Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ipswich Rotary 5K/10K Trail Ramble at Appleton Farms

Off the start
Photo by Roger Perham
I woke up on Saturday morning with no plan (training or racing) so I went to the coolrunning race calendar to see what was available. I found the Ipswich Rotary 5K/10K Trail Ramble at Appleton Farms. My previous history was a 4th place finish behind gents such as Mike Degennaro, John Ayers, Patrick Rich back in 2005 in the 5K (the 10K did not exist). I ran a warm up with Alex Vlahos from Ipswich and then added in another 12 minutes on my own before lining up at the start. The race goes up hill over the Newburyport line (rail road) and then down to Rt 1 where we took a right and entered Appleton Farms. Aside from Mark Mayall and Alex, I did not know anyone else. 5:39 at the first mile while the group of six was still collected. I was anxious but chilled out next to the leader on the dirt road as we slowly pulled away. We came to the point on the course where the 10K runners go left and the 5K goes straight. The young man I was next to took a left and wished me luck in my race (5K) and I yelled back the same to him. I peeked back a minute later and all was quiet – maybe 40 yard lead. I pressed along – the course now winding along beside what we used to race on back in 2005 (roads) this time on the trails. A few hills later popped me out to the road back to the finish for one last dirt road sprint for the win in 17:21. 2nd place, Fabio Piergentili, was 17:59. Alex finished 4th. I cooled down with Alex and then added in more miles to get in 10 for the day.

Finish Photo by Roger Perham

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ribfest 5 miler

Larissa Park and I arrived early as planned. I had to set up shop and hand out clothing to half a dozen CMS guys who have been waiting patiently for their order. It is so good to look like a uniformed team - as in wearing the same Saucony threads and colors. The BAE parking lot was just a 1/3 of a mile away from registration so I headed over with Scott Leslie around 8:15 to grab my bib number and technical shirt. I did a light warm up and then came upon a frantic Morgan Kennedy who just arrived. There was no time to spare so I helped him get his bib number. Two minutes later, we were getting the call to line up. The start was narrow but I got in five rows from the front - my usual seeding. The start went off and up a hill and onto a very wide highway for 1.8 miles. I was in good company - around Joe Navas, Jason Porter, and Wayne Levy in mile 1. The head wind was a factor but dealt with it. The mile marker seemed early as my Garmin beeped several seconds later (my Garmin feedback seemed off the whole time so who knows). Joe Shairs, Matt Veiga, and Andy McCarron were about 5-7 seconds ahead of me into mile 2 which was in a shaded neighborhood. Mile three was reached leaving the residential 'hood and back up onto the highway lined with orange cones.

I managed to reel in Andy just before 4 miles. The road was long and straight so it was easy to see who was ahead. There was no hiding anywhere on this course. I started to accept that I had no chance of catching Joe or Matt without a huge surge. I was all out and the internal effort gauge said I was at max. I was seeking that left hand turn and into the downhill finish in a hurry. I got there without any finishing kick highlight - just wrapped it up type of finish - 27:54.91 chip time and 67th place overall. My average pace per mile, 5:35, was good for the 9th CMS team runner. My time was about 10 seconds slower than the Back Shore 5 that I did last month in Gloucester. Not sure what to make of that but my goal for the day was to run between 27:30 and certainly under 28 minutes which was accomplished. I slowly regrouped with the mates and recapped a few stories before heading out for a cool down with Larissa, Morgan, and Matt. The highly anticipated Ribfest festivities awaited. I rushed in and out for a slice of pizza and a soda as it was fathers day and I had to hustle back home to chill with dad. It was good to see the CMS masters team take a win and the open and senior teams placing 4th place respectively in an always competitive team competition. So many good stories in there that don't get print like PR's set by Colby, Arthur, and Morgan. New CMS member and neighbor, Matt Veiga raced well even though he'd prefer a mountain to ascend and descend. Martin raced with broken ribs. Talk about man'g up.

My bogus Garmin splits are below. They are off all the way so I will blame the GPS powers for the mess.

Mile 1 5:54
Mile 2 5:41
Mile 3 5:42
Mile 4 5:47
Mile 5 4:48 (measured 0.93)
Final 27:53

Monday, June 9, 2014

Kupenda 5 mile cross country

Photo by David Dunham
This was a new course laid out by Patrick Rich within the trails behind Gordon College in Wenham. I took the lead about 800m from EJN on a trail that I love - chipped wood footing in the shade. I pressed hard on the terrain and built a lead. David Dunham was on hand taking photos and filling me in on the lead which was helpful. I faded on the 2nd big loop but the lead was good as I could not see anyone behind me. I chased a few snakes off trail on the closing loop to find the finish in 29:10...would have placed me 11th in the Pop Crowell Cross Country Invitational held in October of 2013. I cooled down with the gang - Robert Molnar, David Dunahm, Jenn Brooks, Matt Curran, and Dan Verrington who placed 3rd, just behind David Long. I am glad I went. It was a rare win but was pleased with the effort. My right achilles is bugging me as of yesterday afternoon so I will be keeping an eye on that heading into the Ribfest this weekend.

Kupenda 5 Mile Cross Country Race
Wenham, MA, June 7, 2014
1 JAMES PAWLICKI  29:15  5:51