Aaron Braun wins 76th Manchester Road Race, ties record holder

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Mon., Nov. 26, 2012
More than 15,000 people participated in this year's Manchester Road Race. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
More than 15,000 people participated in this year's Manchester Road Race. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

Runners and spectators enjoyed clear blue skies and mild weather Thanksgiving morning during the 76th Manchester Road Race, held Thursday, Nov. 22. The 4.748-mile race was run by 15,000 registered runners (and an estimated 1,000 unregistered runners). It took nearly 13 minutes for every runner to pass the starting line.

The annual tradition attracts runners from around the world, as well as many costumed locals. Perfect weather had a positive effect on this year’s race. “This was the best weather we’ve had,” said Jessie Cichon of Massachusetts, who has run the race for the past three years.

Joseph Ekuom of Kenya also had high spirits after the race, even if his run was not a personal best. “It was good, but I ran faster last year,” he said. His time last year was 24:10 – this year he ran 24:50.

Bolton resident Dani Kennedy placed second in the female 50-54 age group. “I’m very, very happy with that,” said Kennedy. She and her husband hosted this year’s honorary Manchester Road Race chair, Olympic medalist Deena Kastor, as well as her husband and daughter. “I’m figuring that pep talk she gave me this morning is what put me over the edge,” said Kennedy.

This year marked the 50th consecutive Manchester Road Race completed by nine-time champion Amby Burfoot. He now ties the longevity record for most consecutive races held by the late Dr. Charlie “Doc” Robbins, who ran 50 consecutive races from 1951 to 2001.

This year’s winner is Aaron Braun of Flagstaff, Ariz., whose race time was 21:19.4. The record holder for the race is Phillimon Hanneck, who in 1995 ran 21:19. Because times were not recorded to the hundredth of a second in 1995, judges determined that Braun officially tied Hanneck as the race’s record holder.

As the first woman to cross the finish line, Delilah DiCrescenzo was proud of her time of 24:34. “I’m very happy with where my fitness is,” said DiCrescenzo. “It’s an interesting race because you don’t know how everyone else is, but I knew I was fit. I’ve done this three years in a row and I’m happy to have improved my pace every year.”

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