Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mill Cities Relay

Jim, Larissa, Elizabeth, and Megan at the finish
The Mill Cities Relay is always a fun event. 27 miles, 5 legs, 2 states, one river and a cold December day sums it up. A post race party at the finish in Lawrence via the Claddagh Pub caps off the day. This was my third year in a row running with SRR and the open coed team. Our team consisted of fast company: Alex White, Elizabeth Jackson, Larissa Park, and Megan Hyland. We secured a team name of SRR - Alex’s Bulk Organic Produce. If you want some organic veggies at a discount and delivered, just let him know. Larissa picked Brett Rickenbach (Winner’s Circle Coed) and I up and got to the Norman Crisp school in Nashua about 55 minutes before the 8:00 start. This gave me ample time to do all the pre-race stuff and safely get to the start line next to SRR’s Greg Picklesimer and Mike Quintal who ended up finishing 1 and 2 for leg one. Larissa drove off to get ready for leg 2. I settled into 10th place or so about 400m into my 5.4 mile leg. Mike and Greg were up front and the pack was single file. I trailed or led a single file pack about 50m behind James Sullivan from GLRR. I got onto his heels after 3 miles and he would proceed to surge each time. Ryan Hayes from the Shamrock Running Club went ahead of us after 4 miles with a hard surge. I noted passing 5 miles in 27:58 and was pleased with that. I managed to pass Ryan 800m before our entry into the parking lot exchange zone and get a stride behind James before handing off to Larissa around 30:01. I think our team was in 8th or 9th place at the time. I collected Brett who also ran leg one and had to find Larissa’s car so we could drive to the next exchange zone for her finish. She picked up some places on her leg which had a few hills and plenty of narrow road. We got into the Greater Lowell High School about five minutes ahead of her exchange with Megan Hyland who was to hand off to Alex White for the long leg along the Merrimac River. Larissa, Brett, and I drove to the last exchange zone to see Elizabeth Jackson take off once Alex came in. She ran the final leg to the pub in Lawrence to a winning coed division time of 2:35:08 and 5th team overall. Gate City and Whirlaway had coed teams finish 6th and 7th overall in the relay for a competitive race in our division. I had a great time hanging out with mates and members of all clubs inside the Claddagh. Huge thanks go out to Brian Cullinane and Brendan Kearney for putting the teams together. Brian would set a marathon PR the same day at the California International Marathon. Furthermore, John Gorvin was relentless for his communication and awareness of the event leading up to race day. In the end, SRR finished 2nd overall to GCS in the club championship which is quite the accomplishment among so many competitive teams. Full Results

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