Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Seasons 20K road race

I was rolling along with Dave Dunham early in the race. I did not feel sharp but planned on rolling hard down the hills and press in the middle of the race. The hills continued with the humid air and cloud cover. We were racing the Seasons 20K, race number five of the New England Grand Prix, touring the back roads of Acton. I couldn’t believe the splits consistent in sixes, slower than what I wanted. I said to Dave “it is what it is.” He was quiet but steady company. We went back and forth through the hills until I was gassed out shortly after the wind and rain that passed through after 7 miles? It felt good, temps dropped a few degrees. Runners ahead including Dave and several Whirlaway guys ran past Shaker Lane (after 10 miles?) which was coned. I followed the runners for a few seconds trusting them for just that long before telling/asking Matt Germain “isn’t the course back over there?” He agreed and we yelled ahead for the guys to come on back to the course. Maybe 15 seconds were lost for me but far more for the guys ahead to had to come back to the course. I kept with Matt and Dan Chruniak for as long as I could back out on Rt 2A but relented in the final mile. I crossed the line in 1:18:21 (1:18:18 chip time) good for 43rd but should have been maybe 15 to 20 spots behind that if the guys did not run off course.  My teammates of Todd Callaghan, Ed Sheldon, and Dave Dunham lost a minute to two minutes out there with the course mix up. Oh well. Our masters team came in 2nd place in a good battle with Whirlaway. While reflecting, my time was almost five minutes slower than last year, 1:18:18 vs 1:13:23. Not sure what to make of that while my effort on Sunday was “race pace.” Full race results

Charlie Bemis leading the charge after the rain fell. I am way back in our pack starting to fade before Shaker Lane.
Photo by Paul Hammond

Coming into the finish area with Joe Navas chasing. He was impacted by the Shaker Lane missed turn three miles earlier.
Photo by Paul Hammond

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Hampshire 10 miler

Joe Shairs drove the North Shore bus of Gregory Putnam, Todd Callaghan, and I from Peabody to Auburn NH in just under 50 minutes. I have never been to Auburn and frankly never heard of Lake Massabesic or Massabesic Lake. The area was hosting the USATF New England 10 mile road race championship – race number 4 of 7 in 2016. All I knew about the race was that it had some hills as CMS teammates Ed Sheldon, Dave Dunham checked out the course recently. Scott Mindel agreed after racing his 54:40 winning time there a year ago. The 10 mile race was a perimeter loop around the lake. I got my number and then headed over to the timing van to confirm and validate some team stuff. I got set up in the racing gear and did a warm up on the bike path which was nice to see.

The race lined up and I started next to Joe about three rows from the line. The sun was out and temps were in the 70’s and waiting to pop into the 80’s. The race bolted out and I settled in behind some ladies. We got strict instruction from race director John Mortimer to stay to the right of the yellow lines on the street at all times. That was really restrictive in the first few miles of the race. With a course of all right hand turns, it did not matter after 10 minutes of racing.

Joe Shairs, Todd Callaghan, and Josh Perks were about 10 seconds ahead after two miles. I was jealous but respected the pace and distance for which we were up against. I did not want to risk a heavy surge to connect with them. The mile splits were just under or just over six minutes per mile which was in order of my abilities for 10 miles. My goal was to compete well and finish under one hour (wanted to run 58:59). I could not help but be reminded that the course felt like I was running around Lake Winnipesaukee as it related to a lake and the hills.

I got tired of seeing the Aubrun hills as I got to the half way point on the course which was reached in 30:28 (thought my watch had me around 30:19). SRR training partner Kieran Condon passed me right around then and I gave him advice shortly after to continue to fly down any hills he saw for the rest of the course. I am glad the course had the in and out of Hunting Way (even the dreaded pace killer 180 around the cones) so that I could see who I was chasing and who was chasing me. I noted Dan Verrington and Dave Dunham were chasing me. The Perks, Callaghan, Shairs trio was broken up a bit with competitors in between about 20 seconds ahead. Strangely, I did not see any other master runners among them so with me as the 5th scoring runner for the team at the moment, it looked pretty good for CMS.

I was feeling listless into mile 6 but the down hills were helping me. I put a good effort on all that rolled down using it to my benefit and gave me some back and forth with the guys around me like Kieran. I caught up to Joe after 7 miles along Rt. 28. It was nice to finally run with a teammate. A few minutes later, we came upon a hill that looked to be the longest of the course. Joe mumbled a few f-bombs and admitted to be backing off. Dan Verrington flew by on the hill looking very good. He would soon finish as the top Senior (50+) runner of the day. He put a few seconds on me to the top as we reached mile 9. The course would drop right down to set us both up for a few right hand turns into the finish where I scooted ahead of Dan to the finish.

