I raced at the Merrimack River 10 mile trail race this past Saturday, placing 3rd overall out of almost 200 runners. Below is some of my history there on the out and back course. The middle miles of the course are tough as nails.
James Pawlicki 33 2008 CMS Beverly MA 1:01:48
James Pawlicki 38 2013 CMS Lynn MA 1:02:03
James Pawlicki 31 2006 CMS Beverly MA 1:02:55
Jim Pawlicki 35 2010 CMS Beverly MA 1:02:57
James Pawlicki 30 2005 CMS Beverly MA 1:03:14
Busting up the power lines
Photo taken by Mike Quintal
I got behind Kevin Tilton right away and recall going through mile 1 just under 5:20. Jim Johnson was just ahead. I passed Kevin after 3 miles and eventual 2nd place finisher, Steven Granger-Bevan, passed me before we hit the power lines. I would find out that Kevin was battling a cold. I stumbled at the top of the lines and worried I would be prone to a few more trip ups over the next 5.5 miles. CMS master, Tim Van Orden was on my heels just before the turn around water stop. I was around 30:30. Jim had his lead and Stephen (CSU) was less than a minute back. I soon started to run into the runners that were behind me, however, now I am running at them (out and back course). I would be sure to yell ahead to them on approach to cheer them on. It also helped me cope with tired legs and wake up some heads that were looking down. I was not in the mood for a collision with anyone. I was particularly cautious going through water, mud, and tricky footing on the way back. I got back to the power lines and Tim was still shadowing me. I was hooting and hollaring for those climbing up the hills. A few minutes later, I could no longer hear Tim. The course flattened out for the last three miles and I kept the pressure on myself. I was around 56:4X at 9 miles and thought I might have a shot at sub 1:02. I trounced through the last of the mud before the finish and just missed breaking 1:02 for third place. Jim won with a low 59 and Stephen had a solid race and time of just beyond one hour. Race director, Stephen Peterson, put on a great raffle event where I picked up a New England Runner subcription, bottle of bleach to clean the muddy clothes, and a bag of Bugles to snack on. Dave Dunham and the DRC did a bang up job on the timing and results.