Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bridge of Flowers Shelburne Falls 10K recap

Kristen piloted us out to Shelburne Falls which was hosting the 10K road race Championship of New England. I’ve raced this one a few times in the past so knew the logistics of parking, registration, et cetera. Thus I did not panic too much when our commute hit a detour in Greenfield adding an extra twenty minutes to our expected two hour drive. I prefer to arrive at a race at least one hour before the start time. We arrived in Shelburne Falls at 8:19 for a 9:00 start. We were held up on the access road to downtown as the 3K was to start at 8:20. No problem. I jumped out of the car, put my racing flats and singlet on and ran down to the registration area about ¾ of a mile away only to run into another traffic jamb of runners in the pre-registration line that was out the door sprawling into the side walk. I got my number about fifteen minutes later. Good thing I did not have to wait for a porta-john.

The race start had one side of the road dedicated to the women to give them some rare real-estate on the narrow downtown road. The race went off at 9am sharp. The first mile has a few sneaky hills that I always forget about as emphasis or concern is for Crittenden Hill just after mile two. I passed several runners up the hill. This was a slow mile split for me, over seven minutes but was ready to tear it up on the backside. I had my quickest mile into mile four with a 5:10. My legs were beat minutes later where a 5:40 mile got me through mile five. This was one of those races where I wished this was a five mile race. I sucked it up and got a few down hills reeling in Tim Mahoney and ran side by side to the bridge where we raced to the end. He got the best of me but pulled me along for the last 400m. I finished 49th overall with a 35:43 where I was looking for a low 35 minute race. I can’t complain. The splits were honest and I would say this course runs about a minute slow with the hill to make this one of the tougher 10K’s in New England.

Photos by Kristen

Looking ahead, I just signed up for RunGloucester, a new 7 mile race in Gloucester for this Sunday. It is marketed to be the last of the Trilogy of Cape races trailing the third consecutive weekend that featured the Beach to Beacon 10K (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and the Falmouth Road Race (Cape Cod). The entry fee was steep but curious on the event so I am going. I know the terrain and expect the hills to slow the pace for all but I am sure to see some elites show up for the cash prizes. I will muck it up and shoot for sub 5:45’s.

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