The Manchester Running Company Women’s racing team extended their streak to ten straight podium finishes in USATF-CT Grand Prix races with a third place finish at the Sea Legs Shuffle on Sunday, July 31st, in Guilford. The open men’s squad’s lifetime streak of top-three finishes came to a halt with a fourth place showing while the men’s masters team also took fourth; Adam Bulewich set an MRC masters record.
In incredibly muggy conditions and humidity rising throughout the event, Melissa Stellato was able to lead the MRC ladies with a fourth place finish in an impressive 1:06:31 – 6:40 pace throughout the rolling 10-mile course. Tracy Deeter fought the conditions to take second on the team and take 11th on the women’s side with a 1:09:02 clocking and one of the newest team members, Tricky Tanksley rounded out the scoring women with a time of 1:14:09. Tanksley was followed by Laura Tignonsini, who had one of her all-time best performances (1:14:27), Nicky Le Blanc made her MRC debut in 1:20:05 and Ashley Gurzler was just behind LeBlanc in 1:20:12. Diana Cohen (1:38:06) and Jessica Willis (1:53:29) also made their MRC debut in the seasonably miserable conditions. The ladies finished in third place behind SoundRunner Racing and a mere 46 seconds behind Milford Road Runners.
Melissa Emmerich was the first MRC masters woman across the line with a time of 1:21:36, while Sarah Ferrero (1:24:02) and Jennifer Fusfeld (2:06:07) joined her in the masters column.
On the men’s side, Adam Bulewich cruised to a top-10 finish (10th to be exact) while setting the MRC men’s masters record for the 10 mile distance. Bulewich led the team with a time of 1:01:43 and was followed by fellow master runner Suresh Jatti (1:05:46) and Patrick Byrne (1:09:47). Matt Davis finished in the top five for the first time in his MRC career with a solid 1:13:21 and Dave Fusfeld rounded out the top five, crossing the line in 1:15:37. Tom Soisson was the top grand masters runner for the squad (1:21:25) and Chris Smith had a great run in 1:23:07. The men finished fourth in both masters and open behind SoundRunner, Mohegan Striders and Milford Road Runners.
Next up for the MRC racing team is the CT Cup on Saturday, August 6th in New London. The CT Cup is a co-ed competition where the top three women’s times and top five men’s times will be combined; the top two teams receive prize money.