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Beauty of the river draws nearly 700 runners to inaugural Collinsville Classic

Nearly 700 runners competed at the first Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday morning.

Nearly 700 runners competed at the first Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday morning.

Collinsville ClassicCANTON, May 1 – For many of the runners in the inaugural Collinsville Classic 10K road race, it was about the water.

It wasn’t about the drizzle and light rain that fell to earth during the 6.2-mile run Sunday morning, it was was about running for four miles alongside the Farmington River on the Farmington River Trail culminating with a run across the very bridge that used to carry trains and supplies into Collinsville every day for the first half of the 20th century.

“It was beautiful,” said New Hartford’s Sue Mantie, a state-caliber cross country runner in her days at Canton High School, who won her age division. “It is so scenic. They’ve cut down a lot of the trees (along the river trail) so you can see the river now. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.”

Burlington's Mary-Lynn Currier runs every day on the Farmington River Trail. She won the Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday.

Burlington’s Mary-Lynn Currier runs every day on the Farmington River Trail. She won the Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday.

Nearly 700 runners completed the first race Sunday. Tolland’s Brett Stoeffler, 49, easily won the race with a time of 36:23, nearly a minute ahead of New Haven’s Billy Barone (37:30). “It’s a beautiful course,” Stoeffler said. “It can be a distraction. You’re looking at the river and everything.” It was Stoeffler’s second victory in 24 hours. On Saturday, he won the 5K race (3.1 miles) at the Willimantic Classic.

The race began at Lake Garda School in Burlington and picked up the Farmington River Trail in Farmington near the intersection of River Road and Route 179. The final four miles of the race were along the river trail finishing in Collinsville.

Tolland's Brett Stoeffler won the first Collinsville Classic 10K

Tolland’s Brett Stoeffler won the first Collinsville Classic 10K

Avon’s Kevin Verge was fourth overall in 39:11. “It is a perfect course, a great place to have a race,” he said. “It’s the whole area and it finishes in downtown Collinsville.”

Burlington’s Mary Lynn Currier, who has won the Canton Lobster Loop road race a record eight times, was the first woman to finish the race in 40:36, beating Jacci Pugliese of Southington by 50 seconds. Currier was eighth overall in the race while Pugliese was 12th overall.

“This is my home course, I had to do it,” Currier, 52, said. “I run it every day. I run from Burlington to Canton every day. You’re by the water on a beautiful trail. It’s the nice place in the area to run.”

In high school, Mantie was known as Sue Richardson. She won a Northwest Conference title in 1976 and was second in Class S before going onto run at Michigan State University. She has continued to run and race since. Mantie was fourth among the women at the Collinsville Classic and 26th overall in 43:56. “I train once or twice a week here. You can go for miles without having to stop to cross a road,” Mantie said.

Avon's Larry Gliet, left, Matthew Gleit, center, and Paulette Gliet all ran in the Collinsville Classic 10K

Avon’s Larry Gliet, left, Matthew Gleit, center, and Paulette Gliet all ran in the Collinsville Classic 10K

Avon’s Matthew Gleit, 12, was the age group division winner in the boys 10-12 category in his first-ever 10K race. He ran in the race with his parents, Larry and Paulette.

“We always run Sunday morning on the path. It was a no-brainer (to sign up and run),” Larry Gleit said. “We are either running or biking on it. It’s a great trail.” The family spends plenty of time in Collinsville. They’ve enjoyed the kayaking on the river at Collinsville Canoe and Kayak and have seen several comedy shows at Bridge Street Live.

Long-time Canton residents ran along with some new residents. Laura Ferrall closed on her new Collins Road home just two days ago. After renting in town for several years, she was thrilled to find a home in Collinsville. To have an opportunity to cap off the week with a run in the first Collinsville Classic was sweet.

Runners, including Laura Ferrall (yellow hat) check out their times after the race.

Runners, including Laura Ferrall (yellow hat) check out their times after the race.

Michael Fournier now lives in West Hartford but he grew up in Collinsville. He ran the race with his younger sister Sarah. Their mother, Betty, was there to see them run and visit for the morning. And at the awards ceremony, Michael, who was third in his age division, caught up with Mantie. They both graduated from Canton High in 1977.

