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

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