2010 Manchester Road Race

The tradition continued at the 74th edition of the Manchester Road Race. All week it has been hard to not think about the 2011 race, which will be the 75th, an incredible milestone for such an important event. This was my 15th Manchester in a row and somewhere between my 17th and 20th overall. I’m missing some results from the 1980’s. Every year I say that I’m going to the library to research results on microfiche, but I never get to it and another year goes by.

Today’s race was just awesome. The vibe was sensational, with a sold out field of 15,000 runners on Main Street in Manchester, Connecticut. The weather was just right. It was in the low 40’s and dry. It was slightly overcast, but there was no precipitation, which meant that there were tons of spectators. The roads were lined with revelers, a key part of the race’s character.

It is amazing how the race has grown in recent years. Registration had actually declined in the 200o’s, but it has roared back in the past two years. I attribute that to the fact that the race is now televised on Fox 61. Many more people came out last year and this year, they were predicting a sell out as early as last week. 15,000 is the official number set by the organizers as the safe amount. Also, with more than 2,000 walkers, any more than 15,000 and there is the risk of some people actually not crossing the START line before the leaders cross the FINISH line of the 4.748 mile loop course. With the leaders coming in between 21 and 22 minutes, that would be a debacle.

The great weather meant that most people actually showed up for the race, so this should be a record year for finishers. Debbie and I have both been going long recently. I did the Ironman World Championship six weeks ago, and she did the Upchuck 50K Trail Race less than two weeks ago. Our fast twitch muscles have been hibernating. Additionally, after  a long year (this was my 29th race), I was a bit “toasted.” Nevertheless, it doesn’t take much to get me fired up for Manchester.

Last night, we went to the annual Pasta Dinner at the Elk’s Club. It was fun to mingle with friends, volunteers, and some of the elite runners. Manchester Road Race Committee President, Tris Carta spoke about the build up to next year’s 75th. Race Director, Jim Balcome, gave everyone  a primer on the race. Road race committee member, Dave Prindiville, gave race number instructions (this year the RFID tag is attached to the bib, so no chips), and introduced the elite runners. It was a fun time.

As for the race, I exceeded expectations. Several of the Shenipsit Striders met in front of St. James Church prior to the race. Teammate, John Agosto, and I aren’t the most positive guys when it comes to our pre-athletic prognostications. I downplayed my form given my limited training, heavy travel schedule, and banged up body. I had only run eight times for a total of 30 miles since the Ironman on 09 October. Like I said, I’ve been knackered. I was hoping to do better than last year’s personal best time, but knew that it would take a miracle.

I had a great race. I did it on sheer determination. My net time was 27:04, only five seconds slower than 2009, which was awesome. I ran a decent pace and had good splits after a 5:32 first mile. My used my GPS, and it is fun to see the data. I couldn’t go any faster. I knew that I was slightly off of last year’s time when I hit the four mile mark, and knew that it would be impossible to make up the time in 0.748 miles. Still, I gave it a shot and came close.

Debbie had a good race considering she hasn’t got the legs right now either. She finished in 32:20…dressed as an angel. She was happy with her run and even happier with her outfit. Once again, we were “thankful” to have Mrs. Schieffer watch the kids from the finish line while we got to run. We saw lots of friends from the Silk City Striders, the Shenipsit Striders, and HEAT.

Congratulations to Sally Kipyego and Mourad Marofit, the overall women’s and men’s winners.

The tradition will continue in 2011.

Race Coverage

Race Results (preliminary)

3 Responses to “2010 Manchester Road Race”

  1. 1 Kathy Manizza 26 November 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Nice blog Scott! It’s great to read a positive response to the race, particularly as today is the day that Ken deals with the upset people. There aren’t many, it really was a good day, but it still hurts to read about any negative feelings. People mixing up bibs, giving theirs away which drastically affected the results in one case, etc.
    Great job to you and Deb!! Have a nice weekend.

  1. 1 Shenipsit Trail End-to-End Run « Life Adventures Trackback on 27 November 2010 at 10:06 pm
  2. 2 2010 Santa’s Run « Life Adventures Trackback on 5 December 2010 at 7:17 pm

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