It was a wonderful, but cold day at the 2013 Manchester Road Race. Thankfully our Wednesday tempest passed through and the rain dried up. I wasn’t very fast, but I got my 19th consecutive finish and 24th overall. That still trails Amby Burfoot, the new all-time champ, with 51 consecutive finishes. He broke his tie (at 50) with Charlie Robbins (deceased) today in Manchester. Burfoot is likely going to keep running for years to come, so it’s probable that his record will end up in the 70’s or more. That’s cool.
Debbie had a fun day and didn’t really push it. She is still working her way back to better fitness. The best part of the day was seeing our seven-year-old son after he finished his first MRR. Special thanks to Debbie’s brother, Tom Schieffer, for guiding our him on the run. Uncle Tom is a good chaperone. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Schieffer for watching our daughter and all of the Shenipsit Striders gear.
In addition to our core family, we had lots of extended family and friends run the race with us. My aunt, Demetria Livingston, and cousin, Emily Livingston, came all the way from Florida to run their first Manchester. My other brother-in-law, Steve Simko ran with his son. In addition to our Shenipsit Strider friends, we saw many friends from the Silk City Striders and Hartford Extended Area Triathletes.
With the new security measures, you weren’t allowed to leave stray bags. The race was sold out with 15,000 official registrants and despite the cold (but sunny) weather, most toed the line at 10:00 A.M. There was a little breeze that turned into a headwind on Porter Street.
I had an OK 5:30 first mile, about 10 seconds slower than I had hoped and my Highland Street hill was OK, but not great. I think my finishing time was around 28:14 for the 4.748 mile course.
I held my own on the descent, but never made a move between miles 3 and 4. That left me off the pace with no room to make up the time. I didn’t have high expectations going into today’s race anyway. I’m still nursing my awful calf injury from Ironman Mont-Tremblant, back in August and SOS in September. I haven’t run much, though I have done some riding. The idea was to run hard, enjoy myself, and spend quality time with our family. We did it!
Kenyan Sam Chelanga braved the cold and won his first MRR in a time of 21:31. He was followed by last year’s winner, Aaron Braun, and Tyler Pennel. Glastonbury native and local favorite, Donn Cabral, was fourth. Alice Kamunya, also of Kenya, won the women’s race. Charlotte Browning was second and Beverly Ramos was third.
As always, thanks to the race organizers and volunteers for making Manchester one of the best races in the world.