Sunday, September 7, 2014

GBTC XC Festival - Wellesley

The Greater Boston Track Club was hosting the first race of the USATF New England Cross Country Grand Prix at Elm Park in Wellesley. They hosted an 8K two years ago. Today was cut down to a 5K which I approve of as a fine start to the cross country season. The open race (39 masters had a race 30 minutes before us) got started about twenty minutes late. I did a 3 mile warm up with Rodney Hemingway and Dennis Floyd on the course and had to hang around for a while. Michael P. Mahone did the Star Spangled Banner just after Tom Derderian busted out the Harmonica for some Dixie. The race went out fast as it should. 300m into the race narrowed onto a trail along the Charles River. I was way back with a 5:28 mile according to Garmin. The second mile had the only hill up onto a soccer field. I passed a few runners before mile 2 (5:34) before heading into the shaded roots along the Charles River for a loop. I slowed in here and I knew it. Time was running out and I was just watching my steps along the roots. I got to the finish line in 30th place (out of 56 runners) and a time of 17:18. I did a 4.25 mile cool down with a big group out to Wellesley College (Boston Marathon Course) and back via Pond Street. Next on the racing schedule is the Lone Gull 10K.

2014 Greater Boston Track Club Cross Country Festival results

Monday, September 1, 2014

GMAA Labor Day 15K

August 31, 2014 - South Burlington, VT
The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosted a rolling 15K USATF New England Championship today. Very light rain and humidity did not damper the effort. I jumped out to a 5:48 mile - a little slower than my goal of 5:40. The miles rolled by and a few hills thinned out the crowd ahead of me. I managed to catch up to Joe Shairs and Morgan Kennedy at the same time - before 4 miles. I did not bother looking at my splits but was motoring good with Morgan. I hit a wall climbing on the bike path and he got away. He battled Daniel Button (GLRR) for a bit. I kept them in sight and navigated behind, finally catching them on a downhill stretch over a highway. I was doing good on the downhills but was losing a step climbing so I had to focus on the down and uphill finish stretch. I passed Daniel on the down hill heading back to the school and got beside Morgan who encouraged me to go for it. I kept the little bit of momentum and struggled up the last of the hill into the school driveway. I held them off but got passed just before the line by Adron Pitman. I was satisfied with the effort even though I know I had a garbage mile in the middle somewhere where the hills took the wind out of me and the legs. 47th place, 53:46.8 (3:35/kilometer). CMS finished 2nd overall in the open and masters divisions which was awesome. I got a cool down in with Joe and Al before having some post race goodies in the school. An early checkout at the hotel had Krissy and I bailing sooner than I wanted to. We cleaned up and spent the rest of the day in downtown having brunch with ol' friend Derek and chilling out in the park overlooking Lake Champlain. The umbrellas were mandatory.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lynn Woods Relay

Dennis, I, Maggie, and Dawn
August 20, 2014
Dennis Floyd asked me if I would do the relay with him, Maggie Doben, and Dawn McGrath. Why not? It would be fun to be on a coed team - first time for me at the relay. The relay is 4 X 2.5 miles. I submitted the entry and team name of SpiderOne a week before the race. I led off with a 14:19 which put the team in 4th place overall - behind Greg Putnam and the Central Mass Striders team that also included Aaron Baldwin, Matt Veiga, and Dan Verrington. Maggie Doben got a course PR and handed off to Dennis. He picked up a few spots and handed off to Dawn McGrath who also set a course PR. At the end of the night, we scored a 2nd place showing in the coed division and 9th overall out of 100+ teams. I capped off the night with Krissy and the Wicked Running Club at Prince Pizza.

Level Renner 10K Brockton

August 17, 2014
The Level Renner 10K is beautiful two loop road course with rolling hills within D.W. Field Park in Brockton. 80% of the course is in the shade. CMS had more than seven men in the race including Nate Jenkins, Greg Putnam, Joe Shairs, Al Bernier (making his 40 year old debut), Jason Porter, and Scott Deslongchamps. We were gunning for the team prize money. Five scored this year as opposed to the three from last year. The start headed up the road passing the lookout tower. This hill is a beast as we encounter it two more times. I was with Jason Porter, Joe Shairs, and Robert Cipriano in the early miles. Al was about five seconds ahead and looking very strong after my 5:35 opening mile. I got a little room away from those guys about half way through. Al was not coming back as he built up 15 seconds on me. I recall going through mile 5 around 28:00. Robert passed me and caught Al with 800 meters to go. They had an envious battle up the last hill. Al stopped and dry heaved just after six miles. I urged him to get back in it - he did but lost time and three spots. Meanwhile, I had someone breathing down my neck - John Bigoutte from CT. He edged me at the very end. Joe was ten seconds back and Al was in behind him. My time was 34:52 for 10th - almost a minute quicker than last year. The team won but no team prize exchanged hands due to lack of teams. Race director, KG has to pay the bills which is fine by me. No problem as I picked up a Garmin GPS watch that went to Krissy's sister.
A mess upon finishing the Level Renner 10K
Full Results

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Asbury Grove Duathlon - Hamilton

