Monday, February 10, 2014

Great Stew Chase 15K

This is an honest New England 15K race in Lynn that has seen fourty starts over the years. All you want to know about the third oldest 15K in the country. Over the past decade or so - the out to Peabody and back loop has been standard with a little change at the turn around point. If you sign up early, it will cost you a dollar per kilometer. How many races can you say that about? A bowl of beef stew (and veggie), a roll, and a cookie await at the Knights of Columbus. The KofC offers warm shelter from the low 20 degree temps. No complaints today other than the "barely" slower than six minute mile average 5 mile split - the only time all race that I cared to glance at the Garmin. However, good company out there with CMS mate Joe Shairs and Ryan Hayes via Shamrock Running Club out of Woburn. 

Ryan, I, and Joe around mile 6 in Peabody
Photo by KrissyK
Joe broke me going up the hill off of Farm Road. Ryan was smoking me too. Joe would later admit to working said hills with purpose. I picked up my gait after the turn around (waited for some down hill action) as I figured I better keep myself some company for the return trip back to Lynn. I was cutting all tangents, safely of course, when appropriate. Joe waived me back into the huddle around mile six and I felt good about that - working like teammates to shake the bearded Hayes who had many a fan calling to him as we ran toward oncoming runners by design. I did some work pulling us past 7 miles. I was gassed so Joe took charge with a few lefts - turns that is. We had a long straight stretch and managed to shake Ryan off a bit through mile 8. Joe looked back with a half mile to go and did not sound off any alarms yet we kept pressing past mile 9. We were two wide with oncoming traffic close to my right elbow. Joe gave me the go ahead on the narrow street up to the KofC parking lot where I crossed the line in 55:32 (5:58 pace per mile average). He was one second back. I was greeted by Krissy - doing her thing with over 600 photos for the day and my dad who came to watch us inflict pain on ourselves on a cold February day. Joe (top 40+) and I finished 6th and 7th. Ryan was just seven seconds back. Dan Vassallo, looking sharp in the new CMS singlet cruised to a win and not too far back from me was Nick Taormina and Scott Deslongchamps who was racing for the first time since November. He is targeting the Hyannis Marathon at the end of the month. I did a cool down with Scott, Joe, and Mike Dimauro (another Shamrock) before settling down to some stew with the gang. I picked up a 2014 Great Stew Chase pen for which I proudly brought into the office today. Blue ink to compliment the black ink already in stock. I crack up at the Stew Chase logo - a kettle of stew on the run - reminds me of the kool-aide pitcher on the run breaking through walls. 
To the line with Joe at the KofC
Photo by KrissyK
My refurbished Garmin 205 said that I ran 9.47 miles ~ a little longer than 9.3 miles that 15K breaks down to. That was a consensus based on the mini-survey of feedback that I heard post race. Race Director, Roger Perham and good all 'round guy wheeled this one so I don't know what to say. Perhaps I did not cut enough tangents. On a side note, I tore up a pretty healthy blister on my foot that was brewing all week 24 hrs earlier. I worried that the raw skin rubbing on each foot plant would be a problem on Sunday morning. However, Sunday morning - one hour to gun time - I tried on several pairs of racing flats to trainers before this little red riding hood settled on a borderline pair of trainers/racers from Asics that I had pretty much retired but too attached to recycle. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice write up Jim. My Garmin had it at 9.46 miles