Millennium Running’s Cheap Marathon
— the first marathon produced in New England this year and only the third marathon produced in New England since the pandemic began — was held on Sunday, April 11. Traditionally taking place in Salisbury, Mass., the race event was relocated to Derry, NH and Windham, NH, because of COVID-19 restrictions in the Bay State.
With new safety protocols in place, nearly 700 runners hit the Derry and Windham Rail Trail for either a full marathon or half marathon to raise money for the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, the Friends of Derry Rail Trail Alliance and Windham Rail Trail Alliance.
Crossing the finish line first in the full marathon was Erik Hinrichsen, 32, of Newton, Mass., in 2:28:57, followed by runner-up Jason Griffiths of Plymouth, NH, in 2:30:51. “I really wanted to break 2:30 today and I got it,” said Hinrichsen, describing it as an overall fun event.
For females, Courtney Hawkins, 25, of Hollis, NH, took first place in the full marathon with a time of 2:53:08, followed by runner-up Sarah Heisner of Centerville, Mass., at 2:58:50. “It felt great,” Hawkins said after her win. “I just wanted to have fun. I had a blast.”
The flat course and ideal weather conditions also helped the 411 half-marathon finishers. The male half-marathon winner was Samuel Fazioli, 29, of Salem, NH, clocking in at 1:08:07, and the female half-marathon winner was Megan Boucher, 30, of Manchester with a time of 1:19:08.
“I think the athletes have been training through COVID-19 without a lot of racing experiences and have been eager to get to the starting line. This is one of the few opportunities they have had in over a year to do that,” said John Mortimer, founder and owner of Millennium Running. His organization has created a safe, sustainable model that has enabled over 14,000 runners to hit the pavement in various in-person racing events since June of 2020.