Monday, May 31, 2010

Swampscott Dory Run 5K

I won this race in 2007, a few days after running Mt. Wachusett, with a 16:33 effort. Thus, after a two year absence, I wanted to get in a 5K race prior to the Rhody 5K and had this tentative on my radar over the past week. Not feeling 100% did not stop my initiative so I picked up my dad who had some free time and we headed over to Swampscott which is only 15 minutes away. The Dory Run which was once a 5 miler, changed to a 5K in 2000, where Joe Shairs was the 1st winner on the new course. The race has been managed and directed by the North Shore Striders for several years. Gary Freedman is the race director and does a great job. The race pulls in 150-200 runners each year without aggressive marketing. This is a rolling course for the first 1.75 miles and levels out and finishes on a cinder track. The scenery can't be beat over 2nd half of this seacoast event. At one point, you can look out on your left and see Nahant with the sun flickering off the Atlantic Ocean.

I ran the course for a warm up, knocked down a few strides, made a pit stop, and stretched out. I caught up with Brian & Deb Bealieau (teammates at Salem Stage College), Tom Derderian (my coach at Salem State and GBTC), Brian Crane who is coming back from a broken leg, and Doug Chick who was spectating in the minutes leading up to the 10am start. I jumped out with John Ayers immediately for the lead. We both pressed the pace over the rolling hills passing mile one in 5:26. We went back and forth and came upon the longest hill of the course around 1.5 miles. He faded slightly as his breathing and foot steps faded. Another 500 meters down the road, I was passing mile two in 10:49 and did not hear John behind me. The last mile as mentioned before has the best scenery but I was focused on the police car - lead vehicle ahead, and keeping John behind me. I entered the cinder track and opened the stride kicking into the finish line with a 16:48. I drank a cup Gatorade which tasted so good then got one for John who came in right behind me with a 17:15.

I cooled down by doing the course again. I came back to the field just in time to have my name called to pick up a plaque and gift certificate for New Balance sneakers at Athletes Corner in Swampscott. By winning, I will also have my name engraved on a trophy-cup that contains all of the male and female winners over the history of the race. There are some solid names on that list like Craig Fram, W.F. Newhall, Lou Ristaino, and Joe Shairs. In all, I am happy with the effort considering that the legs were not 100%. I am aiming for the 16:30's at Rhody next weekend.

2010 Swamscott Dory Run Results by North Shore Timing Co.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wachusett Mountain

Kristen and I rolled into the Wachusett parking lot about 8:40 in the Gti. I had 50 minutes to grab my number, warm up, and make a pit stop. I ran into Tim Mahoney and Todd Callaghan on the warm up. I have not seen Tim in a while and he’s been racing very well recently. Meanwhile, Todd was so far satisfied with a pair of Nike Lunar Racer's that are usually for the roads and was going to give them a test run on this mix of road and trail today. Not before long, we were getting pre-race instruction from former CMS President Kevin Fallon. At this point, Dave Dunham almost tackled me for a greeting. It is great to see Dave lacing the flats up again and getting into races. We ran the D5K (Danvers weekly fun run) on Wednesday. It will not be long before he is whipping us in the mountain races. The start went off and I casually slid into twentieth place or so about 400m into the immediate climb up to the entrance of the auto road. The course was the same as last year, minus the last .10 of a mile around the duck pond. Mile one passed and I glanced at the watch without any effort to see the split. I carried on into the entrance trailing Ryan Aschbrenner from GBTC. Ryan was tuning up along with Ted Breen who are both racing the Mount Washington Road Race next month.

I caught Ryan at the end of the single track trail heading past the lodge. We began a climb into mile two. Bob Jackman pulled along side and I followed. A left hand turn into Old Indian Trail brought about the steepest part of the trail. Bob did a solid job, keeping a steady effort running up and I focused to stay as close as I could. Mile three passed and I was definitely feeling better at this point this year than last year. I know I went out quicker last year, but this just felt right today. We exited the trail, found pavement and knew the rest of the course was pretty much downhill – almost two miles worth. Only two seconds behind Bob, I told him to “let ‘er fly, it’s all downhill from there.” We would not separate more than a stride all the way down. We exchanged the pacing at least twice. We caught a younger gent on the way down and were reeling in Ross Krause with about 800m to go. Our strides seemed to be all out when Bob found another gear with about 100 yards to go. I had nothing left, finishing three ticks behind him for a 33:14 and 15th place in a very competitive field this year.

CMS folks represented very well with Kevin Tilton, Andy McCarron, Jim Johnson, Tim Van Orden, Tim Mahoney all finishing in the top 12. John Kinnee, Sam Wood, Jeff Goupil, and Bryan Johnston were not too far behind me and ran solid races. My Garmin measured 5.08 miles today. Someone said the course was touted to be 5.2 miles on the application. Either way, I would say everyone enjoyed themselves on a fair mountain course. This was the second race of the USATF-New England Mountain series and I am sure there will be at least 100 mountain goats by the time Ascutney (VT) is finished in July. I missed Northfield Mountain last week so it won’t happen to this guy in 2010.
Post race included some a Polar drink, bagel, and a banana. Scott Mason and I caught up on serious training that was done when he was a young stud ripping up the roads. He was heading up the VCM - Vermont City Marathon after the race to take some photos. Here is a plug for Justin Fyffe who is going to surprise some folks tomorrow.
Big thanks to Wachusett for hosting the race, CMS for organizing the race, Polar Beverages, and Kristen for her company and photos. She took over 150 photos. Scott Mason should have a ton set up as well soon. Looking ahead, I will be running the Rhody 5K, Market Square 10K, and the Mount Washington Road Race in the near future. If I feel good on Monday and have nothing going on, I may jump into the Dory Run 5K with Dennis Floyd.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K

Last Saturday was the third New England Grand Prix championship race for 2010 with a 12K distance to cover in Bedford, NH. In addition, this was my first race since the Merrimac River Trail Run in April. I had expectations to run a pace close to last year at 5:32 per mile. I ran next to teammate Dan Navaroli for the first two miles with a pair of 5:25's. Those were the first and last splits that I would acknowledge on my Garmin. The long incline through mile four left the group I was running with a bit spent. I faded a bit but was carrying a few guys through which was fine. I could see several master runners ahead but I was starting to feel heavy legs around five miles. Terry McNatt flew by me. I got on his heels but that lasted about a minute. I just wanted to get the race over with. I could not wait to see the left hand turn to enter the high school track. The stretch into mile seven seemed to take forever. I battled a Whirlaway runner, Mark Gibson, all the way into the finish. Thanks to him, he kept me motivated over the last mile and a half of the race.

I finished with a 41:54 (5:38 mile pace) good for 50th out of 536 runners, just barely getting on page one of the results. Meanwhile, the team ran out of their minds. Justin Fyffe won his first New England Gran Prix event and crushed the course record. Bob Wiles continued his incredible racing in 5th, trailed by Andy McCarron (yes he just ran the Boston Marathon) in 9th, Kevin Gorman nailed this course like it was no ones business, and Mike Quintal ripped the course a new one to round out the scoring for CMS. Greg Hammett, Al Bernier, Dan Navaroli, Dave Quintal, and Jeff Goupil all had solid races.

The next month is rather busy. I will be at Wachusett Mountain this Saturday followed by the Rhody 5K one week later.
Photo credit to Ted Tyler.