Monday, December 28, 2015

2016 Snowshoe Racing schedules for New England and beyond

2014 Snowshoe Nationals, Prospect Mountain, Woodford VT
Photo by KrissyK
In the spirit of the white stuff touching down upon us tonight, I wanted to share three 2016 Snowshoe racing schedules for those in New England: Granite State, Western Mass Athletic Club, and Central MA. All sites are currently getting updates for event URL's and finalized race distances which can often be dictated by snow conditions (if there is snow). Keep track of the links below for updates. 

The Granite State web site is pretty good with advising if the race is still happening the evening before the race. 

The WMAC series will send out an email update the Friday or afternoon before the race. If you do not get those updates, let me know and I will get your email added to the list. 

Lastly, the Central MA snowshoe series will hold their races regardless of a lack of snow (sneakers with use of traction device permitted). Otherwise, they will communicate through Facebook, web site series below, or through email to registered athletes. 


Best 4 races score in the series
January 16, 2016 Whitaker Woods (4 miles) - North Conway NH
January 23, 2016 Moose Mountain Runaround – Brookfield NH
January 31, 2016 Beaver Brook – Hollis NH
February 7, 2016 Horsehill – Merrimack NH
February 13, 2016 Kingman Farm Moonlight (4.5 miles) – Madbury NH
February 20, 2016 Exeter Snowshoe Hullabaloo (4 miles) – Exeter NH
March 5, 2016 Granite State Championships – Wolfeboro NH
March 12, 2016 Northeast Championships* Woodford VT
*not part of the GSSS scoring


January 9, 2016 Hilltop Orchard 5K – Richmond MA
January 17, 2016 Greenwood Gallop 5K – Mt Prospect, Woodford VT
January 23, 2016 Hoot Toot & Whistle 5K – Readsboro VT
January 31, 2016 Curly’s 4 miles? - Pittsfield MA
February 6, 2016 Northfield Mountain 4 miles– Northfield MA
February 7, 2016 Saratoga Winterfest 5K – Saratoga NY
February 13, 2016 Camp Saratoga 8K – Wilton, NY
February 20, 2016 WMDP Snowshoe Scramble 5K/10K – Holyoke MA
February 21, 2016 Brave The Blizzard 5K? – Guilderland NY
February 27, 2016 Snow Summit 5K – Woodford VT
February 28, 2016 Bay State Games – Becket MA
March 6, 2016 Thunderfest 5K - Adams MA
March 12, 2016 Northeast Regional Championship – Woodford VT

Central MA Snowshoe Series presented by DION Snowshoes


January 17, 2016 Moore State Park 5K – Paxton MA
January 31, 2016 Newton Hill 5K – Worcester MA
February 13, 2016 Wallum Lake Twilight Tour 5K – Douglas MA
February 27, 2016 For the Love of Snowshoe 5K – Holden MA
March 5, 2016 Leominster State Forest 4.5 miles – Leominster MA 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

CMS 52 week 5K series, race # 48

I had plans to run at the BU development meet but an opportunity came up to run the CMS 52 week 5K series (race #48) in Worcester. It provided an opportunity to pick up some uniforms for the team. I have been a member of CMS since 2004 and never ran in the CMS 52 week 5K series out of Worcester State University. They are held each Saturday at 9:00. Students pay a dollar, CMS members pay $3, and non-CMS runners pay $5. The course alternates from clockwise one week to counter clockwise the next. This was a clockwise direction. I saw Patrick Caron from Needham and yelled out to him so we could warm up for the race. We had a nice battle at the Stone Tower 15K trail race a few months ago. I was glad he showed up because he knows the course and he is fast. He ran the course and won a few weeks ago in 17:44. We ran the first 3/4’s of a mile on the course before having to get back so we did not miss the start.


