Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yankee Homecoming 10 mile - Newburyport

The Central Mass Striders team heading to the Yankee Homecoming 10 mile road race in Newburyport only had four men on the day of the race. Five are needed to score. I decided that morning to fill in as the 5th guy. I left work 3:00, picked up Krissy, and sat back for a quick ride up Rt 95. I signed up at registration and made sure I made contact with Jason Porter, Dan Verrington, Nick Taormina, and Patrick Rich to confirm we were all there for a potential scoring team. I tried to recall the last time I ran the race. 2008 was the last time I was there and it was a USATF New England Championship event. I ran 56:48 (5:41) and placed 48th. My expectations last night were to get under 58:00. I got a light warm up running from the parking lot to the high school to hear the 5K go off at 6:00. I jogged around Anna Jaques Hospital, did some light stretching, and got into the starting line three rows from the line two minutes before the starting gun. The start is flat and easy to find room on the wide street. I heard a 5:28 1st mile split. A nice downhill to the water and heard a 2nd mile of 11:00. I was in the back of a solid group of at least 10 guys including Jason Porter (CMS), Caleb Evanter (GBTC), Matt Germain (SISU), and Robert Cipriano (SRR). I did not know the other guys as they were all new young faces to me.
Heading up the driveway to the finish line
Photo by KrissyK

Photo by KrissyK
My pace was quicker than what I felt I could sustain for 10 miles but just went with it knowing that I would be positioned very well if I kept with that group for as long as possible. I was really pumped to be in that competitive group. We took on the first real climb up toward Maudsley State Park and a water stop just after 5 miles. I heard a split of 28:10. That was a good half way split considering my all out five mile race for the year was around 27:43 in May. The pack thinned out on that hill and I slipped off that group. I got back into the back of that group crossing the Rt. 95 overpass behind Eric Williams (Whirlaway) and Caleb Evanter. We took a left into residential neighborhood to the left of Maudsley and watched Caleb take off with authority. I started to feel the effect of my quicker than usual pacing. I hung in there and battled anyone around me leaving the Maudsley area up a hill where I felt I was running so slow. I crossed over Rt 95 once again with less than 2.5 miles to go. I was beat and just looking for the finish line. I ran with a young guy into the last mile. I lost a few spots in the last mile as my wheels were coming off. It was a good sight to see the orange cones leading us into the Newburyport High School driveway. I maintained stride up the driveway and into the finish to a delighted sight of the clock ticking in the 56 minutes. I finished with a time of 56:47 (5:41) – chip time of 56:45 – 22nd place overall. I was very happy with the time and effort. I had absolutely nothing left. It has been a while since I had a ten mile time that quick. I caught up with some competitors and headed out for a cool down with Patrick Rich and Steve Dowsett who ran us past his house off High Street. I ran another mile with Jason Porter and Dan Verrington. CMS placed 4th overall. My stomach was a mess so I headed back to find Krissy and get some nourishment as I was very light headed.  I will post up some photos that Krissy took once they are uploaded

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K

Full Results 
By the numbers: 16:53, 5:27 per mile
9th place overall, 2nd age group 35-39
Garmin Splits:

It was a warm July night but absent of the brutal humidity over the past few days. I even cooled off after the warm up, standing on the starting line. I got a good start - nothing crazy fast and inserted myself in the top 15 and moved up to and through a few BAA. My GPS mile chimed in early before the 1st mile marker near the L Street (host running club for the race) bath house. A volunteer yelled out a 5:26 mile split for my group and I. I got around green singlet guy just before the turn-around cone. I took a wide turn to avoid trouble and be good to my knees. I proceeded to battle it out with two blue singlets - youngsters from Wheaton (based on someone yelling for them). They were sucking air but the one who was doing less of the oxygen intake pulled ahead through mile 2 (I heard a split of 10:40). Something did not feel right with my right hamstring. It felt like it was going to cramp. I collected myself passing one Wheaton guy and another black singlet dude soon after. I was a mess with 400m to go past the Carson Beach Bath House. I gave up a spot to the black singlet dude and zombied my way to the finish line. 16:53 for 9th place. I have run two other serious 5K's this year; An Ras Mor road race (16:56) and the USATF New England Outdoor 5000m (16:53) with similar times so call me consistent regardless of temperature. I got a cold face cloth from the L Street volunteers after the finish. Cool treat in the heat that I have seen in Florida road races. My cool down consisted of a bGood burger with Tomato and Mustard on a wheat bun. Yes, good! No more miles for the night but chilled and caught up with Kevin Balance - founder of Level Renner. He is on the mend. Look for him to be running soon and please support the Level Renner 10K next month in Brockton. There is individual and team prize money.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Greenbelt Run for the Hills Trail 10K

