Thursday, August 14, 2008


Relief, originally uploaded by Dave Delay.

Runners are sprayed with a garden hose during the 2008 CIGNA/Elliot 5K. Manchester, NH.

Cigna/Elliot 5K Notebook: 11 years later, Freeman's still running strong
Staff Sports Writer

MANCHESTER – Eleven years ago, Justin Freeman of New Hampton posted a personal best time of 14:52 in the Cigna/Elliot Corporate 5-kilometer Road Race.

Yesterday at age 31, he eclipsed that mark by two seconds and fulfilled his goal of becoming the first New Hampshire runner to cross the finish line.

"I trained harder this year, running 80 to 90 miles a week,'' said Freeman, who credited New Hampshire runner-up Patrick Moulton for pushing him over the top. "Patrick caught me around the two-mile mark and even took the lead for a few seconds. But I passed him for good at the hill on Merrimack Street.''

New Hampshire female winner Heidi Westerling of Acworth was aiming for a 17:20 time, but fell short by four seconds. "I ran a good first mile but I was a little slower in the second mile,'' said Westerling, who finished sixth overall in the female field at 17:26.

Unlike Freeman, who had Moulton to compete against, Westerling kept pace with Fall Mountain runner Eric Malnati of Walpole, who posted a 15:36 time, good for 21st overall.

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ALL IN THE FAMILY -- Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta started the race yesterday by firing off the starters' pistol and then joined the race along with his wife, Morgan, and two children, three-year-old Jack and five-year-old Colby.

"Special day for us because today is Colby's birthday and she's been talking about this race for the last week or so,'' said Guinta. "It's also a special day for Manchester because this race brings out so many people and it allows us to showcase the city. It's a family event.''

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CORPORATE TEAMS -- Elliot Health System (1:45:02) won the female team corporate category followed by Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (1:51.17) and Bae Systems (1:52). Raytheon was the men's corporate winner in 1:17.33 followed by Bae Systems (1:23.59) and Sonus Networks (1:28:28).

The co-ed first place award went to Bae Systems (51:52) while Devine Millimet (53:40) and Wiggin & Nourie P.A. (58:48) rounded out the top three.

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