It was chilly (32 degrees), sunny, and windy. We got some announcements at the starting line from CMS team president Stephen Laska about CMS events including the Freezer Five in January. There were plenty of CMS volunteers ready with hand held timing and Popsicle sticks for us when we finish. He also mentioned cones were at each turn except for the last right hand turn at the gas station where we would have less than ¾’s of a mile left. Patrick bolted out and I followed a few strides behind breathing heavy. He was flying. We had a good downhill stretch through the mile where I saw a 5:23 split and a half second behind Patrick. I passed him after a hill in a side-neighborhood and seemed to lose him through 2 miles where I slowed to a 5:51 mile. There was some elevation in this mile and a head wind. I took the right hand turn at the gas station and now had the wind at my back. Patrick caught me at 2.6 miles and I gave him kudos for catching up. He looked really good and effortless. I had to bear down and dig to keep him close. I trailed him by a half second all the way to the finish line. I had no extra gear, just maxed out, unfortunately. I ran 17:28 to his 17:27 (results). We headed out for a cool down on the course in the counter clockwise direction and discussed racing plans for 2016. I expect him to have a solid year filled with personal records. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Assault on Mt Hood 3.5 mile xc

Next on the calendar was the 11th Annual 3.5 mile Assault on Mt Hood cross country race. This is a tough course all over the Mt Hood golf course. It was a new course with a few new twists as in more elevation. CMS had five guys and we wanted to make two teams of a scoring three members so I recruited Andreas Heilmann who was solo for the BAA. We made a masters team of Tim Van Orden, Gregory Putnam, and myself. The open team was made up of Matt Veiga, Dan Verrington, and Andreas who has won this race in the past. The weather was perfect, sunny and close to 50. After a clean start, the crowd narrowed onto a cart path and 800m in, we were single file looping around Mt Hood.

It is all about the Nut Cracker prizes
Photo by KrissyK
Coming down on the cart path, I noticed my right foot feeling some discomfort on each foot plant and push off. The thin Inov8 flats were not helping any and I tried to run on grass any chance I could and avoid any rocks into the ball of my foot. I focused on Matt Veiga ahead while the hills continued. The second mile was a blistering 6:30. I caught Matt eventually but it was not easy.
Coming down the hill in pursuit
Photo by KrissyK
The last mile was tough as I passed one CRC runner but could not catch the other. I finished 9th overall, 3rd master behind Tim (3rd OA) and Greg (6OA). 20:55 was the time with a pace of 5:59 per mile. The masters team took the win over NETT and CRC. The open team placed 2nd overall behind NETT and ahead of CRC. You can’t beat the post-race party. A Mt Hood pint glass with beer, pasta, salad, cookies, and Nut Cracker prizes awaited.

Less than 800m to go. Slow and painful.
Photo by KrissyK

11th Annual Assault on Mt Hood 3.5 mile cross country results

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mill Cities Relay

This past Sunday was my 5th consecutive Mill Cities Relay with the Somerville Road Runners. I ran on the coed open team in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Last year, I got bumped onto the masters team. I ran the long leg (#4) in 2011. Since then, I have been fortunate lead off the relay for the teams. I like the first leg for a few reasons. It has a wide downhill start and I can see all competition around me. I can time my warm up appropriately so I am at the starting line for the 8:00. It was a cold morning with a frost on the grass but the sun was rising and sure to warm up into the 50’s by 1:00.

With the drop of the brick, the race sprinted out. I chose my position carefully and scanned ahead for any master runners. David Long (Wicked Running Club) and Doug Martyn (Whirlaway) were just ahead. I passed Doug before the first bridge and got in behind David. We passed the mile in 5:31. David said that was pretty quick and I shrugged while mentioning to just keep it going. We slowed to a 5:40 into mile two and he was now behind me. We would occasionally run past his relay car of Wicked mates who would cheer for us. The rolling hills slowed me down to a 5:50 through 3 miles but I bounced back with a 5:43 and 5:46 that had a little downhill in them. I passed no one and no one passed me since I broke away from David before mile 2. I did have SRR’s Sean McDonough (his first race since exactly one year ago) in front of me battling someone else along the way. I rolled into the relay exchange, hearing David behind me (see video below). My time was 30:46 for the 5.4 mile leg handing off to Sanjay D’Souza. I traded the slap band for his keys. I had the masters team in the lead by less than five seconds.



