Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nahant 30K

I hit up the Nahant 30K hosted by the North Shore Striders today to get in a long sustained effort run. CMS mates Martin Tighe and Arthur Besse were going so I wanted to ensure a team of three would score. Upon my arrival, I was glad to see Scott Leslie there. He is training for the Hartford Marathon as an invited athlete. The start took off and a bunch of GBTC guys moved in behind Scott who would end up taking the win in 5:45 pace. I settled in around Arthur, Martin, and Andrew from SRR. I had some laughs with EJ and James who were busting on "those guys from CMS." My Garmin was useful today as I was mindful of keeping my pace in check each mile. I had no business running sub 6:00 pace as that was bound to explode in my face on a warm day. I thought mid to low sixes was sustainable. Time would tell. The other factor was electrolyte replacement for which I was testing today. I packed three saltstick capsules and two PowerGel's for old time sake for the adventure. I popped the first capsule after five miles. There were water/gatorade stops every three miles. Martin started to take off after the lead woman while I stayed back with the gents above.

Krissy was taking photos about at the top of the Northeastern University loop. The mile splits to this point were any where from 6:10 to 6:25. The miles rolled by and I chased any shade on the road and hit all tangents. I took on the second saltstick capsule after 11 miles. I pulled away from the guys and concentrated on going after the lead woman who was about a minute ahead. I found myself alone for the first time in the race only getting by some sunshine starters and the oncoming runners who were heading into their mile 9. James pulled up next to me when we saw Krissy for the 2nd time on Northeastern University loop. He said he had to run a sub six to catch me. James pulled away going up the hills past the Nahant Library. I caught both just before the Nahant Life Saving station. Little Nahant was a beast as usual with the hills. I took my last saltstick at the last water stop where the Kay family was working. I ripped my fastest mile, 6:02, from 17 to 18. I was tired but excited that I had no muscle cramps. I approached the finish where my dad watched on one side and Krissy on the ocean side taking photos. I placed 9th overall with a time of 1:57:56, 6:20 / mile pace. For perspective, I ran 6:17 pace, 1:57 last year in the USATF New England Championship. I picked up a New Balance running hat for third place in my age group. I was pleased how my race shook out. 

At the finish

Myself, Arthur Besse, Scott Leslie, Martin Tighe

With Dad

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lone Gull 10K - Gloucester

Sunday lined up the Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester which was race six of the USATF New England Road Race Grand Prix. The weather conditions were awesome with temps in the 60’s and sunny. I started about five rows from the starting line on the right. The early miles are easy along the water and getting pulled by the colorful flow of runners ahead and around. Hearing a mile split of 5:25, I looked ahead to catch teammate Arthur Besse who would end up running a PR for the day. A climb into mile two gave me some separation away from Craig Fram and Arthur just under 11 minutes. I cruised on the downhill out to the water and the level road toward Eastern Point. I was eyeing Robert Cipriano about five seconds ahead into the rare shade into three miles (16:28). He remained elusive as failed to catch him. Mile four went by and one could see way ahead as we headed back to the water. I could see CMS teammates Joe Shairs and Todd Callaghan working together and I wanted some of that as I closed in along the water. I hung onto Joe Lauer (SRR) and Mark Larosa (BAA) for a bit as they looked in command when they passed me. They pulled me into mile five around 27:47. I was closing in on Todd and Heather Cappello who turned out to be women's winner. We were biting right into the wind and that was challenging along with the tired legs. I managed to pass Todd and Heather after six miles on the downhill into the final stretch for a 34:40 (net time) or 34:43 (gun time and 5:36 / mile) and placed 72nd. This 10K was 12 seconds faster than the Level Renner 10K effort back on August 17th. The CMS teams ran well with a team finish of 2nd in the open/masters and third in the Senior division. Full results of the 2014 Lone Gull 10K.
Photo by Scott Mason
Check out his photos at
Below are my USATF New England 10K championship results over the last six years.
2014 34:40 (net time) Lone Gull 10K - Gloucester, MA
2013 35:29 (net time) Lone Gull 10K - Gloucester, MA
2012 35:22 Newton 10K - Newton, MA
2011 34:17 James Joyce Ramble 10K – Dedham, MA
2010 35:43 Bridge of Flowers – Shelburne Falls, MA
2009 34:30 Lone Gull 10K - Gloucester, MA
2008 35:12 Bridge of Flowers – Shelburne Falls, MA

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.