Monday, January 14, 2019

Fat Ass 50K

On my radar to run with Katie, Todd, and Nick for at least 3 out of the 5 10K loops within Bradley Palmer. Matt Viega was in the group too. Weather was great for January. Little mud, maybe degrees when we finished? They dropped me before the end of the 2nd loop aid station. I caught Katie and Todd on the 3rd. Todd and another went by and exited the aid station quickly into the last loop. They stayed within scope for a few miles. Inched by Todd and the other guy at the end. I ran past the finish line clock thinking there was an out and back to get extra for a 50K but Todd said no so we stopped at 30.3 miles. Who knows? 50K? GPS loss? 4:05:15 or so, low 8 minute pace per mile. Distance-wise, my longest single run. I ran 30 miles in Lynn Woods a few years ago but much slower.

So, I did stop at at the aid station area (we set up at the clock to be closer to the course). My right calf endured cramping in the 3rd loop, more in the 4th. Talked myself into the last lap with Nick and Todd going too. Last lap was a mental game while still running in slow motion and worrying about cramping.

Here are my fueling notes for the day and recap that I put down in my notes following the race while it was fresh:

Pre-race: Cliff Bar, Coffee at 6AM. RedBull at 8:20, Pick Juice and Hot Shot at 8:45.

Race started at 8:58

End of loop 1 – no drink or fuel but had 6 salt stick pills 1 HotShot and a Pickle Juice waiting for me at the aid station. I waited for group to get a drink or fuel. Maybe 30 seconds spent there?

End of loop 2 – I ran over to my truck in the parking lot, 25 yards off the course. I drank half of an Arizona Iced tea, taking down two Endurolytes. I brought one Shot Shot and Pickle Juice to my station at the time clock. Started to lose ground to Nick, Todd, and Katie – all now single file in the last mile before getting there. I lost a minute to them in the aid station.

Loop 3 – light calf cramps came on. Caught Katie before the fields. She said she was stopping after that lap. Could see Todd up ahead on the carriage road. I started to push ahead. Caught him but kept distance in the single track. Passed him on the carriage road where I had room. Motivated to go for two more loops because of position and had fuel waiting. Took two salt sticks, finished iced tea (1/3rd) and took half of Todd’s can of coke left behind. Tossed a sandwich bag with two Salt Stick pills in the back of my shorts (so I thought, see below).

Loop 4 – took time at my aid station, Todd and Brendan (met him after the race) passed me there and got a good jump. Cramp in right calf worried me. I stayed steady to keep cramps away. Kept Todd in sight while the red jacket runner (Brendan) moved about the same cadence but had 90 seconds on me.  Fought on the stone dust with my sandwich baggie to get two salt-stick pills. The bag was falling down my ass crack. In the attempt to pull them out with frozen hands, I broke one but washed it down with my HotShot that I carried. Closed on Todd prior to field. He was hurting, cheered me to continue forward. I could see the red jacket (Brendan) ahead on the carriage road. I pushed from the top of the hill to the bottom. Closed in but kept distance at entrance of the single track which had some elevation up and down. I lurked during single track but focused on staying upright. I was very tired. Mud was muddier now that several runners have gone over it for hours. Again, focused to stay on feet. Got close, maybe 10 seconds to Brandon on the carriage road back to field but was worried about cramping or falling. Caught Brendan on the field before the parking lot and ran through finish. I thought the 50K finish had an out and back to the clock. I got to the wading pool where I stopped and turned back as Todd was wondering what I was doing. Todd said we were done. 30.3 miles. Sounds good!

Fat Ass 50K Race - 19th annual
Saturday January 5, 2019
Held at Bradley Palmer State Park, Topsfield, Mass.

The 19th GAC Fat Ass did not disappoint. Great January weather, possibly a record turnout, and good running conditions. Thanks to everyone that helped make this event special. Hope to see you for # 20. See you on the trails and stay well.
Roger Martell Sr. RD

Complete Results for 50 KM finishers
1 Pat Coran 3:23
2 Brian Burke 3:49
3 Nick Taormina 4:03
4 Brenden Burke 4:05
5 Jim Pawlicki 4:05
6 Todd Callaghan 4:05
7 Matt Curran 4:08
8 Gregory Lowe 4:25
9 Derek Cavatorta 4:30
10 Rowley Brucken 4:32

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wicked Frosty Four Mile

I lined up for the Frosty Four Mile road race in Salem today to kick off the New Year. Unseasonably warm temperatures close to 50 degrees allowed a singlet only. In short, this is basically 2 miles out to the Salem Willows and 2 miles back past Fort Lee. CMS was represented well with Dave Dunham, Dan Verrington, Joe Shairs, and Martin Tighe warming up together. I ran a few minutes with Kevin Delaney from CSU. The start of the race was quick and I settled in after 200m behind Dan Donato (Notch Brewing), Joe, and David Long (Wicked) after a few left hand turns onto Derby Street.