I got in the car after a quick photo with Krissy (she ran leg #4 later in the morning) and drove off along the leg 2 course following along into relay exchange zone #2. Sanjay held his own giving up a few seconds to Chris Nolin from Wicked. John Wichers took over for the 3rd leg running 2.5 miles before passing the reigns over to Greg Pickelsimer who got the lead back and extended it for our masters team. Sanjay and I drove into relay exchange zone #4 to give Joe O’Leary a heads up and to support teams along the way by shouting out the window at anyone we knew. At the last exchange zone, I caught up with the teamates and watched Greg come in and hand off to Joe who was the last leg runner for our team. Out team, SRR - Joe O'Leary and the Heartbreakers would win 1st place in our master category with a time of 2:34:46, just about three minutes ahead of 2nd place Wicked Persistent, and 3rd place, Brick Chasers (GDTC).

2015 Mill Cities Relay Results

Krissy and I after my finish
Photo by Maryann Kozlosky
Just before the 1st exchange zone
Photo by Krissy Kozlosky

Myself, Joe O'Leary, Greg Pickelsimer, John Wichers, & Sanjay D'Souza
Photo by Chris Klucznik



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wild Turkey 5 mile Salem

The gun went off sending over 1700 runners out for the Wild Turkey 5 mile road race away from the Salem Common and past the Hawthorne Hotel. I noted senior Jason Barnes and fellow master David Long just ahead of me. In between was Jordan Kinley pushing a baby jogger. I had to throw in a surge to pass him before two miles and got on the heels of David. Jason was pulling away. Reciprocating shout outs to those entering Winter Island while I was exiting went on for a few minutes. David and I had some back and forth through the neighborhood behind the Salem Willows. I got some separation in my favor in the parking lot of the Salem Willows. Any chance or miracle of catching Jason was looking bleak while he was reeling in CMS teammate Matt Veiga into mile four at the top of the hill beyond Dead Horse Beach. I kept my place, running scared, keeping baby joggers and other runners behind me as I approached the finish. I hit the line in 28:20 (5:40 per mile), good for 7th overall, 1st master. I ran 28:31 last year in cold conditions so to be a little quicker was good. CMS did well. Matt ran 28:03 (6th) and Nakri Dao placed 4th in the master category. William Jackson was chilling out while placing 39th. Congrats to Caleb Evanter (winner) and Dan Chruniak (just ran the Philadelphia Half on Sunday) for setting 5 mile PRs! Splits and results below.

534
528
542
545
538

Wild Turkey 5 mile race results November 26, 2015 Salem, MA

Winner, Caleb Evanter and I at the awards

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nougat 6ix with no common sense

"Common sense at the Nougat?" said one of the co-race directors. Yeah, I figured it out I said. If I kept going, I would have gotten back here a mile premature. 

He and Gregory promptly headed out to mark the trail that I said was missing a marker to advise which way to go......

I showed up at the widely advertised (taking sarcasm from the race site that is so far underground, you’d be at the core of the earth) Nougat6ix at Lynn Woods on Saturday 10 minutes before the start at 7:00. Simple race, 50K (4 loops) or 100K (8 for the mentally bored). Bring your own, no race entry fee (sorry, $1.00 for International runners), invited only sort of event. Go ahead read the site, look around. It is hilarious.

I raised my hand for 25K which was 10 miles on the left and 5.5 on the right. Each loop would return to the start. I recruited for some company the day before. I got one taker, Stephen Trainor. Thank you sir!

A group of twenty or so took off at 7:02 and Stephen and I took off after 30 seconds. We got into the lead at the top of the first hill. It was very casual and we were taking it easy. Heads were on a swivel, keeping alert for white ground arrows on top of leaves or orange streamers hanging from branches. The pace was conversational. Miles went by, the sun went away and the wind picked up. I waited for Stephen as he needed a potty break after 6 miles. I got a little anxious at the as we went by Stone Tower and opened the stride a little. No marker at the bottom of it was concerning. I went right, Stephen followed, and I corrected my error after 10 seconds, noting common sense that I had almost 1.5 miles to reach the start. So I turned back and ran up to Steel Tower and then to the start which gave me just over 10 miles. Stephen fell way back, a minute or so, when I reached where we started. I took a Gel and Red Bull Seltzer mix that I planted at the aid station. 

