I was looking for a competitive and fast 5K to tune up for the Jack Kerouac 5K at the end of the month. Mike Quintal emailed me late on Friday about this Salem Fest 5K road race. I read the email at 6:30am on Saturday. I checked out prior year results and noted the quick times. It was a 9am start on a Saturday which favors my weekend, allowing me to do work around the house, car, and get a long run on Sunday. I ate some yogurt and a granola bar, packed a race bag, and hit the road just after 7. I had a short 40 minute ride in the Nissan pickup which gave me an opportunity to let it breathe on the highway (first since I bought it last month). CMS teamate, Dan Vassallo showed up as I was filling out the race registration form. I wish I knew he was coming as he lives one town away and we could have car-pooled. We grabbed a map to check out the course. There were quite a few turns (counted 24 of the 90 degree variety) on the course. In addition, there were numbered markers everywhere directing us where to go along the course. There were 30 in total as the course meandered around quiet residential neighborhoods.
Dan took off the the start leaving me in a pack of four which included former winner Patrick Ard, Dan LeBeouf, and Sam Fazioli. I brought them through mile 1 in 5:09. Patrick said that was too fast but proceeded to pull away about a half mile later with Dan and Sam following. I missed mile two but was keeping within a few strides of Sam. I passed Sam in the last mile and noticed that marker 26 was coming up - just four more remained so I tried to pick it up. There was a small gradual hill up Briar Ave where I lost a step or two to Dan but there was no way I was catching him with 150 yards to go. I crossed the line in 16:08 for 4th place overall. I was spent but then imediately started to question the quick time and came to the conlusion that the course was short. I cooled down with the guys and we discussed that Jim Johnson went over this course with a car and bike in 2010 after setting a 14:54 5K PR. He measured it out to be 3.16 miles. Patrick said this course was no different that what he has raced in the past. He would know as he has run it every year. Here is the map. The start and finish were about 15 yards from Main Street. I did the google-pedometer measurement and got 3.15 miles. I guess the effort is going in my log as a legit 5K and my quickest in 2012.
Salem Fest 5K 2012 race results
Salem Fest 5K
Salem, NH September 15, 2012
1 205 Dan Vassallo 27 M PEABODY MA 14:56 4:49
2 207 Patrick Ard 28 M RAYMOND NH 15:44 5:04
3 203 Dan LeBoeuf 35 M SALEM NH 15:57 5:08
4 206 James Pawlicki 37 M LYNN MA 16:08 5:12
5 127 Samuel Fazioli 20 M SALEM NH 16:12 5:13
The last of the Reservations (from this trip)
22 hours ago