I would trail them down Derby Street by 5 seconds with the mile in 5:42, holding 6th place. I would pass Dan approaching the hill before Winter Island. At mile two (5:47), I was still 4 seconds behind Joe who was a step behind David. Joe would get by David into the wind leaving the Willows. I would catch David with 800m to go. I took the right turn on the Charter Street like a pedestrian and David got a good surge there and held strong to the finish line. I would finish 2.7 seconds back from him and 7.5 behind Joe. My last two miles were 6:04 and 5:55 revealing a head wind. Joe and I would run another 4 miles back to the Willows and back. I got a 1st place age group medal when I got back to the awards at Village Tavern.

               Twelvth Annual Wicked Frosty Four
            Tuesday, January 1, 2019 USATF Certified MA14043JK
Place No.  Name                Div/Tot  Div   Ag S City              St Time      Pace     
===== ==== =================== ======== ===== == = ================= == ========= ===== 
    1  709 Dan Chruniak          1/25   M3539 35 M Beverly           MA   22:29.3  5:38 
    2  467 Jonah Hulbert         2/25   M3539 38 M Marblehead        MA   23:03.2  5:46 
    3  411 Joe Shairs            1/31   M5054 50 M Peabody           MA   23:23.2  5:51 
    4  721 David Long            1/36   M4549 45 M Beverly           MA   23:28.0  5:52 
    5  395 James Pawlicki        1/27   M4044 44 M Lynn              MA   23:30.7  5:53 
    6  399 Kevin Delaney         2/31   M5054 50 M Arlington         MA   23:45.8  5:57 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Assault on Mount Hood

Another trip to Melrose for the Assault on Mount Hood 3.5 mile cross country race. It was a cold but dry and sunny. A little wind did not matter much as we did not run in any one direction for more than two minutes. In AOMH fashion, not only was this a new course, but runners got to hang out at the Golf Club near the parking lot this year. That meant white table cloths instead of the flannel at the Fish and Game Club. Yours truly did not hang out after the race but rumor had it not much food or beer was swirling unless you opened up the wallet.

As for the race? I took a digger, epic fall onto pavement on a 90 degree left turn on mud which looked like dry dirt. I must have stepped on a banana peel. The fall was violent enough to stop my GPS watch at 0.6 miles. I was lucky not to take anyone else out. I did not break anything so I got up and got moving with the adrenaline flowing, thanking the CSU guys for ensuring that I was OK.

As usual, constant up and down nature makes this race so much fun. Krissy arrived before the start and took some video. I will try to link them up below. When the dust settled, I ran 22:54, 20th place. I got a mini-nutcracker from the table so I have a memory of the race aside from some sore body parts the next day or two.

Scott Mindel is a beast, winning his 3rd Mount Hood race in a row.

Fourteenth Annual Assault on Mt. Hood XC Race
Saturday, December 8, 2018 Start time 12 noon
CMS runners below
    1  322 Scott Mindel    1/37   M3039 32 M Burlington     MA   19:20  5:32
    9  314 Gregory Putnum  2/64   M4049 49 M Stoneham       MA   20:44  5:56
   11  208 Joshua Perks    4/64   M4049 44 M Windham        NH   21:27  6:08
   12  194 Eric Narcisi    4/37   M3039 38 M North Andover  MA   21:34  6:10
   20  203 James Pawlicki  6/64   M4049 44 M Lynn           MA   21:54  6:16
   21  311 Jeff Goupil     6/37   M3039 31 M Arlington      MA   21:55  6:16
   22  247 Joe Shairs      1/58   M5059 50 M Peabody        MA   22:09  6:20
   37  148 David Lapierre  6/58   M5059 54 M Chelmsford     MA   24:15  6:56 
   60  320 John Pajer           10/58   M5059 56 M Leicester      MA   25:17  7:14

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Mill Cities Relay

“Bib number 143,” was called out by the exchange official. “143!”Oh shit, that’s me as I walked into the exchange zone expecting to be a fewminutes early. Scott Abrams was standing there looking around. I jumped intothe exchange zone and took the snap band and asked how long he was waiting. “Oneor two minutes” said Scott. That was our introduction. I had no time to apologize.