Stephen was cooked so I headed out to the right side for the 5.5. It took me on new trail that I never saw before. It was very technical so I just rolled with it getting out to Rt.1 wondering where the GAC crew was along with Linda Fitzpatrick. They are usually in for the ultra races. Well, guess who I bumped into 10 minutes later. Yup. Linda and a few friends. I grabbed her hand, noted a story of a hunter crying that she recently shared, and ran off. A power line or two went over head and found my way heading back to the start or in my case, my finish. I was pretty tired. 15.64 miles and 2:11:39. The effort is a DNF because I and most others did not do the minimum 50K. It fits the sarcastic, underground, non-commercialization of the super secret event. Huge props to those tackling each loop twice. The 5.5 mile loop on the right side is as technical as it will get in Lynn Woods. Once was enough for these bones. Twice and I would end up breaking one or two. 

Gregory Esbitt, co-race director and my tired bones
Photo taken by a kind soul with my phone

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I arrived at Franklin Park with Todd Callaghan and met up with Tim Van Orden and Dave Dunham who helped set up the canopy tent for the team. I ran a warm up and got on the line behind my CMS team and to the right of BAA for the 8K masters race at the USATF New England Championships. The weather was great and the course was dry. I got into good position behind (maybe 10th) the lead pack of BAA and CMS runners who seemed to be setting a rather comfortable pace but it picked up after the mile. I did not hear a split but the GPS tagged a 5:12. My second mile slowed to a 5:33 with an up and over Bear Cage hill. 

At the top of Bear Cage Hill in front of Christopher Lawrence
Photo by Michael Quintal
I lost a few positions but continued a good battle with Robert Bottomley and Francis Burdett whom I noticed had a racing flat come untied. He would eventually lose it and finish the race without it. I went through the 5K just a few ticks slower than my 5K at Mayor’s Cup two weeks ago. I was pretty happy with that. Wayne Levy and Kevin O’Neal from BAA passed by with about a mile to go. I kept them close climbing Bear Cage Hill but they took off with good momentum on the backside. I would not catch either from there to the finish line. I wound up with an 18th place finish in the masters race. I was the 6th CMS runner on the day and felt I had a pretty good race, similar time to my 8K at Mayors Cup in 2014. I had three teammates with Alan Bernier, Joshua Perks, and Todd Callaghan in view the whole race and all within 24 seconds of my finish.

Francis and Christopher Lawrence chasing
Photo by Urvi Mujumdar
I was aiming for a top 15 finish but that was optimistic with the talented runners and Seniors (50+) around me. The team ran very well for a 2nd place finish to the BAA. I finished the Cross Country Grand Prix Series (5 races since August) and would appeared to have won the masters division. Justin Renz, last year's GP Series Master Champ, was just a few points behind me going into the race today. After the race, he admitted that he just ran the New York City Marathon last Sunday and was tired. I know how he felt as I did this race last November, one week after the Manchester City Marathon.


Running away from White Stadium and to Bear Cage Hill
Peter Bottomley and Francis Burdett in pursuit
Photo by Dave Dunham

GPS splits below
5:12
5:33
5:38
5:43
5:44

2015 USATF New England Masters Cross Country Championships


Coming out of the Bear Cage Hill with Michael Quintal in the background
Photo by Dave Dunham


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Franklin Park 5K Mayor's Cup

Stephen Trainor picked me up and we arrived at Franklin Park an hour before his open 8K race. I had nearly two hours before my race but wanted to set up camp for the CMS guys coming. I fumbled around trying to set up the canopy tent. I even had a young lady from New Balance Boston come over twice to point out what we were doing wrong. It took four people to figure it out. The morning rain that stopped by 9:30 had zero effect on the course. It was dry as could be so I went with my Inov-8 flats instead of spikes. I watched Eric Narcisi and Stephen run their first XC races for CMS in the 8K. I got on the start line after that race with exactly five CMS men (Gregory Putnam, Ben Nephew, Tim Van Orden, and Dan Verrington) for the last race of the day, Franklin Park 5K. The race was number four of the XC Grand Prix and also the masters race. 

The race bolted out and I hunted for a visual on Justin Renz (HFC) as we were seeking coveted individual Grand Prix master division series points. I went by him on the downhill 600m in and was about five runners away from Ben Nephew. I went through the mile in what I heard as 5:20. Chris Lawrence and James Callaghan (no relation to teammate, Todd) from the BAA pulled away going down into the Bear Cage Hill. I was able to catch Ben up the hill. On the exit, I got by Chris and we went back and forth through mile 2. I heard a 10:56 split while Chris pulled away a bit as we got into the Wilderness Loop. As we ran a short climb in there I got past him and pushed on the downhill exiting the woods. 

