Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trav's Trail Run

Headed up to the race with the girls (Krissy, Maryann, and Katie) to Maudsley State Park in Newburyport for Trav's Trail Run (almost 3 miles). I warmed up with Greg Putnam and a big Wicked Running Club group over the three mile course. I saw Nate Jenkins at the start next to Melissa (wearing the CMS singlet!) and gave them a fist bump. We bolted down the hill and rolled through. I got passed twice after 800m. I passed one of them up a hill soon after. I caught up to Dan Chruniak (Wicked RC) shortly about half way through the race encouraging him to come along. I wanted to run hard to the stone bridge and not give anyone a chance to pull up from behind. I could see Greg Putnam ahead putting the hurt on three youngsters up the hill. Steve Dowsett (of New England Runner cover hall of fame) seemed to fall back a bit but no one was close to me to offer a surge on the hill. Nate cheered for me as I crested the last bump before flattening out into the finish line. 6th overall, 2nd 40+ to Greg. The 16:44 this year was slower than the 16:27 last year. I high fived a few and cheered some on into the finish before heading out on a cool down with Greg and Steve for close to another three miles. I picked up a Trav's Trail 2015 mug and a card to redeem a pair of New Balance shoes. The girls got some gear in the raffle. It was a good day. Full results
Please recycle!
Photo by KrissyK

Monday, May 11, 2015

New England Trail Championships - Merrimack River Trail Race

I recently measured the Merrimack River Trail race to be 9.4 miles long by a GPS Garmin product. The course is out and back along the Merrimack River. The middle four miles are rolling (as in, hills). Thus the first three and last three miles are flat. The start and finish is at the trail head in the back of the Wyndham parking lot. You will hear the buzz of Rt. 93 commuters going north and south minding their own business.

Looking surprised by the camera out from under Rt 93 overpass
Photo by Denise Underwood
Brett Rickenbach and I arrived at the race early so as to get primo parking, register, give Cath a hug, catch up with teammates and spread out some CMS threads. I managed to educate a few new comers to the race on what to expect on the course. The race was part of the North Shore Trail Series and the All Terrain Series. I got a 2 mile warm up in before heading to the start for the pre-race instructions from the always hilarious, race director, Stephen Peterson. He does a great job of keeping the atmosphere light and funny. Smiles and laughs all day in his presence for sure. I was careful to get a good clean start while not getting tripped up or tripping anyone as the race funnels into single track after twenty feet. We also had to contend with a leaning tree so anyone over 5ft tall had to navigate under at full stride carefully 50 yards into the course.

Up power hill with Scott in tow
Photo by Michael Quintal
My positioning was spot on, early, on the single track. I passed one runner on the field on the other side getting a few seconds behind Ethan Nedeau and Matthew Veiga. Scott McGrath was behind me and I heard Todd give instruction to get up and after the next group (Ethan) but I was content with my effort. The gap widened between Ethan and team Jim, Scott, Todd as we hit some hills. Todd pranced by before the mile 4 mark. I kept my thing going on and Scott seemed content a step behind. My time was approximately 31:15 at the turn-around. Now we are going against the race - runners heading out to the turn-around so it does get rather interesting. I kept to the far right of the single track as much as possible heading into oncoming traffic. I do keep the safety of myself and others in mind. I appreciated those runners that did show awareness of my approach (coming at them). I cheered or thanked as many as I could. Some bailed off the single track (am I that intimidating?). Some stopped. Some wanted the same part of the trail as me (very few). I did hear that Chris Mahoney took a knee to the quad and this knocked him down right in front of Scott Leslie. That incident, for both involved, is something that can happen, but I would rather avoid.