My time was 1:00:53 (gun time) or 1:00:49.4 chip time, placed me 68th overall. The 5 mile splits were: 30:28 and 30:22 – a negative split. Dan was 4 seconds back and Joe was 27 seconds back. Josh and Todd crossed the line in 1:00:11 & 1:00:18. Gregory Putnam ran 56:59 to score as our top master for the team and top master of the race. The masters team picked up the win while the Seniors team placed 2nd and open team 3rd.

The team headed out for an easy cool down on the trails nearby along the lake about 15 minutes later. My right calf cramped on two occasions. The post race venue under the pines trees was cool. I had ice cream and muscle milk which the team appreciated. Looking back on the race, I am glad the race had more shade than I expected. The next USATF races next month for the team and I are the Seasons 20K in Acton and the Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lynn Woods Relay

The Lynn Woods relay has been a summer tradition. Four runners each take a run at 2.5 miles of up and down hills in Lynn Woods. As of 3pm yesterday, I was homeless, letting my CMS mates who have frequented the Lynn Woods races all summer recruit another to fill out a team. My attempt to get a CMS masters team fell through too. So it did not look good so I planned on just running over to to watch the race. But, a tip from Brett Rickenbach advised Junyong Pak was seeking to fill out his team. Boom, I was in as of hours before the race. Junyong and I were on a previous Lynn Woods relay team moons ago. I sprinted home and met up with Brett and we ran over to the race. I found Junyong to get my number and then with Manuel Rednon and Kyle Hewson who made up our team.

Pak led off with a 14:10 (7th fastest split of the day) and handed off to Manuel (owner of Los Chamos -  a Venezuelan Restaurant on Union Street) who turned an ankle out on the goat path but toughed it out on his first run (18:26) in Lynn Woods. He handed off to Kyle, a sophomore at Beverly High School aiming to crack the top 5 in cross country next month. He got through in 17:38. I was the anchor and took off out onto the course. I cheered on every person and club runner in sight. There was no pressure but wanted to run the 15 minutes that I said I would do. I felt pretty good but all climbing was taxing. I saw Oti Pizarro at the turn-around and thought I might have a chance to catch him on the way back to the finish. I pressed on and made up the gap only at the top of the last hill (400m before the finish). I passed him on the way down and brought it home with a split of 15:08 – good for 2nd fastest master time behind David Long. The team finished 9th overall. Not too bad. Team Results

I capped off the night with Krissy and the Wicked Running Club at Polcaris on Rt. 1 for Pizza. It gave me some time to catch up with friends.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bobby Doyle 5 mile road race - Narragansett, RI

Gregory Putman drove Joe Shairs and I to Narragansett, RI for the USATF New England 5 mile road race Championships. The 9th Annual Bobby Doyle race was race number three for the 2016 road race Grand Prix Series. The series has waited since the New Bedford Half Marathon in March. I picked up my new team jacket from Steve and went out for a warm up which was not really needed with the temps and humidity rising. I got in about 10 minutes before lining up at the start, five rows back next to Joe. The race bolted out of the school driveway and took a right down a slight hill before climbing up a bit. I settled in with a 5:29 1st mile. I got behind Joe after 2 miles which my pace slowed down to a 5:43 mile (pretty normal for me). 

The 3rd mile out on the water pinged a 5:41 mile (hey not too bad) and I got a step in front of Joe. The 5K split was 18 minutes. My personal temperature gauge was maxing out. I wilted shortly thereafter and it got ugly with the next mile coming in a 6:12. There was a hill in there that I would not typically call a hill with the mountain races that I witness. But this hill felt like a mountain and it was not too bad. Runners past by and I all I could do was keep my head down and just shuffle along. The last mile was no faster as I saw some carnage with a few folks stopping or dropping out. I managed to find some energy to get close to Dan Verrington at the very end to score as our 5th master runner of the day. The 29:47 chip time is a good minute plus slower than my time last year. It is what it is. On the good news front, the open team placed 2nd while the Masters and Senior teams took first place. A flurry of Grand Prix races are coming up: 10 mile, 20K, 10K.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Friday Night Lights 10,000m

I jumped into a 10,000 meter track race on Friday night. It was hosted by the Western Mass Distance Project and Greater Boston Track Club. This is the 2nd year of the race, however, the field was expanded out for extra heats to allow for athletes to participate in the USATF New England Championship (for the outdoor track meet to be held on July 29 & 30). It was also available for All Terrain Runner points which was my objective. I was not going to participate in a 10K on a track but this opportunity came up and this was the last chance.

