2017 Manchester Road Race

The weather for today’s 81st running of the Manchester Road Race was spectacular. It was cold at the start, but he brilliant sunshine warmed things up just enough to make it a great Thanksgiving Day on the roads of Manchester. This was my 28th MRR and my 23rd in a row.

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A few weeks back, Fox 61 News interviewed me as part of  a series that they did on longtime MRR runners. The premise was to share your favorite part of the course and talk about your MRR experiences. Naturally, the hill, near the top, is my favorite part of the course. It’s closest to my house in Bolton a few miles up the road and a pivotal point in every race.

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I really do love this race. Today, I shadowed my son, Shepard. It was only the third time that I haven’t “raced” Manchester. It was tough to hold back because I entered a new age group (45-49) this year, and my previous times would have had me on the podium (likely 2nd) for that division.

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That’s OK, the race has become a family affair for me. I’ll get a chance to run it again in the future. I’ve been doing a lot of cyclocross, but counting today, I’ve only run six times in the past month for a total of 25 miles. I would have had to race on guts today, which isn’t a problem for me, but it was smarter to keep an eye on Shep and save my legs for tomorrow’s (Black Friday) March Farm Cyclo Madness.

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Shep runs better on his own, so I started with him, but hung five seconds behind him the whole time, monitoring his progress and make sure he didn’t get tripped in the crowd of 12,000+ runners. I didn’t want to influence his race for better or worse. In the past, the presence of Debbie and I has resulted in meltdowns, especially when the effort got hard. Today, he ran a smart race, all on his own, with good pacing, and a strong finish. He had an Under 38 minutes seed card, and his goal was to break 35 minutes. He has improved every year and this year was no exception. He smashed his personal best, running 32:52 (gun time) for 8th in the 13 and under age group. He was very happy. He has two more years in this age group, so there is opportunity for improvement.

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He is into the stats, but I reminded him that the important thing is to continue to love to run. Right now, he is having a blast. I’ve seen a lot of kids burn out, but given our family passion for endurance sports, that is unlikely, especially if we balance the running with cycling, triathlon, hiking, and other fun activities. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious how much he and our daughter can improve.

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Debbie and Dahlia ran together and achieved their goal of breaking one hour for the event. They finished in 57:56. Dahlia’s legs hurt. Debbie taught her how to use a mantra, “strong and steady, strong and steady,” to get through the 4.748 mile course. I’ve heard that mantra a lot this year, and especially at the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run and Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run.

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Shep’s legs are going to hurt too, so he has to relax before tomorrow’s cyclocross race. I think mine will be OK. I ran in Central Park in Manhattan on Tuesday, to soften them up a bit before today’s race. Early this morning, I went for a road bike ride and scouted the course in reverse. It was fun to see all the volunteers setting up the course and to see all the police involved with the pre-race security measures.

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We saw lots of friends, which isn’t hard to do in Manchester, and had a blast. Deb’s mother, Barbara Schieffer, is a superfan. She joined us to watch our bags and cheer us on. The Silk City Striders and Shenipsit Striders were out in force. I heard Shepard get some cheers from spectators and that motivated me too. It’s too soon to tell if I’ll run hard in 2018. I have to keep my streak going, and if I’m serious about running fast again, I’ll have to run more and ride less.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Race Results

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We explored a few historic mill sites in #Dobsonville and #Talcottville on our way from #Vernon to #SouthWindsor via #mountainbike They only had black and white back when these old New England factories were pumping out textiles. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #sevencycles #islabikes
Good fun at today’s #traprock50K the kickoff race of the 2018 #Connecticut Blue-Blazes #trailrunning Series. #ultrarunning @shenipsitstriders #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports ☀️🏃🏻⛰
The Monday evening Dirty Duathlon series kicked off tonight at the Longo Farm Preserve. I enjoyed watching. #duathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning 🚵‍♂️🏃🏻
Good fun at today’s @manchesterrunco Finally Spring 5K! @shenipsitstriders #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #fs5k 🏃🏻
Great Friday morning #carfreecommute Tomorrow is a big day for the @eastcoastgreenway Workers will install these pre-fab steel spans on two gaps in the Manchester to Bolton connection. One will cross Camp Meeting Road. I also cut through #WickhamPark for the first time in 2018 and spent some time with my deer 🦌 friends. It looks like the worst park roads will get some much needed maintenance. #eastcoastgreenway #railtrail 🚴🏽
#mountainbike @mohonkpreserve #mohonkpreserve #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad
My first #carfreecommute since I upgraded my Nashbar panniers (good value) to a new custom set from @dillpicklegear These beauties are #madeinusa and a better match for my @seven_cycles Axiom SL. They work fine in cold weather. Where is spring? ❄️ The landscape image with the logs and solar panels is the start/finish of the fiend Silk City Cyclocross at Manchester Community College. I love solar, but the soccer and baseball fields are gone, which is sad. #sevencycles #teamhorstsports
Fun day at the MT. TAMMANY 10 ultra in #delawarewatergap @trailrunningmom ran 10 hours and 20 minutes or so for 38+/- Miles and 12,000 feet of up and 12,000 feet of down. I’ll have a race report and more photos tomorrow night. #mttammany #trailrunning #ultrarunning #mttammany10 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃🏻❄️⛰📷
Images from 1) The Start and 2) End of Loop One at the MT. TAMMANY 10 ultra in #delawarewatergap @trailrunningmom and about 39 other whackos have 10 hours to complete 10 four mile loops including the 1,200 foot ascent(and 1,200 foot descent) of #mttammany That’s a lot of up and down on snowy, icy, rocky, and rooty trails. This is Deb’s version of a scrimmage. She is working her way back into shape after the long layoff since #cascadecrest100 last summer. I’m happy to just watch this one. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #mttammany10 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃🏻❄️⛰📷

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