Ian Dobson Trying to Defend Manchester Road Race Title vs Mayor's Cup XC Champ Girma Tola, Martin Fagan and Many More By David Monti (c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
most venerated Thanksgiving Day running race, the Manchester Road Race,
will celebrate its 71st edition on Thursday in Manchester, Conn., with
some top talent at the front.
In the men's race, last year's
champion Ian Dobson, the former Stanford star, will try to become the
first American to defend his title at Manchester since steeplechaser
John Gregorek won two in a row in 1988 and '89. In cold and rainy
conditions last year, Dobson prevailed by just one second over Canadian
Dobson's key competition will likely come from a
pair of Ethiopian Olympians, Dagne Alemu and Girma Tola. Alemu has won
three consecutive races since winning the York White Rose Run on Nov.
11; Tola won the Baltimore Half-Marathon on Oct. 13 and the Boston
Mayor's Cup Cross Country on Oct. 28. Also in the mix will be 2002
Manchester champion, Andrew Letherby of Australia; New Zealand Olympian
Michael Aish; Canadians Reid Coolsaet and Dylan Wykes; Irishman Martin
Fagan; steeplechasers Dan Huling and Brian Olinger; and milers Rob
Myers and Grant Robison.
Last year's women's champion, Shalane
Flanagan, is not expected to compete. However, Irishwoman Mary Cullen,
last year's runner-up, is indeed on the entry list, as is her
compatriot, steeplechaser Roisin McGettigan. Other contenders for the
win include Americans Molly Huddle, Nicole Aish, Amy Begley and Kassi
Anderson. Canadian Megan Metcalfe and Kenyan Caroline Chepkorir are
also expected to take part.
Manchester's hilly 4.748 mile course
is very challenging, but some fast times have been recorded. The
course records are 21:19 by two-time winner Phillimon Hanneck set in
1995, and 23:59 set by the late Emilie Mondor in 2003.
One of America's biggest Thanksgiving Day races, last year's event had 8,271 finishers.