Runners sprint to the finish in Mile Down the Pike race

Jeff Kurjiaka (No. 116) and Robet Held (No. 30) finished one-two in the M&T Bank Mile Down the Pike.

MONROE, CT — Runners put their mile pace to the test in the 2nd annual Mile Down the Pike race on Sunday. Jeff Kurjiaka led the field, narrowly edging out Robert Held. Kurjiaka finished with a time of 4:50, just one second ahead of Held.

“It feels great but it was harder than I thought it was going to be,” said Kurjiaka, adding he was surprised by the ambitious approach at the starting line. “They all went out a little fast.”

The key to recording a good time, Kurjiaka said, was taking advantage of the downhill course and adrenaline. Having started at Firemen’s Field runners had a downhill run all the way to the finish line near the intersection of Route 111 and Elm Street.

Held said he was striving to beat his personal record time of 5:05, going back 15 years when he was in high school. Setting a new PR and finishing in under five minutes was a nice accomplishment.

“I guess I’m in better shape now than I was in high school,” Held said.

Andrea Myers placed sixth in a time of 5:11 and was the top female finisher.

“It’s awesome. This is a great event. It’s cool being at the beginning of the parade,” said Myers, adding runners were treated to a nice sunny day that was not too hot.

Organized by the Monroe Memorial Day Parade Committee, the race preceded the parade.

Philip Tisi was third in 4:58, Jasper McHugh fourth in 5:04, Jonathan Ganino fifth in 5:11, Zachary Tracy followed Myers and placed seventh in 5:16, Lars Van Bakel came in eighth in 5:27, Welsey Oliveria came in ninth in 5:32 and Abigail O’Neil rounded out the top 10 in 5:32.

Complete race results may be found by clicking here.

Philip Tisi came in third.
Jonathan Ganino was fifth and Andrea Myers sixth and the top female.
Jasper McHugh came in fourth.
Zachary Tracy was the seventh fastest finisher.
Lars Van Bakel came across the finish line in eighth place.
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