The St. Joseph’s Healthcare RibFest 5 Miler may have fallen on a day where Mother Nature wasn’t having it, but that didn’t crash the party for over 1200 dedicated runners to get in a good race. RibFest, which was last year’s USATF-NE 5 Mile championship, served as one of two 5 mile races in this year’s New Hampshire Grand Prix, drawing some local fast guys. Competition up front on the men’s side consisted of Millennium Running’s own 2:26 marathoner Aliaksandr Leuchanka, Mike Danaher, and UNH alum John Corona. Also in the lead group were Somerville Road Runner Carl Hartford and Central Mass Strider Chris Mahoney, who was a late addition to the field after his slated 5k entry at the USATF-NE Outdoor Championships got postponed. The pack whittled down to Leuchanka, Mahoney, and Danaher by the 2 mile mark and it would remain that way until Danaher would break the string for good with 800 meters to go and take the victory in 26’08. Made for a very solid Millennium Running debut for him. Mahoney would take the runner up spot in 26’13. On his 2nd race of the weekend after a victory at the Bobcat Bolt 5k the morning before, Leuchanka would place 3rd in 26’16 over the 5 mile layout.
The women’s side of things was a heated battle of rookie vs. seasoned veteran. Pinkerton Academy rising senior Morgan Sansing and Whirlaway’s Heather Mahoney came flying down the final stretch simultaneously. Sansing would hold off Mahoney to win in a very solid time of 30’28 (gun time 30’31). As the reigning Manchester XC Invitational Girls’ Elite Race Champion, Morgan’s definitely got some talent. And she sure as heck showed it today in her ability to step up in distance. Heather Mahoney would join her husband Chris in the silver medal category with her 30’32 effort. Sansing’s high school XC/track coach and Whirlaway stud Amy Bernard would cross the line as 3rd female in 31’19, her first race back after time off to recover from the Vermont Cities Marathon. All three top women represented the Greater Derry Track Club as their NH Grand Prix club.
The LVL was present on the lead vehicle to catch some of the action. Check out the highlight video:
We also caught Mike Danaher for a few words after his win:
Millennium Running not only put on the show, but provided the results as well.