I burned rubber from the boathouse on the Merrimack Riverfor the start of leg 4, the long one (9.4 miles) of the five legs within theMill Cities Relay. Thomas Bok, Brian Lavallee, and Scott Abrams ran the firstthree legs and were a minute or two ahead of schedule. All I had to worry aboutwas to run down Rt. 113 via Lowell, Dracut, to Methuen to hand off to MichaelQuinn who would anchor the SRR masters team into Lawrence.

A guy I did not know was immediately next to me after the boathouse.He commented on the personality of the exchange zone official. We introducedourselves after determining that we were both looking to run low six minutemile pace. Corey Girard was running for the Greater Manchester Running Club(formerly Athletic Alliance). Two guys passed us within the first 600m. Theywould be the only two to pass along our leg. We ran through the drizzle andaround as many puddles as possible. Krissy and I had the same leg. It caught up to here on the trail along the river. 

I yelled out splits each mile as Corey and I were feeding off it for confirmation that we were hitting pace. He was holding his own andwe seemed to be matching pretty well as the miles went by. We both seemed content with the pace. I did push the sixth mile for the fastest of all with a 6:05.

It was cool to see Dave Dunham who snapped a few photos. Hewas around six miles (shared that Dan Verrington was just up ahead where ittook me a few miles to catch him) and then after 9 miles. Corey took off as weapproached our exchange zone hand off catching one of the guys that passed us 9miles earlier. It was pretty cool to randomly run with and have company from arunner for 99% of the leg sharing the work along the way.

I thanked Corey after we handed off to our respectiveteammates. My guy, Michael Quinn would finish up for our team who was 33rdoverall and the 7th men’s masters team for the day. My time was58:45 (6:12 per mile pace) for 9.45 miles.

Splits: 6:20, 6:13, 6:08, 6:15, 6:09, 6:05, 6:13, 6:16, 6:13,6:09 for the last .4

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanks for the Trails xc 5K - Hamilton

After meeting Greg Rich last week at the Essex Turkey Trot, he offered an entry to this race that he could not use. Race director Erik Krathwohl granted the transfer on Wednesday so I was all set for the Thanks for the Trails 5K trail/cross country race hosted by ECTA - Essex County Trail Association.
Half way to go and no company

I was familiar with the course, running it once a long time ago as it was called Gabe's Run. It was a wet and muddy day then. Today, the opposite, dry, sunny, and frozen with temps around 18 degrees. Little to no wind which was perfect. I lined up at the start after a warm up with Matt Curran. Pretty much the same outfit and clothing as yesterday, 3 thin layers on top, shorts below - the minority with 98% wearing pants.
Staying ahead of the chatter group on the other side of Patton's tank 
I jumped out and settled into 4th place after 100 yards. The front of the race thinned out quick with positions declared. No battles, each man for themselves. I had chatter behind me, a group of guys that had Harvard jackets on after the race. The gent in front of me already had 10 seconds on me half way through the race. The chatter behind got quiet and then was back at me heading up Sully's Hill. It was tough sledding with loose leaves making the footing tricky and the incline forced the heart rate to spike. I crested with the group of guys just about on my heels but I did not let them pass. One of them said to the group, be careful of the footing as we headed down the hill back to the field, now we are in the last mile of the race.

I bolted down and out onto the fields, getting rid of the chatter behind. I charged the field, starting my kick early so as to not having to deal with a battle down the stretch. I crossed over the field we started on (also played some High School baseball there at Patton Park as well) and into the finish line with a time of 18:47 and 4th place. GPS locked my distance down for 3 miles. Splits were
Finishing under 19 minutes for the 3 miles
I had my CMS windbreaker and pants right there at the North Shore Timing van. I collected Matt Curran and Team Gloucester guys for a 2 mile trot. Awards were quickly getting way by the time I got into a dry top. My age group win scored me an ECTA beer glass. After the awards were over, I traded it in for a left over ECTA fleece hat. Fitting with the cold temps.

