This race has been a long time 5 mile distance. The L Street Running Club had to cut it down to 5K as they could not secure BC High or the far end of the former Bay Side Expo Center for the race HQ. Although the five mile distance is my favorite, I will take a 5K on a mid summer evening. The weather was decent but still an 80 degree night. The race takes off and I get a good start from the 2nd row, holding the right hand side of the road. The race is getting a head wind out past Carson Beach. I hold my own through 1 mile in 5:22 solo, not caring to draft. We pass the L Street bath house on the right and a water stop which I decline. At the turn around (half way point), master Mark Mayall is a step in the lead. I yell for him as he is the only guy I know as the top seven guys come at me. I do my 180 degree turn around the cone and head back toward Dorchester. I feel pretty good and keep fighting. Mile 2 gives a split of 10:41 (5:18 mile) and I am bound to crack my goal of 17 minutes. I labor a bit but have one guy in striking distance with 1000m to go. I try to hold form, pass mile three with a time around 16:22. I sprint for that guy in front of me and barely catch him at the line. We both get the same time: 16:55 (5:27/mile pace). I grabbed a gatorade and a chocolate chip cookie right away and headed out for a solo cool down over to the JFK Library and UMass Boston Campus - about a 3.5 mile run in total. I came back to the post race food and expo. I grabbed a B Good burger. I chilled out at the Level Renner tent and had some good laughs with Kevin Gorman and EJN. I also caught up with Tim Pipp. He is alive and well, just working too many hours. Interview with EJN from the drivers seat of the Kevin Gorman family wagon to follow......
I warmed up with the SRR crew to get a feel for the terrain as this was my first time at this race. One lap/loop for the 5K, and twice for the 10K which I signed up for. Deer flies were in abundance but they were kept at bay during the race. I caught a glance of CMS'r Chris Mahoney before the race. It was good to see him racing again. I settled in behind Michael Paulin (Wicked Running Club) and Chris Mahoney about 800m into the race. There were a few ups and downs to work out. Some downs had some mud - where I usually run through with no worries. Yet, 1.5 miles in, for the first time for me, I lose a shoe in said mud. $%#!@? I run back for it as SRR's Sean McDonough and Jon May fly at me and past. Jon was willing to wait but I told him to get back into the race. He did. A few other guys zipped past on the trail while I am fighting to get my right shoe back on. It is harder than it looks. I may have lost 45 seconds. I roll past Wes Lassen and David Long. I did not panic but it was clear I lost sight of the front pack for good. I laugh as the sole on the other shoe ripped half way off and is flapping in the air with each stride - slapping my right calf in the process. The guys behind me must have been laughing their ass off with my technical difficulties. I continue on with no sense of urgency, really flat and beat from losing the pack. I wait until the half way point of the course at Pingree to stop. I see Chris Smith taking off into the 2nd loop which catches my amusement with hope to reel him in - anything for motivation. I throw a water down, laugh with the volunteers, and rip the sole off my shoe and left it at the park bench to the statement of "this is for the hall of shame." I set off for the 2nd loop, same as the first but much tougher. I chase but fail to see Chris. There are so few straight sections on the trail that it is hard to see if your in touch with anyone further than 150m ahead. The 2nd pass on this loop was tough. I wondered how the front line guys were shaking out. I slogged through to wrap up this mess. Then I see Chris up ahead with about 1000m to go. I woke up and sprinted after him. I passed him about 200m from the finish and encouraged him to come along but he was zapped. I came in 5th place, 40:09. Full results. Chris Mahoney came in 1st, followed by Sean McDonough, Jon May, and Michael Paulin (his first trail race). Chris was six seconds behind me. My two loops were pretty close to each other in terms of time. 20:13 for loop one (includes time for fighting with lost shoe and water stop at 1/2 way), 19:56 for loop 2. After the folks got their awards, SRR's Diona Fulton (1st place female - just a week removed from top female honors on a tough Vermont trail Marathon), Jon, Sean, and I headed out for a cool down over to Appleton Farms. I show off a few loops and proceed to get us all turned around, tired, thirsty, hungry, and exhausted. We finally find a driveway back out to Highland Ave. We ran over 65 minutes for a cool down. Hey, it's all about the journey, right? Many photos taken by Roger Perham.
