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.

Announcements Races

It’s time for Mill Cities Relay

After a one year hiatus due to COVID, we are excited to resume participation in Mill Cities Relay, December 5, 2021. The cost for club members is just $10.

Also, save the date for our annual club holiday party, December 3, 2021.

While I could write a nice summary of the race, I’m going to defer to the words of the Cap’n, John Stanzel, from a recent email thread.

It’s been a while since I have weighed in with my perspective on running, competing–life. Sometimes of course life, be it Covid or cars (as some/most likely know your Cap’n was on the losing end of a bike + car encounter) gets in the way of fitness. But my injuries and Covid are now behind us, & there are no excuses for making some noise at this years Mill Cities Relay on 12/5/21. Before we go any further with this missive, lets be clear on Pete’s assumption “Know that he will be proud of your effort and expect a bit more.”  Nope. Pete’s heart is in the right place–but here is what you should know by now — I don’t expect a bit more, I expect a lot more. And nowhere can you exceed your own running expectations than by running a relay race. Running every step knowing that it doesn’t improve your standing in the race like your usual Santa shuffle. No. You are running your best so that you don’t let your teammates down–so that the team score/time is the best it can be. And when GMRC, when your neighborhood running club comes in top three–THEN I will be proud of your effort. Plz mark Dec 5 on your calendar–its been a long 18 months but finally, fitness & camaraderie is calling.”   Cap’n John

If you’re interested in participating in one of the club relay teams, please email Muriel Saliba with your name, age, and 5k goal pace.

Thanks and looking forward to racing with you!