoundRunner taking the win with a cumulative time of 3:58:39 to Manchester’s 4:04:14, both teams putting over 30 minutes in front of Milford Road Runners and New Haven Road Runners.
The eight race series concluded with the Manchester Running Company team taking fourth place overall in the open division, despite not having a team for two of the races. Two victories, two runner-up and two fourth-place finishes told the story for the year in a very competitive field. SoundRunner took the overall series with 74 points, followed by Milford Road Runners (67), New Haven Road Runners (56) and MRC with 54.