Friday, June 25, 2010

Squantum 5 miler

This is a cool race in terms of scenery, atmosphere, and the location to my work, Boston Scientific. The Squantum 5 mile race course starts and finishes less than a mile from where I spend 40 hours a week. Throughout the course there are glimpses of waterfront views with half the race spent out in the rather hilly neighborhood of Squantum. I would be remiss if I did not thank race director, JJ Larner, here (already thanked him several times last night). He awarded me a complimentary entry as he was seeking to carry a theme – race of champions – if one had won a race recently. I appreciated the fact that JJ wanted to bring in the competition for this race as it had last year. It was part of the New England Runner Pub Series, however, not this year. I got buried in 8th place with a 27:29, my fastest time, yet worst place finish last year.

I could only recognize one runner at the starting line, Andew Holmes from the HFC Striders who spanked me by 13 seconds last year on this course. His teammate, Justin Renz, was on my heels from the start. Andrew was a step or two back as I lead us out of Marina Bay and into Squantum where the view of Boston was about five miles away to our left. I tossed a surge in at the top of the longest hill, maybe 1.5 miles to open a gap on Justin and fought as hard as I could to leave the sound of foot steps. It worked to give me a few second lead into mile two. I recorded no other mile splits aside from mile two (11:13) and never looked at my watch during the race so I ran it blind but on feel. I could feel my pace slow shortly after 3.5 miles heading back into Marina Bay. I looked across and saw Elliot Columb in 2nd trailed by Justin less than 30 seconds back with a half mile to go. I pulled in with a 28:39 for the win.

I scored a Marathon Sports Gift Certificate for win. Harpoon beer, hot dogs, and pasta were available after the race with a live band jamming in the background within the Marina Bay Beach Club. Some co-workers braved threatening thunderstorms and tackled the course themselves. They agreed to come back again. I will too.

10th Annual Squantum 5 Mile Road Race
PLC Time Pace PLC/Group PLC/Sex Bib# Name Town, State
1 28:39 5:44 1 01-39 1 M 553 James Pawlicki Beverly,MA
2 29:03 5:49 2 01-39 2 M 554 Justin Renz Milton,MA
3 29:06 5:49 3 01-39 3 M 422 Elliott Columb Quincy,MA
4 29:42 5:56 4 01-39 4 M 552 Andrew Holmes Quincy,MA

Patriot Ledger story & pictures: Runners head to Marina Bay in Quincy to support Dana Farber Hospital

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mt. Washington 50th Anniversary Road Race

Kristen drove us up to Attitash in the Gti where a large contingent of CMS runners were staying and running a few miles at 1pm on Friday. I got there late so I missed the run but got some quality time shooting the breeze. It was said that there was a bear sighting that interrupted a simple whiffle ball game. I am certain someone will have photos or a movie clip on their blog. Later on, we checked in at the condo that Ken Tripp allowed Kristen and I to crash at. Then Ken drove us to the Eagle Mountain House to get my bib number, 574. I got to catch up with Scott Mason and his new Gti. Shortly thereafter, we headed to the hall adjacent to the EMH for the first four runners to be inducted into the newly formed Hall of Fame. Dave Dunham introduced the first inductee, Bob Hodge, which he was thrilled about. Not too long after that, a team dinner was planned at the Spaghetti Shed where Beth's Lasagna sat before me. Arguments over the plate sizes "2 car garage" vs "shed" ensued. Everyone seemed satisfied with the exception of the meatballs which did not fare well at my table.

Onto the race.....some would say that it was so hot, the soles of their shoes melted before mile 3 was reached. So how hot was it? Ask around. I was already freaking out on my warm up and hit the first 800m of the course. The auto road was roasting and radiating heat, end of story. I lined up several rows back at the line and greeted friends that I have not seen in a while....Peter Maskimow, Patrick Rich & Derek Sawyer to name a few. The cannon went off and I had to keep form to not run over a female elite who was pin-balling around a few steps into the race. I eased in and quickly noticed a pack surrounding Dave Dunham who I knew was going to ace the run (he went on to run 1:12!). I would have loved to join but had to hang back and hold my end of the bargain (what ever that means).

I saw runners walking in the early miles - Chris Mahoney, Mike Quintal, and Henry Scollard. I asked the latter two to keep me company to get them trotting again. They obliged for as long as they could. I trotted on, hunched over, fighting gravity, while my singlet - soaked - hung far away from my chest. I was honestly not in the mood to do this in the heat but I charged on barely lifting my legs up and ahead. My half way split was 35:39. It did not mean much to me but recall being quicker in the past at this point. Teammates Tim Van Orden, Tim Mahoney, and Dave Quintal were not too far ahead. When ever the grade let up just a bit, I would open my stride and make some ground with anyone who I was following. Above the tree line, the air cooled a bit and the light breeze felt so good. It was welcomed.

I had some back and forth with a few gents but most of the race was a blur. One thing that was constant in the 2nd half was Scott Rowe sprinting by only to have me pass him a minute later while he fell back to a walk. He went on to run a good time too and over a minute ahead of me. Bruce Davie was there in the last mile and was holding form. I tried to keep a step on him knowing only a few minutes remained. Bruce and I were not letting up as we began to approach the steepest part of the race, about 40 yards from the finish. Man did that hurt. All I remember is everyone around yelling for him. I must have looked pretty funny staggering into the finish line. We wound up with the same time of 1:15:14. It was his first Mt. Washington. He mentioned that he would like to come back when I interviewed him hours later. That is what I wanted to hear, that the first timers would be back. I also respect those that said this effort was enough for them. If they were sour on their result, I told them to give it some time before deciding if they want to embark on this in 2011.

