I ran into some old competitors from many moons ago at the race last night. Sean Dunleavy who coaches Beverly High School boys cross country and Danvers High School girls track was in attendance with a baby jogger. I recall that he finished under 21 minutes. Dave Gagnon, teammate at Salem State College for two years before transferring to rival Westfield State College also made a rare appearance in a race. After a 2 mile warmup with fellow Beverly resident and training partner, Junyong Pak, the siren went off for the start of the race.
CMS teammate, Patrick Rich jumped out and stood alone with a pack of six gents including myself following about 15 feet back. I wanted to yell into my group (not even 60 seconds old) "will someone get out and help that guy in the front?" My fear was that someone in my group was going to hang back, sit, and jump on the lead with 400m to go. Fortunately, Tim Richards (Holy Cross Junior) gave Patrick company and they pranced through a 4:58 first mile. I was 5:10 at the mile in the trail pack getting impatient but lacked fitness to surge at any point. I passed a few runners then and got passed before the hill leading into 2 miles. Greg K. (4:26 miler at Ipswich High School & coached by Patrick Rich) opened up his stride on the downhill putting five seconds on me. I caught him about 400m later but he surged again and built a nine second margin to the tape. I hustled through, twisting my upper body with a tired gait with a 16:23 on the clock for 5th place. The official results revealed 16:25, my quickest of three 5K's this year. I find it interesting that races add two seconds to your time.
I am considering races that are short in distance through the fall. I have no intention to fool myself into a fall marathon or beat myself up down at the New Haven 20K (US Championships) on Labor Day. I am being realistic and will race distances that my training will support for the short term. I like the idea of the Anthony Chamberas x/c 6K and Magnolia 5K in the next month.
Kudos to Patrick Rich to tie a PR of 15:27 set a few years ago on this same Beverly race and course. He is in amazing shape. Meanwhile, Junyong who has not paid an entry fee and toed a starting line since the Boston Marathon in April made short work of the Beverly course in sixteen flat. He's been running with the less is more theme and I can appreciate that.
Junyong Pak, myself, and Patrick Rich with awards.