“It was wonderful,” race director Beth Shluger said. “The community was very supportive. The course was gorgeous and the runners loved the course. It worked very well.”

The Collinsville Classic 10K was sold out within three weeks after the race was announced with 850 people registered to compete. Shluger said the unique beauty of the course along the river attracted many runners. There aren’t as many opportunities for runners to run in 10K races, she said.

Shluger is the CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF), which sponsors more than 30 races a year throughout Connecticut including its flagship race, the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon in October.

She is already thinking about next year’s race in Collinsville. She said they’ll start earlier as most HMF races do. Sunday’s race kicked off from Burlington’s Lake Garda School at 9:30 a.m. The runners like to get an early start to the day and an early start helps minimize disruptions in the host communities.

She is open to the idea of adding more runners to the race. Shluger said they could easily start the runners in waves. “We will as long as the community supports us,” she said. “We wouldn’t double the size of the race but we could add 200 or 300 and see how that works,” Shluger said.

Lisa’s Crown and Hammer served more than 700 bowls of chili to the runners and Martel Transportation donated their services to shuttle runners from downtown Collinsville to the starting line.

Runners cross over the railroad bridge into Collinsville.

Runners cross over the railroad bridge into Collinsville.

NOTES: There were 685 finishers in the race making it the largest road race ever in the town. The Lobster Loop had 570 finishers in 1999. … Runners are asked to bring non-perishable food donations for the HMF Can drive to benefit Canton Food Bank. … More than a quarter of the registered runners are participating in the race to cap off their “Spring Ahead: 5K to 10K” 3-race series.  They’ll be collecting their finisher medal and a commemorative series medal for running the O’Hartford 5K in March, the Legends 4-Mile in Middletown and the Collinsville Classic 10K. … The river trail remained open to the public during the race. … Click here for other photos from the race at our Facebook page.

Collinsville Classic 10K
At Collinsville
Top 20 results overall: 1. Brett Stoeffler, Tolland, 36:23, new course record; 2. Billy Barone, New Haven, 37:30; 3. Jesse Wanzer, Glastonbury, 37:48, 4. Kevin Verge, Avon, 39:11, 5. Andrew Miller, Farmington, 39:46, 6. Nathan Holmes, Oakdale, 40:05, 7. Jason Kasprzak, Simsbury, 40:13; 8. Mary-Lynn Currier, Burlington, 40:36; 9. Russell Blair, West Hartford, 41:17, 10. David Fusfeld, Manchester, 41:21; 11. Ryan Corabalis, West Hartford, 41:28; 12. Jacci Pugliese, Southington, 41:46; 13. Kim Marchand, Winsted, 42:43; 14. Felix Fernandez, New Britain, 42:28; 15. Tom Miller, Farmington, 42:34; 16. David Gunsallus, Canton, 42:38; 17. Peter Lee, Avon, 42:46; 18. Sean Macomber, Glastonbury, 42:48; 19. Thomas Ksiazkiewicz, Collinsville, 42:58; 20. Kathleen Shaw, East Hartland, 43:02

Women
Top 10 results: 1. Mary-Lynn Currier (8th overall), 40:36, new course record; 2. Jacci Pugliese (12), Southington, 41:46; 3. Kathleen Shaw (20), East Hartford, 43:02; 4. Susan Mantie (26), New Hartford, 43:36; 5. Michelle Kurnik (27), Hartford, 43:50, 6. Melody Smith (30), Ellington, 43:59; 6. Melissa Emmerich (34), Manchester, 44:32; 7. Sylwia Goobz (35), New Britain, 44:42; 8. Jennifer Rottkamp, Canton, 44:48; 9. Amy Newman, Burlington, 45:43; 10. Elizabeth Krenicky (48), Burlington, 46:04

There were 685 finishers at the first Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday

