I got smoked on a tough trail race in Lynn Woods today. Rolled with John Dudley and a new face, Greg from Arlington for a few miles. Greg pulled away after three miles and John stayed close. Three trips up Stone Tower, one up Steel Tower, and the steps up Dungeon Rock sum this one up. Tricky footing on the Undercliff trail is still my favorite spot in the woods. Rolled my ankle 46 minutes on flat terrain, a sign of tired legs. I was zapped at that point. Hooted and hollered on my last climb over Stone Tower. Parents grabbed the little ones and dogs ducked away at my scowl which told everyone I wanted it over with. Rolled the same ankle on the backside on the descent. Cursing and swearing to the Stone Tower Gods made me feel better. Just a few minutes remained so it was easy to suck it up. Finish time was 58:57 (2nd place), almost three minutes behind the winner - Greg Fullman (56:03). John was about 30 seconds behind me. Collected the gents for a cool down and photo opportunity at the tower where Krissy tooled her trade, bless her. Photos are on SmugMug. I am beat but well worth the effort. Gift certificate to New England Running Company was a bonus. Raffles galore from Northface brought me a pair of SmartWool socks. Proceeds go to the preservation of the Stone Tower. If you have not been to Lynn Woods, please check it out. It is one of the best kept secrets north of Boston because it is not a state owned park. On a side note, Paul Young and the winner, Greg, measured a covered distance of 8.8 miles. Paul is convinced the course was a turn or two different this year. Photos by Krissy at her KrissyK SmugMug page.
I woke up early and took a peek at the coolrunning calendar. I found the Landmark 5K in Beverly Farms appealing for cash prizes. I sent a text over to John Ayers (won it last year) and Ben Strain asking them if they wanted to go. Ben got right back to me and said he was in. Kris, my dad, and I drove up Rt. 128 which beamed with the autumn leaves on a cool morning. I handed over a check in exchange for a tech shirt and bib # 127 which equaled Route 127 for which we would be racing on. I was not familiar with the race course despite running these roads for so many years. I did my warm up on the course based on what I read about earlier and the arrowed signs on the telephone poles at each turn. The side roads in Beverly Farms are very quiet. The course had nine turns in total with a few hills. The last 1000m was flat and fast. I lined up one the starting line next to Ben, boasting his CMS singlet and a tall Western Mass Distance Project guy, Kevin Quadrozzi. Ben and I immediately trailed him 400m into the race. We had to yell ahead to alert him of the first turn on the left as he was on the right sight of the road. Ben and I ran together through mile one in 5:21. Again, we yelled ahead as Kevin was about to miss another turn. It was a good thing we were still close enough for him to hear us alerting him. A few twist and turns later I pulled a few strides ahead of Ben. I clocked through mile two in 10:57 (5:36). Based on the spectator acknowledgement, I could tell Ben was very close in the last 800m. I did not hear his foot steps until we turned into the finish line. Krissy's pictures proved he was charging hard. I held him off by one second and we finished in the money, 2nd (17:10) and 3rd (17:11) overall. Kevin took the win in 16:27. We gathered up shortly thereafter and ran a few easy miles out along the course.