This USATF 5K New England Championship in Lowell was a slightly different course than the Brewery Exchange 5K from a decade ago but the same profile. Up and down the Merrimac River, two bridges, and finish in front of the Brewery. I have my 5K PR here in 1999 (15:47). Today, I was about a minute slower and 13 years older. I was behind Todd Callaghan over the 1st bridge. Then I rolled with Ben Strain (good to see you back racing!) through mile 1 in 5:10. Todd and others were pulling away or I was stepping back. My upper arms were feeling the quick pace. By the time I hit the next bridge to find mile two in 10:41, I was dragging a bit. Even with a downhill into downtown Lowell, I was flat, junk. I rolled past Martin Tighe and Kevin Alliette. Then I got past the Tsongas Arena and the familiar yellow singlet of SRR, Joe O'Leary rolled beside me. It was good to see Joe (also getting ready for Chicago) throwing down here in the Grand Prix. We have had battles going back into the late 90's. He tore me apart in the closing 100m. The finish is downhill, yet, I had no drive. I stopped my watch with a 16:51, good for my fastest 5K for the year. Yeah, that Salem Fest 5K I ran three weeks ago is complete bull crap - short. Yankee Timing got me down for a 16:47 net time and a 16:49 gun time. I stood around beyond the finish and caught up with each CMS finisher I could find and get thier story. I cooled down with them and a path along the Riverwalk which meanders along the river. Joe Shairs recalled and compared the ULowell campus and how it changed from his college days. After getting into dry clothing, I crashed at the Brewery for an hour with the Patriots not exactly giving it to the Bills. Krissy and I watched the 2nd half at my aunts in Methuen. Glad they got their crap together. On the high note of the day, the CMS men's open and masters teams finished in second place in both divisions.