LAWRENCE, Mass. – The Greater Manchester Running Club (GMRC) closed out their 2021 season on a high note, earning a team victory in the 38th Annual Mill Cities Relay Invitational on Sunday.
With approximately 75 participants competing in teams of five on behalf of the club, the Greater Manchester Running Club finished with 109 total points overall, just two points ahead of the Greater Lowell Road Runners and three points ahead of the Gate City Striders.
The race began at the Eagles Wing Function Hall in downtown Nashua and consisted of five separate legs along the Merrimack River, ending at the Claddagh Pub in Lawrence, Mass.
As GMRC President Timm Huffman waited and relaxed at the pub following the end of his participation in the race, he knew the club would do well, but wasn’t aware they had won until it was announced later in the day.
Sunday marked the first time the team has won the event after several entries in recent years.
“I wouldn’t say we were expecting (to win), but it was a goal. It’s a competitive event and there are some really strong clubs in the area,” he said. “As we’ve participated over the years, we’ve learned how we can put together a good showing.”
For Huffman, the event was a celebration of a 2021 season that saw club membership and race schedule begin to bounce back after a 2020 season truncated by the COVID-19 pandemic, although he hopes more local residents will join the club in the future.
“We want to continue engaging runners in Manchester and hope this win will give us some visibility,” he said. “Manchester does have a running club that encourages local runners to get into it.”
More information on the club can be found on its website.
The club will also return to training this spring on Wednesdays at Livingston Park, with more information coming as spring gets closer.