As I climbed out into the field loop, a race official holding flags pointed to me and said that the team race was coming down to me. I was not sure because I was the 3rd CMS guy. I think she was keeping tabs on the front of the race where Gregory and Tim were battling the top three guys from the BAA. I got passed by a runner as we fell into the field with just two more right hand turns remaining into the finish line other other side of the field. I told him to get going as this race was going to be over in less than 700m. I was trying to keep Chris behind me which I did. I finished with a time of 17:36 and in 18th place, 3rd CMS runner. Ben and Dan finished right behind me to help us finish 2nd to the BAA. The results are here. I felt pretty good about the effort and execution that was not planned, instead flourished with the race around me. I think the last time I ran a 5K at Franklin Park was in a USATF New England development race 17 years ago. The guy that finished behind me then was Ben Nephew. We have been teammates ever since.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

USATF National Masters 5K Championship Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Springs, New York was hosting the USATF National Masters 5K Cross Country Championship. I was game for the 3 hour drive as long as CMS could score a team of five men. Fortunately, we got a tremendous amount of fast masters for this one in advance so the decision was easy to sign up last month. The 40 plus age group (40-49) team on the line for CMS is no particular order: Gregory Putnam, Joe Shairs, Alan Bernier, Joshua Perks, Ben Nephew, Tim Van Orden, and myself. We also expected to have Dave Dunham, Paul Bazanchuk, and John Griego in the 50 and 60 age group races.

Logistics was easy as Gregory drove Joe and I to Saratoga on Saturday afternoon. It was a pleasant drive with the autumn scenery along the Mass Pike. We pulled into Saratoga Spa - which is like a huge state park similar to Bradley Palmer State Park, however with a lot more buildings and plenty of parking to host sporting events and a golf course. We changed into our running gear and previewed the 5K cross country course. The smell of cross country racing was in the air while the high school races, families, and coaches littered all over the park and fields. My memories of racing (and my first win on showshoes) the course in 2004 came back. I was so excited for the race the next morning.
Team getting the award

Joe and I ran behind a high school boys race to make sure we navigated along the course correctly, although, white arrows on the ground were simple guides. It was a fair course with good footing on carriage roads, light pine needle trails, and some hills to take the wind out of any momentum. I recall we ran through a few minutes of frozen rain (hail) as temps were rather chilly. As we finished the course, we bumped into Alan and Dave Dunham so I ran the course again with them. We determined with the course being about 3 miles long, we could run the course as fast as we could for a fast road 5K (Hollis 5K excluded). My excitement had to wait until Sunday morning.

After checking in at the host hotel, we picked up our race packets and headed out into downtown Saratoga for dinner. I either disgusted our table or impressed by downing two slices of pizza after throwing down a healthy sized Burrito. I will say that the downtown was very nice for dining, shopping, and had a good vibe to it.

Fast forward to the next morning, after a decent breakfast, we had a short five minute drive to the race. We began to greet the teammates coming in. It was nice to see Joshua and Ben ready to rock as they both have roots in the state of New York. After a check in with race officials to confirm we all had the same singlet and race bibs front and back, we got on the line ready to roll in the National Championship. The race went off and I got in behind Joe, Joshua, and Ben for the first half mile. It was frantic but controlled. Greg, Tim, and Alan were up front mixing it up. We had a good team here and I was confident we were going to do well as it seemed our seven were in the top 20.

We began to run into some hail and that added to the fast furry of the race. Everything went by so quick. The mile passed by in what I heard as a 5:21, running next to Ben and Joe. Joshua started to pull away smartly and quietly in mile 2. The hail stopped and we hit the valley again and could see the front of the race on the other side of the creek. The boys were taking care of business up front while Joe, Ben, and I were fighting for the 5th scoring spot on the team. I would occasionally hear that our place was around 15th place or so overall. I took a lead over Ben and Joe up a hill into mile 2 (hearing 10:56). Joe encouraged me to take off but my legs went flat soon after in the trails heading back to the long straight finish. Ben took charge in the last 600m with a strong finish to score as the 5th CMS runner. Joe and I followed breaking 17 minutes which was my goal. My official time was 16:53 and placed 14th out of 52 runners. The team, led by Gregory, took the following places for runners on teams that had five scoring member: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. Our combined score of 24 points bested 2nd place Atlanta Track Club who had 43 points. It was nice to take the team championship but even better to be racing with a great bunch of teammates. We hung out for the awards which was held in the on site Automobile Museum. I wish I had more time to go through it but we had to hit the road. 40+ results

