Friday, August 19, 2011

Oxford Dam Trail race

I spent Friday night (8/5) in Auburn with Krissy as she was getting ready for her PMC (Pan Mass Challenge) ride which started at 5am on Saturday. Thus I had a chance sneak over to Oxford for a CMS race, Dam Trail Run. It was only 8 miles away from the hotel and the race was early (9am) so I could still support and cheer Krissy at the end of her Sturbridge to Bourne (110 miles) ride.

A step ahead of Ross Krause in Oxford
The trail race is listed as a 10 miler but is suggested that it is more like 10.5 or 11 miles depending on how the course has been laid out in the past. Most of the race is on single track with about 10% on fire roads. I ran a warm up with CMS folks such as John Pajer, Mary Ellowitz, and Jim Johnson. Ross Krause was also in attendance. All the CMS folks had the new singlet on, despite the heat and humidity, standing on the starting line. Race director, John Grenier took note – impressed with the fresh white singlets. We took off from the start. Jim took the command of the lead as expected and took no prisoners. I hung back in 2nd with Ross and Rob Hult on my heels. They went by after a mile and I stayed real close to Rob, making sure Ross did not get too far. I made a surge past Rob a few minutes later and chased Ross down and kept company through 4 miles as we got out of the single track and onto a fire road. Ross admitted he was worn down a bit so I lead us through the next few miles, focusing on the flags to keep us on course. I had a good thing going and did not mind the company trying to push the pace but keep aware that there was some distance to cover. The legs tired after 55 minutes and Ross pulled ahead.

I was trying to anticipate how much race we had left. It was hard to gauge from my experience at this race a few years ago as the finish line was in a different spot. I was not too familiar how and where the race was finishing. Finally, I saw the parking lot up ahead. I threw everything I had left to close the gap on Ross in the last 200m. I just got past him before the finish line for 2nd place overall, with a time of 1:08:31. Jim finished four minutes ahead of us as it took him 1:04:31 on the strong solo effort. Rob was fourth in 1:12:53 as the first master (40+). I picked up a bottle of wine at the awards table an hour after the race. I had to hustle back and check out of the hotel. My planar fascia was screaming so limped around for the rest of the day. I caught up with Krissy at the last water stop that she had in her ride with the camera ready for her smiling face. She was 90+ miles into the ride with more energy than me. She was really inspiring. All of the riders (5500+), volunteers, and spectators made her ride for cancer research emotional. What a great event to support.

The 2011 Dam Trail Race, 10-Mile
Hodges Village Dam, Oxford MA
August 6, 2011
1 1:04:31 Jim Johnson      M20-39 Salem, NH               CMS
2 1:08:31 James Pawlicki  M20-39 Beverly, MA          CMS
3 1:08:32 Ross Krause     M20-39 Easthampton, MA CMS
4 1:12:53 Rob Hult            M40-49 Harvard, MA          Puma

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beverly Homecoming 5K

L to R: Todd Callaghan, James Pawlicki, Ben Strain, & Jonathan May with 600m to go. Photo by Krissy K
Where: Beverly
What: Beverly Homecoming 5K Road Race
Result: 16:19, 4th overall
Full results
Photos by Krissy K

This is what racing is all about: going into the last mile with Jonathan May (SRR), Ben Strain (CMS), and Todd Callaghan (GCS). I threw everything I could at these guys in the last mile and they wouldn't break. One thing is for sure, if Ben Strain is around toward the end of the race, watch your wallet and your back. Jonathan and Ben got a stride on me with 400m to go and I couldn't get past them. Jonathan ran a PR, Ben ran his quickest 5K this year, and Todd ran his quickest 5K in a while. I too, ran my fastest 5K in a number of years.

Splits: 5:09, 5:25 (10:34), missed mile 3, 5:43 (16:18.94)

44th Annual Beverly Homecoming Road Race
Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:30 PM
Place Name       Time    Pace  City           St 
===== =================== ======= ===== ======== 
1 Andrew Ryan    15:30  5:00  Gloucester      MA 
2 Ben Strain     16:17  5:15  Beverly         MA 
3 Jonathan May   16:18  5:16  Charlestown     MA
4 James Pawlicki 16:19  5:16  Beverly         MA
5 Todd Callaghan 16:26  5:18  Beverly         MA

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carver Cranberry 5 mile road race

Fighting for the finish. Photo by Ted Tyler

This race was race number six of the USATF New England Road Race Grand Prix series. I have never been to Carver before so I was looking forward to it. I picked up Joe Shairs and Pete Mallett on the way to Carver which took almost 90 minutes. The CMS team registration was all over the place. Some guys were signed up while some like Kevin Gorman and Jim Johnson were not. Jim took the lead and got it straightened out with a key member of the registration team. I ran a warm up with the team and got to the starting line about 10 minutes early to stretch out. It was warm, maybe low 80’s with humidity. I settled in about three rows deep and we were off. I went through the first mile in 5:25 and the race soon took our first right hand turn. This was a simple race to navigate, only three right hand turns through the country like neighborhood off Rt. 58. I passed a few runners heading into mile two (10:55) and mile three (16:31) keeping Kevin Gorman just a few steps ahead. This stretch had plenty of shade and a few water showers set up by the residents which was helpful. Mile three to four put me around several master and senior runners who were jockeying for position to lay the gauntlet down. The likes of Doug Martyn (Whirlaway), John Barbour (GLRR), Terry McNatt (CSU), Joe Donnelly (Whirlaway) and Robert Cipriano (SRR) were ready to battle. Meanwhile, Chris Mahoney was ailing a bit from plantar issues, however, did his best to get Kevin Gorman, Matt Clark, and I fired up for the last mile or so as I went through mile four in 22:16 and knew the only hill on the course was just ahead. I faded on the hill and my pack pulled away into the shady darkness ahead. Once on top of the rise, I could see the finish line clock come into focus. I hustled to stay in the 27’s with a 27:53 (5:35 per mile pace), good for 52nd place overall and 14th on the CMS roster. CMS won the men’s open team event while the masters team finished 2nd. I cooled down with Tim Pipp, Patrick Rich, and Greg Hammett. My post race grub included some Freeze Pops, water, and a banana to refuel for the traffic filled ride north of Boston on the Expressway. Going forward, I am looking forward to running the Beverly Homecoming 5K this week and the Oxford Dam Trail race on Saturday.