One of the oldest New Hampshire Road Racing traditions took to the streets of Concord last Saturday morning. With unusually cool summer conditions and a special 50th Anniversary celebration, the 2017 Bill Luti 5 Miler proved to be one for the record books. The race was founded in 1968 by the famed Concord High School coach himself as a summer workout/fitness tune-up for his athletes and eventually turned into one of the oldest New Hampshire Road Racing traditions. This year, coach Luti turns 97 and doesn’t appear a day over 77.
AIC alum Glarius Rop fronted the race with Gate City Strider Jake Wormald, UAlbany alum Aaron Lozier, and run/ski legend Justin Freeman giving chase. Rop made a huge surge shortly before the mile mark, dropped the field, and never let up. Rop cruised into the finish to win in 25’34, one of the faster times seen in recent years of the Luti race. Freeman turned up in 2nd with a 26’07, Lozier 3rd in 26’20, and Wormald 4th in 26’40.
The most impressive performances of the day were within the women’s race as Rabbit elite athlete Rachel Schilkowsky took her talents to the roads and continued a stellar year of racing. With a dominant performance, Schilkowsky blazed the hilly 5 miler in 27 minutes, 56 seconds, besting Heidi Westover’s course record by 25 seconds. Rachel and her husband John are newly minted New England Distance athletes and recently closed on a new home in the Providence area. Erin Lane (29’44), Pascaline Jerotich (30’20), and Amber Ferreira (30’25) rounded out the top 4 females. In addition to the fast times, perhaps the most legendary result of the day came within the women’s veteran’s division. At age 60, Joan Benoit Samuelson proved she’s still got it down, placing 9th overall for women in 31’44, age-grading to an incredible 97.12%*.
Results courtesy of Granite State Race Services
Some GoPro finish line footage via Mike Giberti:
*For those unfamiliar with age-grading, the percentages are based on the current world record and multipliers are used based on age. So 100% would be the equivalent of a world record performance relative to your age.