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Merrimack River Trail Race

Andover, MA, April 16, 2005

Merrimack River Trail Race

by Dave Dunham

Kevin Tilton and Peter Maksimow on Powerline Hill
Kevin Tilton and Peter Maksimow on Powerline Hill

2005 Merrimack River Trail Race

Conditions were perfect for the 15th edition of the "Rivah". The race had been postponed from the last weekend in March due to unsafe trail conditions. The three extra weeks left the trail in excellent condition. A strong field and temperatures in the upper 40's lead to some great times being run.

Paul Low picked up his third straight victory with a personal best time of 57:06. His time was only 24 seconds shy of the course record and ranks third fastest ever. Richard Bolt gave Paul a race, trailing him through the turnaround by only a few seconds. Richard took a minute off his best time posting a 58:03, which ranks 9th fastest ever. Kevin Tilton and Peter Maksimow battled back and forth throughout the race with Kevin taking fourth in 58:58 and Peter fifth in 59:10. This marked the first time in race history that five runners broke one hour.

Kelli Lusk took home her second consecutive win as she set a new course record of 1:07:27. Her time broke the Nikki Kimball's 2003 mark of 1:08:02.

Dan Verrington led the way in the 40+ competition. He established a new course record, finishing 7th overall in 1:01:27. Kevin Retelle who ran 1:01:55 in 1999 held the previous course record. Matt Curran finished second in the 40+ with a 1:05:02, which is the sixth fastest ever run by a 40+ competitor.

Bob Gillis led the way in the 50+ age group, running the 4th fastest time as he clocked a 1:13:03. Linda Usher won the women's 50+ competition with a 1:35:37, which ranks 3rd fastest all-time.

75-Year-Old Richard Busa was the oldest finisher, running the 4th fastest all-time for the 70+ age group with his 1:48:42.

The Central Mass. Striders dominated the team competition, scoring a perfect six points (3 runners score). They also won the men's 40+ team division and the women's competition.

The race could never happen without the cooperation of the Wyndham hotel (start/finish site) and the help of the many volunteers. All money raised goes to the Thomas Chamberas Scholarship fund.

Thank you to the helpers! George Chamberas Oliver Tisdale John Piekos Cathy Dunham Rose Washak Denise Underwood John Underwood Rick Peterson Kevin St. John Dan Verrington Richard Bolt

See you next year on Patriots Day weekend!

Stephen Peterson & Dave Dunham




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