It’s hard to imagine how the 2016 Mack’s Apples 5K Road Race could have gone any better than it did this past Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28.
The weather was nothing short of magnificent, the crowd of 129 finishers marked the highest turnout for that annual event in several years, and a big bunch of teens showed plainly what the combination of youth and athletic skills can accomplish in Mack’s orchards in Londonderry. The annual race is co-sponsored by Mack’s and the Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC), and it’s directed by longtime Londonderry resident and GDTC co-founder Eldon Burkinshaw. Fifteen-year- old Litchfield resident Jeff Allen took over from Deerfield teen Forest MacKenzie as the race’s champion, out-running runner-up MacKenzie by 22 seconds in winning the 2016 event in a time of 16 minutes and six seconds. MacKenzie was second in 16:28, his fellow Deerfield residents and teenagers Ryan Devine (16:39) and David Cook (16:44) took third and fourth respectively, and Londonderry 13-year- old Matt Griffin claimed fifth place overall (17:39). The fastest female was Concord 16-year- old Jennika Mannesto, who crossed the finish line 14th overall in 20:06. Forest MacKenzie won the 2015 race with a time of 16:50, and ran for a considerably better time this time around. But Jeff Allen was not to be beaten. Three females from Londonderry won their respective age group titles in the race, with Emily Powers finishing first among the 13-16 girls in 24:52, Cassie Cronin proving unbeatable among the 17- to 39-year- old females in 26:18, and 26:18 was also the time that allowed Kristen Cronin to win the ladies’ 50-59 division crown. Runners from Derry also did themselves more tha a little proud in this year’s race, with a trio of them winning age division titles. Those three included Rich Moran in the males’ 17 to 39-year- old grouping (17:58, sixth overall), Nichole Reimer in the ladies’ 40-49-year-old class (23:56), and longtime GDTC member and office-holder Jim Peters in the men’s 60-99 division (22:22).
The Mack’s Apples Race 2016 winner was Jeff Allen of Litchfield.
Concord teen Jennika Mannesto was the female winner of the Mack’s race.
A strong and competitive field of 129 runners took part in the annual 2016
Mack’s Apples Road Race in Londonderry last Sunday. Photos by Chris Paul