Jamaica Plain, MA, April 9, 2017
I have always wanted to race the Doyle’s Emerald Necklace 5 mile road race. I seem to always have a conflict and sometimes it is the day after the Merrimack River Trail Run. I rolled into Jamaica Plain, passing the usual fall racing scene of Franklin Park. I met up and warmed up with the TNT/CMS/RI crew of Robert Jackman, David Principe, and Michael Daniels for a warm up which gave me a good look at the first and last miles of the race. After the warm up, I threw on the Somerville Road Runner singlet to support their critical mass in the Pub Series. Robert and David wore their TNT gear. We ran back over to the start which was ¾ of a mile away.
We had 20 minute delay (sounds like this happened last year too), standing on the starting line with no movement wondering what was going on. Nothing big but the starting line crew made us wait it out for the official word to go. The extra time allowed me to catch up with Greg Picklesimer (one of his first road races back I the day) and Joe Navas who seems to have settled on a marathon in Quebec in August.
Finally, the race took off and rolled along the edge of the Franklin Park golf course. I had a 5:41ish mile and was strides away from the Level singlet of Kevin Gorman, Army singlet of John Page, and CSU’s Kevin Delaney. This was right where I wanted to set myself up to run 28:59 (my race goal). We ran over to Franklin Park and did a 180 at the base of Bear Cage hill. Those guys put some distance on me but I was rolling well with Mike Slinsky who was an absolute stud in the late 90’s when I hit the road race scene. He would tear up the Yankee Homecoming 10 mile race in Newburyport like no one’s business. His name is on his singlet these days and no longer lives in Fishkill, NY – but that is OK ‘cause he is still rocking Oakley’s. Still got respect for the man at 47.
I passed Mike more than half way through the course. I now ran back past the start line and had about a mile back to the finish at Doyle’s Café where I was running up the back of Robert Jackman and John Page. I yelled to Page and told him he’d better get moving. We had one more hill to climb out of the golf course and then it was all downhill into a nice flat finish. I managed to pass John 100 yards from the line. I finished 21st and timed out for a 29:04, two ticks behind Robert and 6 up on John.
Check out the results.
You can learn from the best. I walked over to the tent where the TNT boys and I had our gear. I watched Robert and David closely relaying beers back and forth, laying them out on the table in the tent for which we seemed to own. It was hilarious. In a blink of an eye, the table was full with beers. Like I said, you got to learn from the best. They were content so I scrapped in a few more miles so I did John Page and Kevin Gorman. Let’s just say I did not have to wait in any lines for a beer when I returned.
Please check out the nice photography of Scott Mason who set up shop a half mile from the finish line with runners coming out of the tunnel.