Monday, May 6, 2013

Pipestave Hill Trail Race

L-R, Pawlicki, Dunham, Jones, Scott
Photo taken by Mike Fitzgerald

I jumped into the first of the 2013 North Shore Trail series of races with the Pipestave Hill Trail Race in West Newbury Thursday night.This race was a first for me so I was foreign to the area and course. Thus, I made a plan to scout the course with Dave Dunham. It was a mix of grass fields, single track trail, and fire roads. Throw in some roots, rocks, mud, one bridge and a few hills – like Pipestave Hill – and you’ve got a nice 5K trail race. The course was a large loop followed by a small loop within the first.  It was a chilly night with some wind. I could not warm up enough jogging slowly before having a moment of silence for the recent Boston Marathon bombings and walking the 150+ runners over to the start below a soccer field. Getting off the starting line was tough as my legs lost any warm blood flow. Andy Scott jumped right out with Dave Dunham and I in tow. Justin Jones (D5K) had to bail 800m in as his shoe came untied. Andy led Dave and I through the single track. I did all I could to stay close to Dave who is better at the technical stuff than he says he is. I passed Dave before we approached the end of the 1st loop as I felt Andy was gapping us too much. We had a good climb over the field again and found that I was not gaining on Andy who had at least a 10 second lead. He doubled that as we exited out of the woods and back to the field for which we were running against the race (they were heading into their 2nd loop). Andy finished 1st in 17:59, I in 18:22, and Dave hung onto 3rd with a 18:41. Full results. Dave had some calf issues that cropped up causing him to run slower than last year while he is more fit this year. I closed out the night with a cool down over the course, got in a D5K group picture, and caught up with a few folks on racing plans.

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