A few weeks ago, I ran a mile leg for the Somerville Road Runners "Lions" team in the Marathon Relay at Tufts University. I had leg # 13 of 26. Each person runs one mile before handing off to another. I ran some warm up laps with Mike Quintal who ran for another SRR team. Elizabeth Jackson was handing the baton off to me so I got ready and stretched out while she ran her four laps around the Tufts outdoor track. I got the baton and focused on not going out too quick for the first of four laps. I glanced a :75 at 400m so that was good. 2:30 at the half way point. I pretty much duplicated that in the 2nd 800m to stop my watch at 5:00 for four laps (just shy of a mile). The team could not overcome a strong showing by the Cambridge Running Club who in the process, broke the SRR and event record by 90 seconds, while winning it overall. My SRR Lions team combined for a 2:22:52. Team Results
This past Thursday was the Squantum 5 mile road race. This race is held about a mile from my Boston Scientific office in Marina Bay. I run along most of the course during the week. The area is very quiet, limited traffic, plenty of scenic ocean views, and a Boston Skyline to remind you that your just a few miles away from town. I did not have a watch so I was running the race on feel. I did not see anyone on the starting line that I felt would take the race out too hard but you never know. Once the race started, no one took command, so I did and never looked back. I got clipped on the heels once in the first mile to an apologetic runner. Once I started the climb up Bellvue Ave, the sound of foot steps and breathing trailing me were gone. I hammered the next mile and cruised though 3.5 miles before glancing back to see a cushion. I ran hard to keep up with the pace bike on the paths of Squantum Point Park and to the finish for a time of 28:52, 1st place. This was my first win of 2012. I picked up a Marathon Sports gift certificate for the effort. I chilled out after the race for pasta, hot dogs, and salad. I chatted with John Goodwin (50+) who was a 14:20 5K stud at Boston State under the Bill Squires coached era. It was nice to run into him and encouraged him to get to the next few New England Grand Prix Road Races. Results
Lastly, I ran the John Carson 2 mile road race this morning in Chelmsford. I have some history here. I am too lazy to look up the results but know that I have a sub 10:00 there in the first year that I ran it. I was booking for a 10:18 today or ten twenty something if I was off. I brought my dad who likes to walk the two plus miles to the finish line and wait for me to finish. Then he grabs a water and walks back to the start after I finish the race. I missed my planned warm up with Mike Quintal, Dave Dunham, and Dan Verrington at 8:40am. I warmed up alone until I ran into Eric Beauchesne. On the way back to the start, I ran into friend, Dave Menard, and then into the CMS amigos (Mike, Dave, and Dan).
Closing on the finish at the John Carson 2 mile
with Jen Donovan and Dave Dunham. Photo by Gianina Lindsey.
I really did not get a good spot at the starting line, opting and accepting a 5th row vantage behind Dan Verrington. Typically, Dan would not make a good lead fullback but I dealt with it and did not feel like elbowing my way up the sweaty crowd. Dave Dunham took the smart route and owned a spot on the precious front line. So be it. Gun is off and miraculously, I got off without a trip, fall, or any eblow to the chops. It seems like everyone and their brother sprint out at this race and today was no different. Once I got 800m in, I found my rhythm and went to work passing, slowly, a few ambitious runners. I saw Jen Donovan ahead and Dave Dunham ahead of her. Mile one was 5:17 and I did not panic. I was working it but wanted to now get under 10:30. I passed Paul Hammond and Eric Beachesne over the next 800m. Once I got to the 495 overpass, I focused on getting after Dave Dunham who was battling Jen Donovan (1st place female). As I caught up to them on the incline, they were two wide and we had 200m left. I did not want to spook Dave so I gave him a fullback push to the lower back to both encourage him to start hustling away from Jen and to alert him of my presence. I split the two judiciously and went ahead and up the rest of the incline, right hand turn to the finish. I saw the clock at 10:28 when I passed it. I got a 10:30. I grabbed a "top 100 Sullivan Farms" t-shirt. I gave it to Dave Menard who was bummed out that he did not get one. I placed 31st overall which may be my worst placing here. I ran a few ticks faster in the second mile but I had to earn it. Results
The rest of July is busy for races with at least one race per week. The trend has been just that - at least a race per week since the end of May. I like where I am at with the racing and frequency. I am back to the SRR workouts which I really need. Also on the agenda is getting back into some long runs with perhaps an attempt at a fall marathon but it is too early to say.