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Merrimack River Trail Race 10-Miler

Andover, MA, April 8, 2006


Race winners Paul Low (new course record) and Kelli Lusk both from Belchertown, MA.
Race winners Paul Low (new course record) and Kelli Lusk both from Belchertown, MA.

15th Merrimack River trail race

by Dave Dunham

Paul Low (Belchertown, MA) and Kelli Lusk (Belchertown, MA) turned away all competitors as the couple continued their winning streak at the "Rivah". Low pulled away from his CMS teammate Kevin Tilton (Conway, NH) after three miles and ran uncontested, setting a new course record. Low took advantage of excellent trail conditions and favorable weather to knock twelve seconds off of the previous CR set in 1999. Lusk ran to a 14 minute victory and the third fastest time, behind only her CR from last year and Nikki Kimball's 1:08:02 from 2003. Low and Lusk took home two homemade cheesecakes for their victories. Greg Hammet (Chesterfield, NH) and former champion Ben Nephew (Mansfield, MA) battled throughout the race with Hammet taking third by five seconds. Nephew is tied for the second longest streak of finishes with eight, and he has an average finishing time of 59:45. The longest "streaker",Tom Speidel (Nutting lake) continued his record run. Tom is the only runner to have completed all fifteen races.

Dan Verrington (Bradford, MA) was the 40+ champion for the second consecutive year, running the 2nd fastest 40+ time. His fifth place overall 1:01:29 trailed his CR from 2005 by a mere two seconds. Verrington held off road-ace Dave Hinga (Methuen, MA) by one second. Co-Race directors Steve Peterson (Chelmsford, MA) and Dave Dunham (Bradford, MA) had a close race. Peterson took the measure of Dunham, finishing 11th overall with the fifth fastest time ever for a 40+ finisher. Nixie Raymond (Roslindale, MA) was the women's 40+ winner in 1:23:21.

Lisa Doucett (Andover, MA) returned to the River after a few years absence to take the 50+ age group. Her time ranks second all-time for women over 50. Jean Barry (Lynn, MA) became the first women over 60 to complete the race, setting the age group record of 1:59:04.

Walt Chadwick (Enfield, NH) ran the 9th fastest 50+ time in taking a 1:45 victory in his age group. Bob Teschek (Newport, NH) the race director for the Mt Washington Road Race, showed his speed, taking the 60+ age group by over eleven minutes. His time ranks 9th all-time for 60+.

The indomitable Richard Busa (Marlborough, MA) continued his string of victories in the 70+ age group. He is the oldest finisher at the River at age 76. On the other end of the spectrum, 14-year-old Philip Galebach was the youngest finisher. He finished 9th overall with an impressive 1:02:46.

The race could not be held without the cooperation of the Wyndham hotel and the hard work of the many, many, many volunteers. Thank you all!

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