mile splits per GPS
5:29
5:55
5:41

1.    24  Central Mass Striders M40                (  16:26  1:22:09   0:44)
=======================================================
  1      2    796 4 Greg Putnam         45 Stoneham   16:02
  2      3    863 6 Tim Van Orden       47 Bennington   16:18
  3      5    789 13 Joshua Perks        41 North Andover   16:30
  4      6    610 14 Alan Bernier        41 Braintree   16:33
  5      8    770 18 Ben Nephew          40 Mansfield   16:46
  6   (  9)   787 19 James Pawlicki      41 Lynn   16:53
  7   ( 10)   829 20 Joe Shairs          47 Peabody   16:56

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wayland Cross Country Festival

My prior experience at the Wayland 5K cross country race was 17:27 and 15th place back in 2007. The race today was the third race of the New England XC Grand Prix. The course is a mix of running through athletic fields and trails around Wayland High School. There are a few hills to break momentum. I rolled out and clawed my way through a 5:31 mile. The big hill got in the way after 1.2 miles. I reached the top and picked off a few runners along the ridge and downhills back to the school fields. My momentum settled after mile 2 while just five seconds behind Mark Mayall, a master who was in between Joe Shairs and I. I passed maybe three more runners to the track where we had 300 meters before reaching the finish line. I ran 17:47 and 39th place. The race went by so quick. I felt good about the effort, maybe some fading after 2 miles but battled to the line, finishing just behind Brendan Lynch from HFC who is prepping for a marathon in November. I reminded him before the race of his awesome Chicago Marathon in 2003 where he ran mid 2:30's (I ran 2:38). It was awesome to see Antonietta and Larry O'Toole (xc and track teammates at Salem State) who were on hand cheering and coaching their kids in the earlier races. Meanwhile, CMS took one on the team chin today, placing 5th overall. Results
Salem State was a long time ago...
Antonietta O'Toole, Tom Derderian, myself, Larry O'Toole
Photo by KrissyK
CMS had solid performances with Tim Van Orden placing as the top 40+ male and Joe Shairs just behind him. These guys are going to have a great race next weekend at the USATF National Masters Cross Country Championships in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stone Tower 15K Trail Race

Course Map

I ran over to the eighth annual Stone Tower 15K race and forked over the $25 spot. I have run this race the last few years, I never got a sniff of a win, always turning into a mess in the closing miles. If you run this course right, your legs should be junk on the 3rd climb up Stone Tower. A new face to my racing surroundings, Patrick Caron decked in a Janji racing kit, jumped into the lead right away. His plastic spike plates were clicking against the paved driveway into Lynn Woods. Meanwhile, I was well aware of John Dudley (multiple time winner of the Stone Cat Trail Marathon) on my heels. I stayed close to Patrick, some would say shadow, but respected his pacing so I gave him room to guide John and I through the first 25 minutes (3.78 miles).

It was then that he missed a right hand turn for which I yelled for him. My lead was short lived, as he sprinted by within 400 meters. I could see him struggle a bit with the footwear choice on the rocks and steps up Dungeon Rock. I kept a good cadence, never took my vision above the lid of my hat, thus never knew how far or close I was from the top. Didn’t care. I had to just stay close to Patrick and respect John a few seconds behind us. We bounced into some tight single track before the 2nd pass by Stone Tower and saw Patrick’s pace quicken down the hill.

I created an opportunity to change it up a bit and passed him at 5.5 miles climbing up a hill where I felt he was tiring. This set me up nicely to lead us down, into, and through the Undercliff Trail. This is my favorite part of Lynn Woods. It is, however, the most dangerous trail to race through. It is a single track rocky section with cut logs that can be slippery. As I navigated away from Patrick, I heard him spill, hard. So hard that I stopped, looked back, and yelled “are you OK man?” I heard a grumble and saw him getting up on his feet. Thus I continued on, quick cadence to get out of there and see if I could get some room between us. We had about three miles left in the race. He bounced back nicely, as in, back on my heels up some tricky stuff where I no doubt was dragging ass with 2.5 miles to go.