Roger Perham photo link below. All others above by Krissy.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wild Turkey 5 Mile - Salem

Brisk is the word to describe today's 5 mile race in Salem. A new start (from the statue) and finish (on Essex Street near PEM). The wind chill provided a real feel of the single digits. It was about 16 degrees and windy. I took the pants off as they would have fallen down at some point. So I looked like a masochist out there. Not too many were racing in shorts. Three thin layers up top with a Central Mass Strider ssnowshoe shirt on. I warmed up at the last possible minute to get in a mile around Salem Common with Rebecca O'Hanley, Kris Francis, and Nick Taormina. I shredded the wind breaker and pants before getting to the line. I caught up with David Corbet who PR'd with a 2:44 recently for 26.2 miles. So happy for him.

Good, clean, start, settled in behind Nick down Derby Street with a tail wind. He got away after the mile with a few guys after my 5:41 mile. In and out of Winter Island for mile 2, all I had was one guy close to chase. I caught him at mile three behind the Salem Willows. Nick had a half minute on me and I would lose more space over the last two miles. A nasty head wind was in force leaving the Willows from the Hatch Shell walk-way.

The cross wind off Dead Horse Beach was wicked as expected. Sand was flying across the road like a scene in Dune. I had to look left for 20 seconds to avoid getting sand in the eyes. I held that exact 7th place all the way to the finish line. Official time was 29:51 (29:26 last year), 1st 40-44 and 2nd place in the "wore shorts" division to Dan Chruniak who became a daddy yesterday (gave him the congrats on the starting line). I wasted no time to get moving with a cool down with Kris, Nick and Rebecca for a few laps around the Salem Common. Too cold to hang out, waited for Krissy and Liz and we bolted back home. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Essex Turkey Trot 5K

The Essex Turkey Trot was a well known tough 8K on the North Shore for a number of years. Woodman’s was the famous home base yards away fromthe start and finish. Hot clam chowder awaits all finishers. The course changed to a 5K last year and retained the tough hills of Apple Street. I signed up during the week with thoughts that I could win my age group and get a turkey. The pressure was on as we did not buy one this week with Thanksgiving this coming Thursday.

I have some history here. Still have some 100% long sleeve cotton tees in storage. I won this race at least four times since 1996 (my college days). A couple of 2nd place races in there too. I had to go deep into the archives to find the last time I ran the course: 9 years ago in 2009, taking 2nd, 27:27 (8K then) where Patrick won in 26:03. Paul Young ran 29:44. My last win was 19 years ago in 1999, I think it was a touch shorter than an 8K, with a time of 26:10. Joe Shairs ran 26:46 for 2nd

Gearing up

With the eventual winner Dan O’Flynn long gone after the start today, 2nd place was up to Rebecca O’Hanley of Rockport (2:58at the Maine Marathon this year) and I. I did not catch up to her until after the mile, climbing the hills. She was tough. I could barely get by on the downhills on the 2nd half of the race. I had a step lead on her exiting Apple Street. She caught me once it flattened out and we were "all in" for the last 800 meters before I got a step into the driveway finish line edging Rebecca by 2 seconds. 19:36 and 2nd place. Dan won the race breaking the course record by a minute in 17:37. I ran a half mile back to Woodman’s with Greg Rich and Rebecca.

Some warm clothes, two cups of clam chowder later, I was given a 21lb turkey for winning my age group. I ended up trading down to a 18lb bird with another age group winners. Krissy and I got a treat as we were leaving Essex. I stopped by a house where I saw a 1983 Jetta several months ago when running with Nick Taormina. I  got lucky and met Pete the owner. He saw mine out front and we caught up on similar stories of rescuing these Volkswagens from the 80's. Hope to see more of his car next Spring as ours are going away into storage for the winter.

**editors note** I forgot to mention that GPS measurements were consistent from 3.28 to 3.3 miles on this one from several runners. I measured 3.29. Mile splits were 5:59, 6:05, 5:58, and 5:27 pace for the last 0.29. This created a lot of discussion once runners finished or were sour on the slow pace on the results that were posted at Woodman's.

Splits and course map. Start and finish are about 0.30 miles apart.
Shows the elevation and my pacing throughout the course







21lbs was too heavy