Women's records fall
MANCHESTER — Leaves and records were falling downtown on Sunday.
It was a historic day at the Anthem Manchester City Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay as the records for both the women's races were broken.
Tezata Dengersa, a native of Ethiopia who was listed as being from Washington, D.C., set the mark in the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 50 minutes and 14 seconds. That broke the mark of 2:55:16 set by Muliye Lemma last year.
And in the half marathon, Ethiopia native Desta Girma, of Silver Spring, Md., set what is believed to be a state record with a time of 1:16:24. That barely edges out the time of 1:16:32 set by Heidi Westerling on this course in 2008.
Neither record dropped on the men's side. The winner of the marathon was Getachew Asfor, an Ethiopian hailing from Silver Spring, with a time of 2:24:04. The best time in the half marathon belonged to another Ethiopian, this one from New York City, Mengishu Nebsi, who came in at 1:07:42.
The field consisted of 1,463 registrants, counting each team in the relay as just one. There were 823 people signed up for the half, 541 for the full and 99 teams for the relay.
Although it was a record for this race, Dengersa said her time wasn't nearly a personal record for her. She said she had a stronger run a couple of weeks ago in Atlantic City, N.J., but she was pleased with coming in first here.
"I'm happy, but my best is 2:37," Dengersa said. "It was too cold (here) and then too hot."
Temperatures did fluctuate throughout the race, starting in the low 40s at the start and increasing as the sun came out later in the day. Dengersa also said the course was tough because of the hills.
The top local finisher in any of the races was Andrew Huebner of Portsmouth, who was second in the half marathon in a time of 1:08:41.
Huebner said he was part of a group of three runners who kept "Yo-Yoing" for first place. He was in third place with a couple of miles left and made a move to pass Tadesse Biratu, who finished third, but didn't have enough to overtake Nebsi.
"I tried going by (Biratu) as hard as I could," Huebner said. "I knew it was a downhill finish from there so I wanted to keep firing away."
Huebner said Nebsi made a move to capture the lead at about the 8- or 9-mile mark and after that everybody was playing catch up.
Brandon Newbould, of Nottingham, took third in the marathon with a time of 1:14:22. He said the two men who finished ahead of him went out fast. He didn't recognize them so he decided to let them go and hope they would die out before the end of the race.
"I had to take the risk that they were going faster than they were able to maintain," Newbould said. "And I gained on the second place guy but it wasn't enough."