Friday, March 22, 2013

New Bedford Half Marathon

Looking forward after 12 miles
Photo credit to Scott Mason

It was time to line up for the second USATF New England Grand Prix race of 2013: New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday. I car pooled down with Dave Dunham and Joe Shairs from Wilmington. The ride to New Bedford went by pretty fast with all the talk in the car about the CMS team, competition, et cetera. I was not nervous at the starting line, settling in about five rows back next to Scott Leslie (he ran a 50K a few weeks back) and behind Sean McDonough (SRR) who was looking for a 1:16:00 as was I. However, my legs and head were doubtful for that. I got out with a 5:51 mile into a head wind. By three miles, the lead truck for the women was at least 300m ahead and I was not in the mood to chase until we got some downhill. My pace was now averaging at 6:00 per mile. The lead truck scenario really defeated me as one goal was to stay in front of the lead women for the day. From 4-7 miles, I rolled through, felt decent, and had teammate Kevin Gorman around for company. My goal in that stretch was to catch Norm Larson (50+, GMM) which I did. Then I got on the heels of Ryan Miller (SISU) around 7 miles. My pace in the downhill stretch was likely in the mid 5:40’s and by 10 miles I recall I was around 59:2X. The head wind came after mile 9 or so. The group I was with included Kevin and was working hard albeit, single file. I had some lapses but battled. I was cooked at 11 miles and lost the single file group I was with. I caught Dave Principie before the hill at 12 (40+, TNT) and encouraged him to finish strong. Meanwhile, he was helping be get away from two Whirlaway guys including Mike Cooney. The last downhill was tough on my burned out legs. I was hobbling but sucked it up and stayed behind Dave who finished very strong. My time was 1:17:41 (1:17:38 bib time), 111th place overall. I cooled down as far as it took me to get back to Dave’s car and got some warm clothes on as the days temp could not have gotten past 38 degrees or so. The highlight of the day was the post-race fish sandwich and chowdah at the CMS table. I did not hear too many complaints from the guys who had solid times for the 13.1 miles. As I write days after, I was pleased how I recovered from this race compared to the Amherst 10 miles several weeks back.

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