There were 685 finishers at the first Collinsville Classic 10K Sunday

AGE GROUP results
GIRLS 10-14 — 1. Elizabeth Krenicky, Burlington, 46:04; 2. Megan Blair, Natick Mass. 53:58
GIRLS 15-19 – 1. Sarah Faverweather, Simsbury, 1:06.57, 2. Taylor Anderson, Burlington, 1:12.43
WOMEN 20-24: 1. Melody Smith, Ellington, 43:59, 2. Sylwia Goobz, New Britain, 44:42, 3. Amy Neumann, Burlington, 45:40
WOMEN 25-29: 1. Sarah Mann, Farmington, 51:35, 2. Stephanie Kozicki, West Hartford, 53:21; 3. Larah Winn, Hartford, 53:29
WOMEN 30-34: 1. Michelle Kurnik, Hartford, 43:50, 2. Heather Maine, Hampton, 47:57, 3. Amanda Beaudreau, Windsor, 50:00
WOMEN 35-39: 1. Jacci Pugliese, Southington, 41:46; 2. Jill Weitknecht, Canterbury, 48:05; 3. Katie Robbin, Avon, 48:24
WOMEN 40-44: 1. Melissa Emmerich, Manchester, 44:32; 2. Jennifer Rottkamp, Canton, 44:48; 3. Lisa Pillow, West Hartford, 48:07
WOMEN 45-49: 1. Kathleen Shaw, East Hartford, 43:02, 2. Kathleen Costello, West Hartford, 47:30; 3. Rosanne Tiso, Wolcott, 48:36
WOMEN 50-54: 1. Mary Lynn Currier, Burlington, 40:36; 2. Jeanne Corey, Winsted, 46:21; 3. Miwako Ohta-Agresta, Burlington, 47:17
WOMEN 55-59: 1. Susan Mantie, New Hartford, 43: 36; 2. Catherine Lyons, Bloomfield, 48:06; 3. Lindsay Appel, Wethersfield, 49:02
WOMEN 60-64: 1. Joan Ascheim, North Granby, 55:22; 3. Jody Ceglarski, Bristol, 59:10; 3. Deborah Chessari, Bloomfield, 1:02.42
WOMEN 65-69: 1. Ingrid Chorches, West Hartford, 1:11.24; 2. Sandy Wade, Durham, 1:26.13
ATHENA: 1. Claire Hearn, West Hartford, 52:45; 2. Erin Dukacz, Canton, 55:45; 3. Erin Steinberg, Manchester, 55:04

BOYS 10-14: Matthew Gliet, Avon, 55:49
MEN 20-24: 1. Kevin Lizon, Farmington, 55:56; 2. Max Madore, Simsbury, 1:04.47; 3. Joshua Pena, New Britain, 1:20.06
MEN 25-29: 1. Russell Blair, West Hartford, 41:17, 2. David Gunsallus, Canton, 42:39, 3. Ryan Goodine, Canton, 46:19
MEN 30-34: 1. Jesse Wanzer, Glastonbury, 37:48, 2. Andrew Miller, Farmington, 39:46, 3. Ryan Corbalis, West Hartford, 41:28
MEN 35-39: 1. Kevin Verge, Avon, 39:11; 2. Nathan Holmes, Oakdale, 40:05, 3. Tom Miller, Farmington, 42:34
MEN 40-44: 1. Jason Kasprzak, Simsbury, 40:13, 2. David Fusfeld, Manchester, 41:21, 3. Peter Lee, Avon, 42:46
MEN 45-49: 1. Brett Stoeffler, Tolland, 36:23, 2. Felix Fernandez, New Britain, 42:28, 3. Rob Blackmore, Avon, 44:14
MEN 50-54: 1. Billy Barone, New Haven, 37:30, 2. Kim Marchand, 42:23, 3. Thomas Ksiazkiewicz, Collinsville, 42:58
MEN 55-59: 1. Scott Barrows, Canton, 47:27, 2. Michael Enright, Hartford, 49:56, 3. Mike Fournier, West Hartford, 50:48
MEN 60-64: 1. Dennis Barone, West Hartford, 44:50, 2. Bruce Bussiere, Canton, 48:01, 3. Alan Cementina, Coventry, 52:59
MEN 65-69: 1. Alan Buzzetti, East Hampton, 58:41, 2. William Ullmann, Granby, 1:04.31, 3. Terry Beamish, Canton, 1:46.42
CLYDESDALE: 1. Taylor Kosakowski, Middletown, 43:56, 2. Matt Carroll, West Hartford, 44:13, 3. Tim Lynch, Simsbury, 47:48

Official race results

Need more race photos? More race action from our friends at Canton Compass.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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