Today was a rare outdoor track event for me in the USATF New England Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Regis College in Weston, MA. I have not run too many 10,000 meter races on the track. I can recall, maybe, three in college and one post college where I set a personal record at the Northeastern Husky Twilight Track & Field # 2 meet in Dedham on May 26, 2001 with a 33:32.5. That was the last time I raced the event on the track. Ten years later and an opportunity came up last month when Dave Dunham was interested in a 10K on the track. The event was not on the schedule for this meet. Dave contacted Steve Viatones from the USATF New England office and he agreed to add the event to the meet schedule. Meanwhile, CMS recruited eight runners for the event that took to the starting line this morning: Chris Mahoney, Ben Strain, Kevin Tilton, Dave Dunham, Dave Quintal, Joe Shairs, Greg Putnam, and I. I figured I could run with Ben, Joe, and Dave Dunham with a goal of a sub 34 minute race. I got out and settled in behind Ben and Joe. The first lap was just under 80 seconds (5:20 mile pace). We were going out a bit faster than I wanted but I also wanted company in the 25 lap event. We went through the first mile in 5:21 with Ben towing Joe and I. This continued aside from the pace slowing down a bit per mile (see my splits below). The stretch between 3 and 4 miles brought about a 5:37 mile and it felt like it. I had just enough energy to yell to Ben and Joe to let them know that we were on the wrong side of 5:30 pace. Joe picked it up and pushed. I hung on for another four laps and started to drag, fade, and lose them. I went through five miles in 27:29 (5:30 mile pace) but knew I was in trouble. Mile 5 through 6 was miserable in 5:38. I had no energy to close the gap between myself and Ben who was closing in on Joe with 300m to go. Ben caught Joe in the final 100m. I followed about 10 seconds behind Joe with an unofficial time of 34:27 at the finish line. I missed my goal with a tired second half and never had the energy to contribute or push the pace. I felt my form disintegrate in the last two miles. Ben and Joe ran solid races. I know they too were looking for a sub 34.
Ben still taking charge
I want to thank Lou Ristaino who called out splits and kept track of laps while our group got lapped late in the race. Meanwhile, thanks are appropriate to Joe Fischetti who had words of encouragement for each of my 25 laps. The team went out for a long cool down around Weston. My right hamstring was completely messed up but got better after two miles. I was beat when we returned to the Regis campus 37 minutes later. Krissy and I hung out at the meet for another hour and watched several events in the meet. The afternoon was capped off with lunch at Sorrento's in Concord. Krissy took several photos showing the 10K event. She was all over the place and certainly captured the physical demands of the 10,000 meter event in June.