Manchester Thursday, November 23 - On a splendid Thanksgiving morning, nearly 11,000 runners participated in the 87th annual Manchester Road Race. Morgan Beadlescomb and Weini Kelati emerged as the champions, both winning with remarkable performances.
Beadlescomb, the USATF 5-K road running champion, showcased his formidable sprinting ability in the final 400 meters on Main Street, overtaking defending champion Conner Mantz to finish in 21:12, just ahead of Mantz's 21:15.
Last year's runner-up, Beadlescomb, used his course knowledge effectively, maintaining a strategic position in the first two miles. He was part of a lead pack, including Mantz, Isai Rodriguez, and others, pacing well through the race. In the final stretch, Beadlescomb and Mantz engaged in a tight contest, with Beadlescomb ultimately prevailing with his superior speed.
Kelati dominated from the outset, achieving a solitary win in 23:21, marking her third consecutive triumph at this event. She also secured an additional $1,000 by winning the Queen of the Hill challenge within the race.
Kelati leveraged her strong start by keeping pace with a group of male runners, enhancing her lead and energy. She passed the Queen of the Hill mark with a 21-second lead over her nearest competitor, Emily Durgin, followed by Annie Rodenfels. Kelati celebrated the community spirit, mentioning the vibrant support from the Manchester crowds.
Rodenfels clinched second place, with Durgin close behind. Sara Hall and Florencia Borelli from Argentina completed the top five. Kelati's victory places her alongside Amy Rudolph as the only athlete to win the race three times in a row.
Both winners, Beadlescomb and Kelati, earned a prize of $7,000 each, with Kelati earning an extra bonus for her intra-race victory. The race was not only a showcase of athletic prowess but also a celebration of community spirit and personal milestones.
Veteran Runner: Amby Burfoot, aged 77, completed his 61st consecutive Manchester Road Race, an impressive feat of endurance and dedication.