Familiar foes at the Cigna/Elliot 5K finishBy ALEX HALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
August 09. 2018 9:16PM
MANCHESTER — After finishing runner-up to Brian Harvey in the Cigna/Elliot Corporate 5K Road Race two years ago, Tadesse Dabi did not allow the same result to play out Thursday night.
With no other runners in sight, Dabi was in the lead as he and Harvey sprinted up Merrimack Street toward the finish line in the 26th edition of the annual race.
Dabi, a 29-year-old New York City resident, held off Harvey over the final stretch, winning in a time of 14 minutes, 57 seconds. Harvey, a 31-year-old Cambridge, Mass., resident, finished two seconds later.
Harvey entered this year’s race as the two-time defending champion.
While Dabi, who runs for West Side Runners Club, was not pleased with his time, he was excited to win the race for the first time.
“To be champion of this, I’m very happy,” Dabi said. “I’m so, so happy.”
Dabi said he enjoys coming to Manchester to compete in the event.
“I love this city,” Dabi said.
Harvey, who runs for the Boston Athletic Association, categorized his training leading up to the race as “average.”
“I have a 1-year-old daughter at home. She’s the No. 1 priority,” Harvey said. “But I still love coming out here and racing. I’m not in quite as good shape as I used to be but I love this event.”
Harvey, who plans to compete in the event again next summer, said this year’s race played out similarly to previous times he has participated in it.
“It’s been like this before where it’s like me and one other guy,” Harvey said. “The last couple times I was able to come out with the win but it’s fun just racing.”
Funds raised from the event will benefit the Elliot Regional Cancer Center. Millennium Running owner John Mortimer said before the race that the event had raised about $27,000, exceeding this year’s goal of $25,000.
Mortimer, a former Londonderry High School and University of Michigan runner, owns Millennium Running, which helps put on the race.
Justin Freeman, a 41-year-old from Campton, was third overall and was the first New Hampshire runner to cross the finish line, earning a time of 15:35. Stephen Monsulick, a 33-year-old Dover resident, finished fourth in a time of 15:51.
Emebet Bedada, a 28-year-old New York resident, was the first woman to complete the course, finishing in 17:09. Courtney Hawkins, a 22-year-old from Milford, was the first woman from New Hampshire and fourth overall to finish the race, earning a time of 18:19. Manchester’s Mary Klene, 35, finished in 18:28 to become the fifth woman to finish.
Mortimer, who was the last New Hampshire runner to win the race when he took first in 1997, said about 5,500 runners registered to run in this year’s race. While Mortimer said a lot of work goes into putting the race on each year, it is rewarding once race day arrives.
“As a former champion of this race in 1997, personally it means a lot to me to see New Hampshire’s biggest, fastest 5K — in its golden years — still kicking butt,” Mortimer said.