Photo by Roger Perham
I headed over to Pingree to sign up for the 10K trail run. There was 5K too which is one loop and the 10K is two. I warmed up with Doug and Dan. On our way back to the start, a crowd was staring at the foot bridge as bees were stirred up and had stung several runners. This was 200 meters into the race so the race director made the wise decision to delay the start and re-route the course away from the area for everyone’s safety. This shortened the course a bit (I measured out 5.7 at the end of the race). I jumped out at the start into the lead with Mike Demauro in tow. The change in the course was simple – just head across the baseball field and into the trail to pick up the orange surveyor flags. There were two volunteers out on the field just in case as well. The footsteps behind began to fade after 1.5 miles. I went through half way in just over 18 minutes. I noted how warm it was but 90% of the course was under tree cover in the woods. Based on the cheering at half way, my lead was less than 15 seconds. Come to find out Mike was finishing his race (5K) and Eric Narcisi was now in chase. I heard him twice in the next mile or so. I was tiring out and could not sustain the pace of the first lap. I had to keep honest and did not want to get caught. I pressed on with small surges and it seemed to give me some operating room. I finished up and held Eric off by 19 seconds to take a win. My time was 36:34 which suggests that my 2nd lap was about 30 seconds slower. In keeping with the trend of not doing back to back races on the same terrain, my next race will be the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K this Thursday night in South Boston.

Monday, July 7, 2014

US Mountain Running Championship - Loon Mountain

The skinny:
53rd place
Time: 1:03:36.7
First time I had to walk: 39 minutes
I walked/hiked 90% of upper walking boss

Loon Mountain was hosting the 2014 US Mountain Running Championships and I had the day open so I committed to it. CMS was going to have plenty of guys there and I had to get them some gear so I was a man on a mission. I have some history at Loon and each time I get to Upper Walking Boss, I curse it. A 40% grade will do that to a sane person, trust me. The course was changed this year with more cross country early on which I loved. There was mud, elevation changes, flats, and more importantly, shade. The serious climbing was all in the 2nd half of the race. Even in the 2nd half, there is a little bit of down hill to break up the pain. 

I was doing pretty good, passing folks, slowly, on the climbs and caught up to Ethan Nedeau before the descent to Upper Walking Boss. However, I drove that descent with no aggression and he put 20 seconds on me. I checked out a bit while allowing the legs to recover from the ascent before. I collapsed to a crawl and started the hike and walk up the ‘boss as did most ahead of me. It seemed acceptable and running seemed useless as either effort gained the same distance (not entirely true but my legs fell for it). About eight guys passed me on the way up and I did not care too much about it. I don’t mean that negatively. I was in a world of suffering and walk or run, it was tough. Ask anyone who did it. The top of Upper Walking Boss did come quicker than I remember in the past. That was a good thing. Looking back down on the ‘boss gave me a 2 second sense of accomplishment but I still had to crest the top and finish it up. I was completely on empty on this one folks. I won’t lie. 1:03 and 36 seconds. 

On the way down to find the Upper Walking Boss
Photo by KrissyK
The scenery all around – surrounded by mountains on a clear sunny day was absolutely worth it. I met up with CMS teammates for some chat, photos, and a slow jog to the Gondola with Arthur Besse with whom I talked into doing such the race 18 hours earlier. He handled himself just fine helping the masters team take the win. The CMS men’s open and senior teams also took team wins! Good stuff. I caught Krissy who was wrapping up her photo session of the day for a nice Gondola ride down. I soaked the legs in the ice cold river. It was ice cold and won’t lie that I refused to take that for more than a minute on the legs. We went back to check out the awards and get a bagel before heading out for a traffic filled ride home. I am glad I went and was very happy and proud to see the guys run so well at Loon. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

John Carson 2 mile road race

19th place
3/103 Male 30 – 39
10:30  or 5:15 average pace per mile

The 4th of July tradition for my racing schedule is the John Carson 2 mile road race in Chelmsford. I opted for a YMCA run race last year in Swampscott and regretted it each day since (just kidding). It is fast, competitive, and the pain is over in ten minutes or so. I did a slow and easy warm up with Dave Menard, and CMS teammates Heidi Besse and Colby Chrusciel . It was great to see them. We ran the first mile of the course and back to the start. I put on the singlet and Nike Lunaracer, version 2. I did another ¾ of a mile warm up and did some light stretching. I got just about on the front row of this one and took off at the start on a slight decline. I did not want to head out too quick as plenty of runners sprint out too quick so 40th place was per the usual here for me. We had a grade going up at 800m and I stopped passing the over-zealous runners by 1200m. I could see CMS mate, Adam Malek in 3rd place up ahead. He would finish in the same place with a 9:19. 

