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ZAP Athletes Put Mark on Manchester Road Race

Blowing Rock, NC - ZAP sent 5 athletes to the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day to compete in the most competitive Turkey Trot in the country. All five athletes had competed two weeks prior in Richmond, VA, and they carried the good momentum into Manchester.

First year athlete Tyler Pennel led the way for the men in what was the fastest day in recent history. After battling with Olympian Donn Cabral and multiple time US Champion Bobby Mack (RRCA Roads Scholar) over the final mile, Tyler finished in 5th place with a time of 21:36. The course is an odd distance at 4.748 miles, so if you want to do the math that’s 4:33 per mile pace. Not far behind in 8th place, also making his debut at the Manchester Road Race, was Mike Crouch crossing the line in 21:44.

After finishing in 10th place last year with a time of 22:24, Cameron Bean just missed cracking the top 10 again this year finishing in 12th place. However, his time of 21:56 shows great improvement over where he was at this time last year. Cole Atkins finished in 14th place and his time of 22:06 was 40sec faster than the last time he ran this race in 2010.

In the women’s race Sarah Crouch (formerly Sarah Porter - RRCA Roads Scholar) was the lone ZAP representative. Sarah raced aggressively from the beginning crossing the mile marker with the lead women under 5:00. She finished strongly in 6th place, just edging out British Olympian Barbara Parker. Sarah covered the course in 25:12, and on the heels of her 26:12 8k performance in Richmond has put together a great fall racing sequence.

All the athletes that competed at Manchester are looking forward to the US Cross Country Championships in St. Louis at the beginning of February. Manchester concluded their fall racing, and they will next see action early in 2013!

In other Turkey Day action, Esther Erb competed in the Thanksgiving Day 5k in Charleston. She raced to a 2nd place finish and a time of 16:46. She will be in action next with teammate, Alissa McKaig (RRCA Roads Scholar) at the Main Street Crit in downtown Columbia, SC the night of December 8th. Alissa will follow up the Main Street Crit with her final race of the year at the Jacksonville Half Marathon - which she won last year in her tune-up to the Olympic Trials. Esther will be looking forward to the Naples Half toward the end of January.

Jesse competed in the Fukuoka Marathon this past Sunday. Unfortunately, he was forced to withdraw from the race just past the halfway mark after suffering problems with his hamstring. He looks to make a full recovery and gear his efforts toward having a good spring next year.

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