action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

December 01. 2012 9:45PM

Johnson, Garfield capture BASC Santa Claus Shuffle wins


Kevin Johnson of West Lebanon takes first in the BASC Santa Claus Shuffle 3 mile race on Elm Street in Manchester Saturday afternoon. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


Lucy Garfield of Hanover takes first in the Women's time division at the BASC Santa Claus Shuffle 3 mile race on Elm Street in Manchester Saturday afternoon. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


Melissa Carolan of Merrimack and her daughter Ella Carolan, take off from the starting line of the Elf Run as part of the BASC Santa Claus Shuffle event on Elm Street in Manchester Saturday afternoon. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


Thousands of Santa Claus suit clad runners and green elf clad Frank Landino, of Sandown, participated in Saturday's Santa Claus Shuffle race on Elm Street in Manchester. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)


Thousands of Santa Claus suit clad runners participated in Saturday's Santa Claus Shuffle race on Elm Street in Manchester. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)


Brian Harvey, of Weymouth, MA, crosses the finish line of Saturday's Santa Claus Shuffle on Elm Street in Manchester. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER - There were reindeer and elves, cookies and cocoa.

Mrs. Claus was there and Santa was, too.

Boy, was he there.

In the jolliest New Hampshire road race of the year, 3,000 costumed Santas raced through the heart of Manchester Saturday in the second annual Santa Claus Shuffle which served as a warm-up for the Queen City's Spirit of New Hampshire Christmas Parade.

Hundreds of Santas "Ho, ho, hoed!" their way past the starting line and ran down Elm St. for about a mile and a half before making a short loop and returning down the main street, which iced slightly from the afternoon's light snow, to the finish line.

Kevin Johnson of West Lebanon was the first Santa to break the tape. Lucy Garfield of Hanover was the first Mrs. Santa.

"This race was a lot of fun," said Johnson, 24, whose 14:51.95 shattered the race record of 16:30. "The fans lined the course and their cheering was great, a big motivation."

Johnson, who is part of the Competitive Post-collegiate Western Mass. team which won this year's Chicago Marathon team competition, also won the Bedford Rotary 12K in May.

Garfield ("like the cat but I don't eat as much lasagna," she joked) is 22 years-old and ran competitively at the University of New Hampshire. She finished in 18:25.51.

"My goal was a 6:30 pace, but it turned out much faster than that," she said. "I'm happy."

The Shuffle was the the seventh and final race in the MVP Health Care Millennium Racing Series, and just about every running Santa was happy as hundreds and hundreds of smiles lit up the finish area as darkness fell on the Queen City.

"We want all of our events to be about fitness, wellness and fun," said race director John Mortimer. "The Santa suits epitomize the fun. This is the largest race we've done. I don't know if it was a Santa-costume world record, but it was an amazing sight to see."

Red-costumed Santas flooded Elm St., making their way to the finish line for more than an hour after the race's start.

Approximately 600 children, some as young as three- and four-years-old, participated in the Elf race prior to the Shuffle. It appeared many weren't interested in the finishing Santas Saturday. It was the Santa who comes to Manchester on Dec. 25 that they were thinking about.

Top 10 men
1. Kevin Johnson, West Lebanon, 14:521.95; 2. Lucas Pozzetta, Merrimack, 16:34.85; 3. Josh Leahy, Londonderry, 16:49.47; 4. Nicholas Leach, Londonderry, 16:50.38; 5. Jason Porter, Bedford, 17:12.05; 6. Jeremy Huckins, West Lebano, 17:29.95; 7. Warren Bartlett, Loudon, 17:32.16; 8. RJ Letendre, Rollinsford, 17:35; 17:34.61; 9. Shawn Freligh, Sandown, 17:48.13; 10. Richard Hostler, Merrimack, 17:54.51.

Top 10 women
1. (14) Lucy Garfield, Hanover, 18:25.51; 2. (15) Colleen Ledbetter, Derry, 18:26.55; 3. (16) Melissa Murray, Newfields, 18:28.57; 4. (17) Stephanie Burnham, Goffstown, 18:33.80; 5. (20) Libby Gendron, Manchester, 18:56.28; 6. (22) Rachel York, Pembroke, 18:57.77; 7. (23) Karin Biskovich, Amherst, 19:04.98; 8. (24) Freja Pelich, Concord, 19:09.81; 9. (27) Sara Muller, Derry, 19:10.45; 10. (28) Summer Cook, Madbury, 19:13.01.

Complete results available at millenniumrunning.com







 NH Sports Angle » more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices ‘as productive as any’

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

Special golf cart helping Vietnam veteran play game he loves article

And so it begins: Equipment distribution starts a new era in Plymouth football

Tailgating changes for UNH football games

Report: Pirates' pitcher Jeff Locke cleared in gambling probe involving childhood friend from Conway

Tim O’Sullivan: Even with NFL success, NH’s Kelly remembers his roots

Chip Kelly: 'Put some Galoshes on and go play'

Survey says Duke the most hated college hoops team in NH

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, trying to make big time article

Gorham papermill owner Lynn Tilton is getting Yale tennis award

Ex-bank president co-authors racing book

New England Patriots are the most hated NFL team in the world

Travis Hughes: It's time to drastically overhaul minor league hockey in North America

Portsmouth native, 47, conquers 21-mile swim of the English Channel

Bennett to take control of the flags for Granite State Pro Stock Series

Air Force captain serving in NH honored before Red Sox-Yankees crowd at Fenway

Newmarket woman second to run solo across the U.S.

VIDEO: A car's-eye view of the demolition derby at Cheshire County Fair

With NASCAR's $8.2B TV deal, nobody wants to be at back of pack

Kelly tinkers with Philadelphia offense

New Hampshire’s Sam Fuld traded back to A's

CAA preseason poll puts a target on New Hampshire, coach says

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   » SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   » ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!