Through the power lines heading back to the finish with Scott
Photo by Michael Quintal

I threw in some surges in the technical areas back to the power lines to shake Scott. I recall telling him to focus on his leg lift on the way back so as not to get lazy and trip up. The key is to also give yourself some space so you can see a few feet ahead of your stride and the runner in front. Therefore you can visually see and plan for the next maneuver on the trails. Once Scott and I got on the comfortable flat section, he flew past me. He looked so fresh and comfortable. I encouraged him to close in on Todd who I could only see on the longest of straights. At this point, I was done and mailed it in. I looked back and did not see any pressure (still had 2.5 miles to go ) so I got in cruise control until I saw 1:03 on the watch and hustled to the finish.  I finished up with a time of 1:03:58, 11th overall, and 3rd master runner behind Ethan and Todd.
Brett and I with raffles and chocolate bars
Photo by Bonnie Hallinan
My post race warm down took me to the post race spread for liquid and a lot of it. Also getting my attention was chocolate bars, Oreo Cookies, and Coconut water. The best part of the race was to share the stories, cuts, bruises, and laughs that followed. Stephen Peterson handed out raffles with the usual humor and stories along the way. The CMS team did great with a team win for the open, masters, and 2nd for the Seniors. The CMS ladies team took a team win as well. Next up, recover and get out to Trav’s Trail Run. Full results

Sunday, April 26, 2015

James Joyce Ramble USATF National Masters 10K Championship

I ran a pretty good race today, placing 11th overall (net time of 34:42 and gun time of 34:44) in the USATF National Masters 10K Championship hosted via James Joyce Ramble in Dedham. The masters championship had their own race that started three minutes ahead of the non-masters championship event. I got through mile 1 with Dan Verrington. My goal was to hit his goal of a mid 34 minute effort. Joe Shairs was with Todd Callaghan about 15 seconds ahead and Greg Putnam was in between us around mile 2 as I started to move up in place through the rolling hills. I was hitting the climbing with good effort and got through the Noble and Greenough school with a confident command that I could reel in more guys. I went by Kevin O'Neal (BAA) whom I don't recall ever getting in front of. I gave him some words of encouragement, respecting his speed. Greg was just ahead so I went after him while battling a tall gent from the Atlanta Track Club. I caught up to Greg and we soon passed Christopher Lawrence from the BAA with Todd and Joe not too far ahead within a mile to go. We managed to close in on Todd with 150 yards to go and our pack of three flooded the finish line to place 2nd as a team by only one second (every second counts) over the BAA and behind the winning Atlanta Track Club. The CMS Senior Team raced well too and placed 4th overall. It was cool to accomplish this with these guys and hang out after the race on the Endicott Estate. I have to give a warm and appreciated shout to Kevin Gorman who seemed to be at several points on the course cheering us along. It really helped.

2015 USATF National Masters 10K Championship (James Joyce Ramble) results
KrissyK photos of the James Joyce Ramble 10K

Greg, Todd and I coming toward Krissy and the finish line

Split (pace) via Garmin
5:15 pace for the last .3
Net Time 34:42
Gun Time 34:44
average pace 5:36

2. 1:43:59 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   (  34:40)
  1    34:32  Joe Shairs            Peabody MA      CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                  
  2    34:43  Todd Callaghan    Beverly MA        CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                  
  3    34:44  James Pawlicki     Lynn MA            CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                  
  4 (  34:45) Greg Putnam        Stoneham MA    CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My history at the marathon distance

1997  2:33:35  Ocean State Marathon
1998  2:44:27  Boston Marathon
2001  2:45:46  Hyannis Marathon
2001  2:46:27  Boston Marathon
2003  2:37:59  Chicago Marathon
2011  2:40:01  Bay State Marathon
2012  3:14:10  Boston Marathon
2013  2:57:26  Vermont City Marathon
2014  DNF       Boston Marathon
2014  2:53:15  Manchester City Marathon (master age group)

Monday, March 23, 2015

St. Patricks Day Hibernian 5K

Closing in with 800m left in the Hibernian 5K
I signed up for the Hibernian 5K with a paper entry and cash in hand on Saturday afternoon at the Hibernian Hall in Lynn. Krissy was volunteering so she picked up an assignment and orange “race in progress” shirt. There were so many enthusiastic volunteers handing out race shirts and packets the day before the race. The following morning, Krissy and I headed over to the race which can’t be more than a 2 mile drive. I parked my gear inside the hall and did a solo 2 mile warm up. It was windy and going to be a variable to contend with. Dan Vassallo and Dan Chruniak (set a PR at New Bedford last week) were on the starting line awaiting the Irish and American anthems. It was chilly under the Level Renner singlet and hat. About a dozen youngsters bolted out at the start. I got into 3rd place about a quarter of a mile into the race watching Dan squared duke it out up the hill at ¾ of a mile. Respect to them trading blows into the wind at mile one where Vassallo started to pull away. I was so far back with a 5:40 mile with barely a trace of someone behind me. The stretch into mile two provided relief from the nasty head winds and clocked with a 5:37 mile. I passed Krissy with less than a half mile to go. She had an Irish flag in one hand, camera in the other, and an eye on traffic. Mile 3 proved quicker with a 5:27. I rolled into the finish line with a 17:37 for 3rd place, top master. I got lucky as that time would have not been in the top six last year. Vassallo took the win with 16:05 and Dan Chruniak netted a 16:40. Once the dust settled, I headed out for a 3.5 mile warm down with them, Nakri, and Katrina. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Bedford Half Marathon