My heat, #2, was scheduled to start at 7:40PM at Danehy Park in Cambridge (800 meters from Fresh Pond and the Alwife T-stop). It was a hot night with some lightning that followed after my race. That lightning delayed the elite women's race by a half hour. I passed a few runners during the 25 lap race, as well as, got passed by the top four runners in the race which was won by TJ Unger who ran just under 34 minutes. My quickest lap was my last one, 84 seconds. My slowest lap was the 14th in 91 seconds. It looks like I had five laps at 90 seconds, all of which came after that 91 in the second half of the race.

The top master of the race, Chad Carr passed me during the race. I managed to keep him close in the last 8 laps of my race. His presence helped me stay somewhat focused in the long and hot race. I finished in 12th place, 36:42.9, in the heat (not bad considering I was seed # 31) and 2nd master runner. I was pretty exhausted as I could see that in everyone out there competing. Thank you Stephen Peckiconis for tracking my lap splits and more importantly, keeping count of my laps. He was also keeping track of Patrick Bugbee's laps too. Also, I need to thank Dave Dunham and Krissy for the vocal support during the race.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Level Renner 10K

I headed down to D.W. Field Park, the gem in Brockton for the Level Renner 10K with Joe Shairs, Gregory Putnam, and Krissy. We met up with Dan Vassallo and looked for the rest of our team. Where were the other four guys? DL? We were concerned with team not scoring. We needed a few more to cross the finish line. I could not convince Eric Narcisi to put the Dunkin flatbread and Iced Mocha down and jog for a 10K. Actually, he was in the midst of race duty so he was out. I swung a last minute deal for Dave Kraal and Samuel Fazioli to run with us.

Joe and I ran together for the 1st mile and a half under a mix of shade and sun. It was warm. The 1st mile was around 5:46 and I heard a 2nd mile split that just about doubled that. Up tower hill for the 2nd time, I ran with Jake Barnett for the next couple of miles during the rolling hills before he woke up and dusted me by 33 ticks. I stayed in the same position, 13th all the way to the finish line, in an exhausted manner. I posted up an average of 5:51 pace per mile, and 36:19, with zero turn-over in the last two miles.

Kevin Balance, CEO of Level Renner enterprises and team put on a good show for the 200+ runners. Tons of raffle prizes were given away. Our team picked up the first place prize which was cool. My 3rd place age group got me a gift certificate to Charles River Running in Norwood. I gave it to Dave as he lives in Weymouth - a lot closer to him. Lastly, my bib number was called pretty early and afforded me a New Balance gift card for some new kicks. All in all, a pretty good day for all.

I am back at it with a last minute decision to run in the Friday Night Lights 10K for some All Terrain points.

KrissyK SmugMug 2016 Level Renner 10K photos
Scott Mason photos
2016 Level Renner 10K results

Joe Shairs and I after the first climb up tower hill. Dave Kraal has the white hat behind Joe.
Photo by KrissyK
Jake Barnett and I just after the 2nd climb up Tower Hill around 2.25 miles
Photo by KrissyK
3rd and final time past Tower Hill and to the finish
Photo by KrissyK

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Miles Over the Moon 4 mile - Salem

Krissy and I post-race
I won a free entry to the Miles Over the Moon 4 mile race courtesy of the North Shore Road Race Guide a few weeks ago. The race is unique with a  Friday night, 8:00PM start. I picked up my number, ran a warm up with Bradley Gates and Chris Nolin, showing them as much of the 1st and last mile that I studied prior. The race opened up with a loop around the Salem Common on the road (not inside the common via the path). Four guys were immediately out quick wasting no time taking charge. Once the dust settled, I went by three runners within the first mile and was now in 4th place cranking through a 5:19 mile on Derby Street. I noticed ahead that Jordan Kinley was dropping off the lead pack now down to 2 that included Dan Chruniak. I would maintain my place heading behind the Salem Willows and out of it hitting mile 2 with a 5:39 split. The hill at Deadhorse beach is a beast and provided me with a 5:44 split now heading back to the Salem Commons. A few turns later, I was on the Salem Common for a full lap around it on the stone dust path. I knew I would be close to 5:30 pace so I tried to stay with that stride while the legs tired. I saw the clock at 21:39 and I made a sprint to break 22 minutes. I would end up with a 22:00 bib time and 22:01 gun time. 4th place, 1st master runner. I was happy with the effort and it has been a while since I was in the 5:30’s for a race distance beyond 5K. My GPS measured out 3.93 so that calculated out to 5:36 pace per mile. I ran a 4 mile race in Salem (Frosty 4) over pretty much the same course on January 1 with a 5:50 pace per mile. A little progress since then! Full results of the Miles Over the Moon event. I ran a cool down with Dan (won with 5:00/mile average), 2nd place runner Jon Lindenauer (new to the area from Hudson Valley who ran 5:03/mile pace), and Chris Nolin who was the 4th place master over to the Pickering Wharf and more of Derby Street before the darkness fell on the evening.

Finish line in the Salem Commons
photo via video, KrissyK