The Bedford Rotary Races took place for the 42nd time this past Saturday and had lots of excitement to offer. A newly certified course since last year alotted for a larger, more exciting after party and new race records to be established. The race also served as the 3rd event in the NH Grand Prix road series for the second straight year.
On the menâ€™s side, Millennium Runningâ€™s Nick Aguila-Mandich shot out front from the gun and rolled a solo 40 minute, 6 second tempo, breaking Rob Edsonâ€™s course record from last year by a good four and a half minutes. With Vermont Cities a week down the road, Nick looks fit and ready to go for his marathon debut. Snatching the runner up spot was Aguilaâ€™s teammate Josh Steffen, who clipped off 5â€™34 mile splits over the 12k layout in his Millennium Running debut. Third and 4th overall were Gate Cityâ€™s Brandyn Naro and top masterâ€™s runner Rich Smith (Upper Valley Running Club), who both continue stellar seasons on the roads.
The womenâ€™s race was a bit tighter as the top four were within 15 seconds of each other at the three mile mark. In the end it was Upper Valleyâ€™s Hannah Taska who emerged on top. She ran a very respectable 50â€™55 over the 7.46 mile journey. Thatâ€™s 6â€™50 mile pace over a rolling course on a rather hot day. Those three women in contention werenâ€™t too far back. It was a tight finish for 2nd and 3rd as Tara Soraghan of Lancaster, NH overtook Greater Derry Track Club senior sensation Gini Nichols by a mere second - they finished in 51â€™23 and 51â€™24 respectively (Giniâ€™s time age-grades to an incredible 42â€™15!) UVRCâ€™sÂ Nancy Dunbar would round out the top four as she finished in 51â€™51 - also the top 40-49 masterâ€™s runner on the day.
Though the 12k was the premier event of the day, the Bedford Rotary Races also offered a 5k option, which saw some local competition. Doverâ€™s Casey Carroll raced to a decisive victory in 18â€™02 whileÂ Millennium Runningâ€™s Jenn Mortimer cruised to a 18â€™51 performance to win for the women. Jenn proved sheâ€™s bouncing back strong after a rough bout with injuries. Look out for her in the USATF-NE Grand Prix once it starts back up in August.
Our legion reporter Mike Giberti was on site to capture the moment and help sort out NH Grand Prix scores: