Sunday, February 28, 2010

USATF-NE 10 mile championship Amherst MA

Like last year, the USATF-New England Road Race Grand Prix series kicked off in Amherst, MA today. Kristen and I picked up Joe Shairs at 7:45 on the way for the two hour drive to Amherst. A warm up with the team followed at 10:15 and I brought some of the CMS crew through the finish line area so everyone knows what it is all about just in case. Not before long, I was on the starting line in the midst of a sea of navy blue CMS runners about three rows back from the starting line. I eased into the race with no panic. The goal for the day was 5:45 pace. The course always provides a challenge so splits were going to be all over in terms of pace according to a grade up or down. Mile one passed in 5:46. Mile two passed in 5:18 for the quickest of the day and the most generous dropping nearly 200 feet in that mile. The sun poked out temporarily for a bit at this point.

The next two miles drag with some climbing and I spotted a 5:51 and 6:12 here getting into the dirt road and dodging puddles of water and mud. At least it was not icy like last year. Another 5:51 mile passed as we approached pavement and I started to reel in Joe Shairs and then Matt Clark. Rich Smith was wheeling and dealing along side and looked good on the down hills which I appreciate. I eased up a bit to get an inventory from Joe who was not feeling too good. Keiron Tumbleton wheeled passed and I tagged onto him for the next few miles giving him about four strides into the lowest part of the course for the second time of the day. I was not looking forward to the climb back to the finish which starts shortly after eight miles. Then again, I know that not too many around me were relishing it either. I just tried to maintain up the hills. I heard Dave Dunham yelling for me with about 1200m to go. It sounded like Dan Verrington was closing in on me. I got to the base of the parking parking lot and set my sights on Keiron Tumbleton and another runner with whom I battled with during the race. I just got past them before the finish line passing the clock at 57:16 good for 48th overall. I was pretty happy with the effort as it is barely under 5:45 pace and was quicker than last year. Overall, it is my second quickest effort going back 11 years to 1999.

My Amherst 10 mile history
Year Time Pace Note
2009 57:37 5:46 USATF-NE Grand Prix Championship
2005 57:27 5:45 tune up for New Bedford Half Marathon
1999 56:24 5:39 USATF-NE Grand Prix Championship

The CMS teams did very well. The open team scored a second place showing with Justin Fyffe finishing second overall. The masters team took the team win behind a solid effort from guys who were not 100% on their game today. Kristen and I hung out with the team for some laughs over the pizza and soup offered by the volunteers. Kristen, Joe, and I hit the road back home to watch Team USA lose to Team Canada, 3-2 in overtime, in the men's Olympic gold medal game. Next up for me will be the New Bedford Half Marathon in March.

CMS men's open and masters team photo taken shortly after everyone finished today.

Top row: Kevin Gorman, Dan Verrington, Jim Pawlicki, Joe Shairs, Jim Johnson, Kevin Tilton, Christian Muentener, Mike Quintal, Dave Harper, John Pajer Botton Row: Jeff Goupil, Justin Fyffe, Dave Quintal, Scott Clark, Ernie Brake, Greg Hammett Missing: Matt Clark


  1. Nice write-up. Glad that you were able to track down Tumbleton; he's a beast w/ some very fast PR's to his credit... Kristen took great photos. Thanks for hooking me up w/ the singlet. Reviewing the finish area of the race helped me pass two runners in the parking lot. Thanks for that too.

  2. Good job Jim! Looks like youre pretty fit, keep up the good work!