August 9, 2014
This is how I roll - about to jump into the run in Asbury Grove
The weekend was clear (free to race) and always wanted to do this duathlon (2.4 mile run, 9.0 mile bike, 2.4 mile run)from Asbury Grove. Roger Perham and Asbury Grove host the event. You can’t beat this event which cost just $10 (used to be $5). A little more thought in terms of preparation must go into an event like this from an athlete point of view. One must ensure all gear, bike, clothing, hydration, et cetera is in order. I really don’t know what I am doing out there so just went with the flow in terms of effort. In doing so, I led through the first run, 2.4 miles. – 13:24 and transitioned into my shoes to clip into the bike. Meanwhile, 2nd place, Jeffrey Capoianco, flew past on his bike. I never saw him again as he traveled the next 9.7 miles (full bike distance) on the bike at a 24.4 mph clip. Pretty fast. The bike is not my strength and I don’t pretend. I just pedaled and assumed a few athletes would pass me. We biked past Bradley Palmer State Park, Willowdale, and Turner Hill. There were a few hills but not too bad. Two athletes did pass me and one included friend, Brett Rickenbach with a few miles to go before we would transition into the last 2.4 mile run. The bike portion took me 31:01 with an average speed of 18.8 mph (6th overall). I reeled Brett in after a mile on the run taking over third place. I ran out of room but was gaining on second place, Shane Sherwood. I finished 3rd overall (58:01) but again had the quickest time for that run (13:46). It was fun and hard at the same time. Meanwhile, Krissy finished her first ever duathlon. She rocked it. We had a nice pancake breakfast inside the Grove and then paid a visit with the Rich family. It was a good day and nice way to start the vacation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Squantum 5 mile road race Quincy

I broke out the blue Level Renner singlet for the 5 mile race around the corner from the office in the beautiful Marina Bay - Quincy. The race had a new calendar date in August in order to have a post-race venue. The race is usually held in June. The night was warm but lacked the humidity. I spoke with race director JJ Larner before the race to consult on the slight course adaptation to work around construction in Squantum Point Park. This would cut off about 1/10th of a mile. Indeed, I measured out 4.92 miles on the GPS. I jumped out to 5:25 1st mile – unchallenged chasing the police car that paved the way along the roads I frequently train on. I pressed as hard as possible solo which is hard in the hills of Squantum. I backed off the pace with 200m to go to make sure I did not break 27:29 which is my PR on the course and stay out of the top ten of the fastest times here. With the shortened course, I did not want the time to mistakenly get on that list. I took the win with a 27:37 on the 4.92 mile course. Another 10th of a mile would provide a low 28 effort which is solid. The post-race venue at the Water Club, upstairs, in Marina Bay was welcomed. The view of the city of Boston skyline and sun going down with a pink sky was perfect to end the day. There were plenty of hops and hot dogs were available. I caught up with Michelle and Bob (age group award winner) from New England Runner. The household subscription is in Krissy’s name so I came clean that I am still supporting it. Full results 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yankee Homecoming 10 mile - Newburyport

The Central Mass Striders team heading to the Yankee Homecoming 10 mile road race in Newburyport only had four men on the day of the race. Five are needed to score. I decided that morning to fill in as the 5th guy. I left work 3:00, picked up Krissy, and sat back for a quick ride up Rt 95. I signed up at registration and made sure I made contact with Jason Porter, Dan Verrington, Nick Taormina, and Patrick Rich to confirm we were all there for a potential scoring team. I tried to recall the last time I ran the race. 2008 was the last time I was there and it was a USATF New England Championship event. I ran 56:48 (5:41) and placed 48th. My expectations last night were to get under 58:00. I got a light warm up running from the parking lot to the high school to hear the 5K go off at 6:00. I jogged around Anna Jaques Hospital, did some light stretching, and got into the starting line three rows from the line two minutes before the starting gun. The start is flat and easy to find room on the wide street. I heard a 5:28 1st mile split. A nice downhill to the water and heard a 2nd mile of 11:00. I was in the back of a solid group of at least 10 guys including Jason Porter (CMS), Caleb Evanter (GBTC), Matt Germain (SISU), and Robert Cipriano (SRR). I did not know the other guys as they were all new young faces to me.
Heading up the driveway to the finish line
Photo by KrissyK

Photo by KrissyK
My pace was quicker than what I felt I could sustain for 10 miles but just went with it knowing that I would be positioned very well if I kept with that group for as long as possible. I was really pumped to be in that competitive group. We took on the first real climb up toward Maudsley State Park and a water stop just after 5 miles. I heard a split of 28:10. That was a good half way split considering my all out five mile race for the year was around 27:43 in May. The pack thinned out on that hill and I slipped off that group. I got back into the back of that group crossing the Rt. 95 overpass behind Eric Williams (Whirlaway) and Caleb Evanter. We took a left into residential neighborhood to the left of Maudsley and watched Caleb take off with authority. I started to feel the effect of my quicker than usual pacing. I hung in there and battled anyone around me leaving the Maudsley area up a hill where I felt I was running so slow. I crossed over Rt 95 once again with less than 2.5 miles to go. I was beat and just looking for the finish line. I ran with a young guy into the last mile. I lost a few spots in the last mile as my wheels were coming off. It was a good sight to see the orange cones leading us into the Newburyport High School driveway. I maintained stride up the driveway and into the finish to a delighted sight of the clock ticking in the 56 minutes. I finished with a time of 56:47 (5:41) – chip time of 56:45 – 22nd place overall. I was very happy with the time and effort. I had absolutely nothing left. It has been a while since I had a ten mile time that quick. I caught up with some competitors and headed out for a cool down with Patrick Rich and Steve Dowsett who ran us past his house off High Street. I ran another mile with Jason Porter and Dan Verrington. CMS placed 4th overall. My stomach was a mess so I headed back to find Krissy and get some nourishment as I was very light headed.  I will post up some photos that Krissy took once they are uploaded