action:article | category:SPORTS10 | adString:SPORTS10 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Running

January 01. 2013 6:43PM

1,300 start the new year running in Millennium Mile


Makopa Rugabirwa, 21, of Concord, crossed the finish line Tuesday afternoon after placing first in the 14th annual Millennium Mile. Rugabirwa completed the race in 4:07 minutes. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
LONDONDERRY - Despite freezing temperatures and a wind that at times made the downhill course much colder, the Apple Therapy Millennium Mile road race drew its largest field yet Tuesday afternoon, attracting more than 1,300 runners and walkers for the 14th annual holiday jaunt down Mammoth Road.

They ranged in age from 2 (Addison Ntengeri of Nashua, who finished in 9 minutes 10 seconds) to 76 (Litchfield's Bill Spencer, who crossed the line in a spritely 6:18), with Concord resident and Franklin Pierce University runner Makop Rugabirwa leading the way in 4:07.

Antoine Gisore - like Rugabirwa, a refugee from Congo who graduated from Concord High and transferred to Franklin Pierce in Rindge after starring at New England College in Henniker - was just one second behind his friend and teammate, in 4:08.

Joanna Murphy of Cambridge, Mass., and the New Balance Boston running team led the women's field in 4:36. Former University of New Hampshire standout Sydney Fitzpatrick of Billerica, Mass., was second in 4:40. Sarah Lagasse of Rindge, a graduate assistant at Franklin Pierce, was the top New Hampshire woman, in 5:08.

A total of 1,196 official finishers crossed the line before the clock was turned off at 13 minutes, with the elite runners pacing a field that included toddlers, grandparents and moms pushing strollers from the start between Londonderry High School and the town fire department and the finish in front of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, just past Mack's Apples.

Two of the race's founders, former collegiate all-Americans Andy Downin and John Mortimer, whose Millennium Running company now manages the race, marvelled at how far the event had come since its humble beginnings in 1999.

Around 120 runners participated in the inaugural race, which included Mortimer, Downin and other elite runners who had come together for a New Year's Eve party and a bid to run a mile in less than four minutes (albeit on a downhill course). Over the years, the race has consistently grown more popular. Last year there were 1,153 racers, the year before 1,115.

Downin - whose younger brother, Matt, won a cross country national championship as a Pinkerton Academy runner and chief rival (as well as close friend) of Londonderry High's Mortimer in the 1990s - ran in five previous Millennium Miles and won twice, with a personal best time of 3:51 back in 2001. He said the downhill race course is challenging, as well as unique.

"It's a crazy feeling, running this race. It's completely unlike running on a track," said Downin, who this year worked as a race official rather than entrant. "The awesome part of it is, you'll look behind you and see 8-year old kids running this race, you'll see 85-year-old guys ... and everyone starts at the same time."

Proceeds from the race will be used toward a college scholarship Mortimer founded in memory of his parents, Jack and June Mortimer. June Mortimer lost her battle with cancer in 2004, and Jack Mortimer died of cancer two and a half years later. Since 2004, the scholarship has been awarded each spring to one college-bound student-athlete.

The race also kicked off the nine-event 2013 Millennium Running Series, which continues March 24 with the 2-mile Northeast Delta Dental Shamrock Shuffle in Manchester and concludes Dec. 7 with the 3-mile BASC Santa Claus Shuffle, also in Manchester.

For complete race results, click here.

- - - - - - - -


April Guilmet may be reached at AGuilmet@newstote.com.

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

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

Flyers Notes: Flyers sign speedy New Hampshire forward

Tom Duvall of Durham to compete for Navy in NCAA swimming events

Positive thoughts motivate more exercise says UNH study

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!