The mile came up pretty quick which was a good sign. My Garmin said 5:17 (noticing after the race) and I did not hear any split given. Water was given out but it was too fast of a race to consider reaching for. I was running on how I felt and had two Greater Lowell guys and the first female (Karen Roa from Boston) ahead of me.  We had a fair decline now and I slowly caught the GLRR guys. I told the 2nd one that we got to catch the female ahead. I had to put in some effort as the course dipped down again to an overpass which I would say 400m remain. I caught and passed Karen in there and now we had to climb up a bit for the last 300m to the finish where my place remained. I finished in 19th place and a time of 10:30. My Garmin had me at 5:11 and change for the 2nd mile. My goal as I was quoted at the start was 10:25 so I was close. Karen was four seconds back. I collected those that I warmed up with plus Adam for a cool down after drinking a bottle of iced tea. My plan was to take them off the parade route for a 3.5 mile cool down but I changed my mind about a mile into that and we went back onto the course where we ran into the parade coming at us with sirens, horns, cars, candy, et cetera.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

USATF New England Outdoor 5000m championships

Start of the 5000m with me staring right into Krissy's lense

Dan, myself, and Todd between 1 and 2 miles

Some CMS teammates that were talking about racing the 5,000m at the New England Outdoor Championships at Regis College in Weston. The 5K was the first event in the morning which is easier to plan for and around on a Sunday so I signed up an hour before the race. I put down a seed time of 16:54 based on my An Ras Mor result back in March (the New England 5K Road Race Championship). This put me into the 16th seed in heat one. My start position was to the far outside lane which suited me well to slide in carefully after the starting gun went off. I settled into the back of the race of over 20 athletes. After a few careful laps, I put in a surge to get behind Todd Callaghan. Dan Verrington was right behind me and his goal was to run 16:52 which was fine with me. Mile one passed around 5:22. The track was warm. A water table was out there but I did not see anyone take any water (had to reach out into lane 3). I kept behind Todd as his pace was good. We slowly caught a few runners. I missed the 2nd mile split but had started to focus on the count down of laps. I figured to give a good effort with two laps to go but my body had other thoughts in the heat. I was wiped out but told Todd that we could catch Rod Hemingway who was just ahead and coming back to us. We both did and went around him. Todd picked up his pace with a lap to go and I was fading fast. I knew Rod would come back and make a race of it. Come back he did! He passed me and charged after Todd with 150m to go. I yelled to Todd “man on” and he picked it up to finish just ahead of Rod. I finished 11th in 16:53. Not too bad and close to the seed time and my expectations. I collected myself and chatted up the event with others. I ran a few miles with Todd following the race and then another set of miles with Jason Coukouras and Francis Burdett. Next races on the calendar is the John Carson 2 mile and then Loon Mountain – US Mountain Running Championships. Krissy took a lot of photos of the 5,000m events that broke down into a women’s race and two heats of the men’s race. Full results.

Rod and I with 250m to go behind Todd

5000 Meter Run Men
    Name                     Age Team                    Finals
  1   236 SEAN DUNCAN         24 Western Mass          15:06.71 
  2    36 Eric Couture        26 02-Unattache          15:17.79 
  3    75 Alex Hall           27 Boston Athle          15:58.95 
  4   128 Greg Putnam         44 Central Mass          16:01.48 
  5   130 Jeffrey Ragazzini   24 Greater Bost          16:12.60 
  6   106 Mark Mayall         42 New Balance           16:32.43 
  7   213 NATHANIEL WEBBER    22 02-Unattache          16:34.14 
  8    18 Francis Burdett     49 Greater Spri          16:35.94 
  9    23 Todd Callaghan      44 Central Mass          16:49.27 
 10    80 Rodney Hemingway    38 Greater Bost          16:50.04 
 11   412 James Pawlicki      39 Central Mass          16:53.17 
 12   359 Titus Mutinda       49 Team RUN              17:07.35 
 13   115 Eric Narcisi        34 Whirlaway Ra          17:10.44 
 14    48 Dave Dunham         50 Central Mass          17:21.74 
 15   154 Daniel Verrington   52 Central Mass          17:22.99 
 16   925 Joe O'Leary         43 Somerville R          17:27.44 
 17    71 Thomas Grenier Jr   43 02-Unattache          17:31.20 
 18    37 Anthony Crudale     37 Greater Bost          17:39.62 
 19   163 Ian Wright          27 SISU Project          18:04.34
 20    33 Shawn Conway        43 Greater Lowe          18:12.86