GMRC takes top spot at Mill Cities Relay

That’s to say we won.

A huge congratulations and thank you to the 80+ of you who turned out to fill out 17 teams in our strongest showing ever at the annual event, which the club won outright for the first time ever.

Going into the Mill Cities, I knew we had a good shot at winning, but there are a lot of great clubs in New England and the competition would be fierce.

Those who turned out know it was a great day to race. I’m confident I’m not the only one who overdressed for a day with little wind and a lot of sun that felt a lot warmer than anticipated.

We had many incredible performances by individuals and teams alike. There were so many good stories from out along the Merrimack and I hesitate to highlight any one team or performance. But I will take a moment to showcase our divisional first-place teams:

  • Faber College Mules – Male Seniors team finished 1st in their division, scoring the most of any team in the club, bringing in 15 points.
  • Run Snowflake Run – Female Sub Masters took 1st in their division, netting 10 points
  • 3 20s Equals 60 – Our Co-ed veteran team finished 1st in their division, also earning the club 10 points

At the end of the day, we had seven teams brought bricks back to the Queen City by finishing top three in their divisions. And, our 15 scoring teams earned 109 points, pushing us across a razor-thin margin of victory of just 4 points between 1st and 3rd place to bring home the Mill Cities Relay trophy.

You can see the full results here and check out the Manchester Ink Link coverage here.

The most satisfying part of the whole day was watching John Stanzel, aka The Cap’n, accept the trophy on behalf of the club. The look and emotion on his face as he embraced the massive trophy said it all. This was a goal he worked for long and hard and I’m happy we were able to deliver an early Christmas gift. Thanks, Cap’n, for the passion you’ve poured out to make this victory a reality, and don’t forget to send us a pic of the trophy under your Christmas tree.

Also a huge thank you to Muriel Saliba. She has long been the lynchpin in our Mill Cities operations, going to the planning meetings, figuring out logistics and so much more. We couldn’t do it without her.

Thanks again to everyone who ran and I hope you’re looking forward to next year as much as I am.

Did you run? Share your favorite story from the race in the comments below.


Mill Cities Relay final info & holiday party reminder

Next Sunday is the Mill Cities Relay and GMRC will be well represented with about 80 runners. The Cap’n thinks we will be strong contenders for top club this year. Below are the final details and don’t forget to come out to the holiday party this Friday at The Great North Aleworks ($10/person, RSVPs are encouraged)!

Mill Cities Relay Details:
Meet at 6:15 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 5, at Stark Brewing Company, 500 N. Commercial St., Manchester, NH. It is a little early but this will give folks time to meet and figure out what vehicles will be used.  In years past, I know some folks have needed to get home earlier than carpool will allow. If this is the case, please speak up, so we can plan rides/carpools accordingly.

Captains will also collect $10 from each runner.

We will carpool to the start of the relay at Eagles Wing Function Hall, 10 Spruce Street, Nashua, NH.

The relay starts at 8 a.m. 

Since this is a marathon-distance relay, most teams can expect to be finished running between 10:30 and 12. The race ends at Claddough Pub, Claddagh Pub, 399 Canal St, Lawrence, MA, and lunch is included.

For captains/team drivers, here is the link to the course information and locations/maps for the transitions:

Additional notes for the race from the Cap’n:

  • Prior to the start of the race, get an estimate of how long each runner takes to complete their leg. This will help you determine how much time you have between transition zones.
  • Drive to Transition 1 (Leg 2). All teams need to leave the Eagles Wing Function Hall 5-10 minutes before the start of the race to avoid being caught up behind the racers, as there is a spot where the runners cross the highway on route 3 and if you get caught behind that you might not make transition 1. 
  • After the handoff, collect your runner and proceed to transition 2 (Leg 3). Leg 3 is short (2.5 miles) and should take your runner between 14-20 minutes to complete. With this tight margin, it may be necessary to drop runner 3 at transition 2, then proceed immediately to transition 3 to drop runner 4, circling back to pick-up runner 2 before grabbing runner 3 on your way to support runner 4 on the long leg.
  • Leg 4 is a nine-miler and you will have plenty of time to support your runner a couple of times, but be sure to arrive at transition 4 on time.
  • You can support runner 5 early on, but you should hustle to the finish line, as some streets are blocked off and the drive can take a while.

Questions? Contact Timm Huffman.


You’re invited!

Please join us for the annual GMRC Holiday Party at the Great North Aleworks, from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Food will be catered from Angela’s Pasta Shop.

This is a great opportunity to come together to drink a local brew with your fellow club runners, share your accomplishments from the season, and look ahead to the coming year.

It also happens to be the Friday before Mill Cities Relay and we are certain to hear a few words of inspiration and motivation from the Cap’n.

To RSVP, check your email or visit our closed Facebook page.


Winter Running Group starts this week

Starting this week, a group will meet at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Derryfield Country Club Park and Ride on Mammoth Rd.

5, 6 & 9 mile loops available. Headlamps and reflective gear are a must! We will have multiple pace groups to ensure no one is lost or left behind, so if you are new to the club or have never come to the Wednesday runs, don’t be shy.

Routes on Garmin Connect:

5 Mile Route

6 Mile Route

9 Mile Route

Hope you can make it!