I navigated from the backseat with KrissyK, Joe Shairs at the wheel, and Dan Vassallo riding shotgun. It was a quick ride along the unplanned caravan of vehicles full of race distance stickers to the Elm Street garage for the USATF New England Half Marathon Championship. The New Bedford Half Marathon has been hosting the championship for what seems like more than a decade now. Race director Dan McCarthy and the city want to host each year and it shows. We got our numbers in the YMCA and I greeted any and all runners I knew before heading out for a 2.25 mile warm up with CMS teammate Dave Lapierre. I got into my race gear and was at the starting coral ten minutes before 11:00. Memorable was the runners picking up the National Anthem lyrics as the young lady at the microphone broke into a hum a quarter in. No problem. We are a cohesive community of runners. I was off at the siren, staying clear of trouble, and looking for a group to rock and roll with. I was looking for just under sixes per mile for the race. I eyed a few BAA jerseys and soon ran next to Arthur Besse.
Trailing Arthur Besse and Joe Fois after 5 miles
Photo by KrissyK
Then, up ahead, I saw former teammate Jason Dunklee. We were in touch earlier in the week discussing racing. Joe Fois, who ran at Westfield State while I was at Salem was soon in the mix. He just turned 40 and we exchanged encouragement as master runners before the race. My first mile was 5:50. My second mile was about 6:02. I hit the early hills with caution and lost ground to the BAA singlets and Jason. Once I got a little downhill, I opened up the stride and started to race. I closed in on Joe Fois and Jason. Arthur came back in and we rolled. It was fun. I passed Krissy after five miles tossing a strike with my hat over to her. I was excited to have Arthur next to me. He has been improving his race efforts, setting PR's, and training very hard. At one point, I looked over to Arthur, and told him that he was going to catch some of the guys in front of us late in the race. That was the PG13 version. I passed mile seven and started to fade from Arthur, Jason, and Joe. I managed to get back to them and started to take some water at the upcoming water stops. I passed the 10 mile clock around 58:30 - a minute faster than the 10 mile race in Amherst. I was gaining on Jason Porter from the BAA and kept Jason Dunklee close as we were now into a head wind. I caught Jason around 11 but fell back before the big hill. I charged up the best I could on weary legs and managed to get by as I saw Dave Dunham taking pictures and supporting us. I reached the top and collected myself noticing a few guys that could pass for my age group (40+).
The final push with 300 meters to the finish
Photo by KrissyK
I was all in and throwing myself down the hill before the last 300m of the race into the finish. It was crowded but managed to pass a few and lost a step to a few crossing the line with a gun time of 1:17:29 (chip time of 1:17:25). 103rd overall and 12th dude in the 40-49 age group. I'll take it. The Central Mass Striders masters team was down a few guys on the day allowing me to be the 3rd scorer on the day behind Joe Shairs and Alan Bernier. Arthur followed me by 200 meters and Dan Verrington capped off the scoring to place us as the 3rd masters team. The men's open team placed 3rd overall and the Senior team placed 6th. I jogged a half mile with Dan Vassallo for a cool down attempt before bailing out at the YMCA only to have to walk back to the parking garage to get my bib number. No bib number, no chowder!

KrissyK smugmug photos of the New Bedford Half Marathon
2015 New Bedford Half Marathon results

550 mile 1
603 mile 2
611 mile 3
606 mile 4
543 mile 5
542 mile 6
539 mile 7
541 mile 8
555 mile 9
551 mile 10
603 mile 11
559 mile 12
605 last full mile