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Record-setting pace and win for Fengler; Browns wins race for first time

Wallingford’s Elizabeth Fengler celebrates after winning the Burlington to Collinsville 10K Classic Sunday. (Photo courtesy Hartford Marathon Foundation)

CANTON, May 7, 2023 – Wallingford’s Elizabeth Fengler ran three road races this weekend.

On Saturday, she ran two races for fun. “I took both pretty easy,” she said. And she won them both, finishing as the top woman in the Franklin PTO Trail Run over 3.1 miles and as the top woman in the Sail to the Finish, a quick 1.24-mile event.

On Sunday, Fengler ran for the course record and erased it by nearly two minutes as she was the top woman in the eighth annual Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K road race. She also finished second overall with her race record time of 38:02 over the 6.2-mile course, the best finish ever for a woman in race history.

Colby Brown, a 21-year-old from the Terryville section of Plymouth, won the race for the first time after a pair of top three finishes over the past two years. Brown won the race in 35:31, more than two and a half minutes ahead of Fengler.

“It was pretty lonely,” Brown said. “I led line to line but it’s a nice course, a flat one and it’s a beautiful day. I just enjoyed myself instead of really killing myself.”

Brown finished second in the race in 2022 and third in 2021.

Runners cross over the former railroad bridge over the Farmington Rover near the finish line in Sunday’s Burlington Collinsville 10K Classic.

Fengler, 27, also ran by herself for most of the race. She beat third place finisher Joe Decker of Meriden by nearly 50 seconds. Fengler raced the race volunteer on a bike, who rode in front of her warning other folks on the Farmington River trail that a race was in progress.

“I knew for this race I wanted to break the record,” Fengler said. “My college PR (for 6 kilometers or 6.2 miles) is a 37:09. I just needed to be under a 6:10 pace per mile and I would be in great shape.”

The previous women’s race record of 39:58 was set in 2017 by Mary Lynn Currier of Burlington, the only woman in the race’s history to run the course under 40 minutes.

“I thought it was really nice and peaceful,” Fengler said. “I loved what we had for weather compared to the last few weekends.

Fengler, who graduated from Sheehan High in Wallingford, ran one year of track and field and cross country at Southern Connecticut State University.

And this weekend, in the span of a little more than 24 hours, Fengler, who is also the head coach of the Berlin High boys cross country program, picked up three first place trophies.

Colby Brown, left, and Elizabeth Fengler won their respectiive races at the eighth annual Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K.

There were nearly 600 runners in the race. Race officials said 597 runners finished the race.

Canton’s Bruce Bussiere won the age 65-69 category with a time of 48:41, good enough for 81st place. Canton’s Jennifer Rottkamp won the women’s 45-49 division with a time of 48:25. Finally, Burlington’s Ruben Figueroa won the men’s 45-49 division with a time of 44:24.

The previous best finish for a woman in the race was eighth overall by Currier in the first year of the race in 2016.

2023 Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K
At Canton
Overall (top 10) –
Colby Brown, Terryville, 35:31 for 6.2 miles, 2. Elizabeth Fengler, Wallingford, 38:02, 3. Joe Decker, Meriden, 38:56, 4. Collin Barker, Meriden, 39:14, 5. James Warren, Glastonbury 39:17, 6. Paulo Dias, Waterbury, 39:38, 7. James Cole, Killingworth, 40:23, 8. Chris Parkin, Orange, 40:35, 9. Dylan Lankford, Bethany, 40:50, 10. Andrew Nigro, West Hartford, 40:52
Top 10 women – Elizabeth Fengler, Wallingford (2nd overall), 38:02, new course record. Old mark was 39:58 by MaryLynn Currier in 2017, 2. Linda Spooner (12), Sturbridge, MA, 41:20, 3. Rebecca Stephenson (13), Unionville, 41:39, 4. Glenne Fucci (16), New York City, 42:18, 5. Lauren Longley (26), Collinsville, 44:19, 6. Jennifer Feda (41), Burlington, 45:58, 7. Gail Heffron (48), Shelton, 46:55, 8. Emily Uresti (55), Chaplin, 47:37, 9. Melissa Goclowski (65), Unionville, 48:07, 10. Pauline Parrish (70), Glastonbury, 48:20
Total finishers: 597

All race results

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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