In summary, I felt privileged to run up in the 50th anniversary of the race with my team who takes this event pretty serious - evident by 26 open men and masters that were registered. The race must turn away almost 1,000 runners so I was pretty lucky to get in even if relying on my mountain goat status (had to run each of the mountain races in 2009) lottery bypass. I finished 49th overall and 4th in my 35-39 age grouping. My time was in between my quickest (1:13:23 in 2004) and slowest (1:16:03 in 2007). Later Saturday night, I went through Kristen's photos and looked at each person she captured. Heads were down, heads were up. Shirts were soaked. Most had smiles and or gave an acknowledgement of their appreciation while they trotted up the mountain. Getting up this mountain is hard.

Finally, I was able to appreciate something in what was my first in three visits to this race - a 360 degree view from the top of Mount Washington. I wish I had my camera. It was certainly worth those few moments to reflect on what I just done and accomplished. As I said before, this is hard stuff.

The first photo above by Kristen shows why my lower back was sore yesterday. I was barely moving where she was set up beyond 3 miles. She took the photo at an angle so it looks like I am going down hill. The 2nd and 3rd photos taken by Scott Mason give some perspective of the climb as I approached 7.4 miles.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Market Square 10K

This is a great event with the Market Square section of Portsmouth, NH closed down for an arts festival. They kick it off with a 10k road race on a fair and honest course. A plethora of Polar singlets came out to represent CMS with aggression led by Kevin Tilton who finished in the money (3rd) with a PR. Bob Wiles came over the bridge from Kittery, Maine to better his time from last year (PR?). Jim Johnson raced very close to his time from last year. Tim Mahoney and I ran in lock step from 400m after the gun keeping each of us honest for over 33 minutes. Tim unleashed a kick that put the finish line spectators in awe. Tim and I faded a bit after 3 miles thus losing ground to Rich Smith who nailed the 5:30 pace we all sought to the tape. I finished up right behind Tim with a 34:18 net time (5:32/mile pace) for 12th place overall. CMS finished as a team in 1st place overall. Abby Mahoney set a 10K PR and Tim Van Orden was 3rd master overall.

However, the bonus of the day was chilling out in Market Square after the race listening to live music and sampling Starbucks under the awning to stay dry while drizzle fell from the overcast sky. Finally the troops to gathered into JJ's XTerra for lunch at Margaritas one exit away off Rt. 95. Chille Rellenos and a few Coronas made the day with great company. Next up is the Mt. Washington Road Race which should be fun.

My splits....
5:26 10:43
5:32 16:16
5:46 22:02
5:29 27:32 5 miles
5:37 33:10
1:09 34:19, 34:18 official, 12th place overall

Photos by Kristen
Complete results

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rhody 5K

Twin River Casino in Lincoln Rhode Island was host of the New England Grand Prix Road Race Championship. A hazy sun bled through a rather high dew point. I ran two easy miles for a warm up with my CMS teamates. Soon enough the gun went off and I took off from about five rows back in the crowd. After a slight hill up to the rotary and down hill to mile 1, I clicked off a 5:17 split and passed Kristen who was taking some photos. I passed new CMS t'mate Sam Wood who was off to a great start. I pushed on and reeled in a few gents en route through a 10:43 2 mile (5:26 mile split). I maintained the pacing but hit the wall a bit as I was starting to tire a few minutes later. Jeff Goupil and Tim Van Orden from CMS were not too far up but I had no chance to catch them. I went through mile three in 16:05 (5:21 mile) and hustled into the finish line for 16:38, 5:22. Current results have me in 40th place but I think a few bib tags did not trigger results for a few. This happened to CMS team manager Al Bernier and New Balance Boston harrier, Ryan Carrera who as of this write up is not in the results.

I feel very good about the effort today and hit my goal of 16:3X and ten seconds quicker than the Dory Run on Memorial Day. My next race will be the Market Square 10K in Portsmouth, NH where I own my fastest 10K times (PR of 33:03 in 1999). I had a solid race there two years ago with a 33:54. I would throw out a Chuck Norris round-house if I broke 34 minutes in 2010.

Photo credits to Kristen who caught me heading to the finish line in the shot above and Scott Mason who captured me getting a step on Robert Jackman of the Tuesday Night Turtles at 2.85 miles.

Photos by Scott Mason & Photos by Kristen

Complete results 2010 Rhody 5K Lincoln, RI

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

North Shore Trail Series

New England Running Company and Montrail are introducing a trail series to the North Shore which kicks off this Saturday at Gordon College. The North Shore Trail Series showcases some of the best trails in the area. I have either run some of these races in the past or frequent the trails that these resources offer. Get out there and support these if you can.

June 5: Kupenda 5K Trail Race
July 17: ECG's Run For The Hills
August 28: ECG's Beverly Commons 8 Mile Trail Run
September 18: ECTA 10 Mile Trail Run
October 17: Ravenswood 4.1 Mile Trail Race
November 6: Stonecat 26.2 Mile Trail Run