We got onto the goat path and took a right at the end of it. I kicked down the hill and took a left into some single track heading up to Steel Tower. I got some room. The sound of silence behind me was nice. I had to continue to press, hard, get some room because one last climb up Stone Tower awaited ahead. I hauled ass, doing my best up and over it afraid to look back with less than a mile to go. I finished hard, not wanting to open a door to let him back in. It worked, and I rolled down into the finish for my first win at the Stone Tower 15K, 59:15. Patrick rolled in, bloody, at 59:53. John followed in just over an hour. Looking back, it was good battle but had Patrick had better footwear, not wiped out, I am confident he would have been right there in contention all the way to the finish.

Patrick Caron and I
Photo by Brett Rickenbach
2015 Stone Tower 15K Trail Race results
1. James Pawlicki 59:16
2. Patrick Caron   59:53
3. John Dudley     1:01:01

My Splits
654 (Stone Tower climb)
602
612
628
743 (Dungeon Rock steps)
634
716
633
531
59:17 8.83 miles per GPS

History of my Stone Tower races:
Year Place Time
2015 1 59:16
2014 2 1:00:22
2013 3 1:00:40
2012 2 58:57 (Greg Fullman from Arlington ran 56:03, must be a CR!)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nahant Half Marathon

Course Map (inaccurate as we ran Little Nahant early and not at mile 12):

I was tentative about racing the Nahant Half Marathon. I signed up with a low pressure expectation of showing up and feeling my way through the beautiful course without beating myself up. I have been racing a lot recently and the Seasons 20K race I did a few weeks ago suggested that I was in 1:17 half marathon shape. The effort there also told me to take it easy. I want to have a good cross country season and wanted to not punish the legs in Nahant, if possible.

If you don’t know, Nahant has tough terrain. Basically, you are going to see a hill every four minutes. The Half Marathon is run and organized by the North Shore Striders. They trimmed the 30K course down to the Half Marathon distance this year. I warmed up and got on the starting line next to who I thought looked the fastest. He looked like a veteran marathoner. Lean, racing flats, New Balance racing singlet, et cetera. At the siren, we went off from the causeway near the bath house and headed to Little Nahant, following the police officer on the motorcycle who lead us through every inch of the course. I settled in behind the three men including the “veteran” until I saw Krissy about a half mile into the course. I moved over to the left as she pointed the camera. We began the climb into Little Nahant reaching the mile in 6:28.

Just after the start along Nahant Beach
Roberto Gonzalez in the middle with me on the right
Photo by KrissyK
I was fine with that pace - figuring that it would quicken which it did. I stretched out my legs on the down hills to feel out the guys. It was down to the veteran and I, leading the race through three miles. I was keeping the pace in check and still taking an inventory on who this veteran was. His watch was going off every kilometer and he was looking at the splits. Was he toying with me? Was he going to sit on me until 12 miles and sprint? I noted his breathing was a little bit more heavier than mine but he seemed calm with the effort of low sixes that we were putting down. I broke the silence when he was next to me running up toward the Angiulo’s mansion (4 miles). “How do you feel and what are you trying to run today?” He responded with a European accent that he was just here for a run. I was perplexed, not getting the answer I wanted. I opened up my stride down a hill, he matched. Fine. Time for another question to find out who this gent is so I can gauge how the next 8 miles are going to go for us. “Are you training for a marathon, if so, which one?”

I could not understand the answer, but did make comprehend: November and a reference of Spain. OK, I have a marathoner here. That is good but I need more. Time for credentials. “What are you looking to run there, you know, for a time?” He responded, and this echoed in my head for ten seconds - “hoping to run under 2:35.” I almost choked on a GU that I did not even have in my mouth. I wanted to give him my Chris Tucker and Ice Cube response of DAMN!

I said no more. We let the legs do the talking from there. He put a surge on through mile five as I thought for sure he was going to give me a 2:35 marathon knuckle sandwich all the way to the finish. I recall taking a cup of gatorade any way so he took off. I erased the gap and we hit some hills up Castle Road, Bass Point, and my favorite - Trimountain Road. He put another surge on Flash Road as I took my two Salt Tabs and Gatorade around mile 7. He put on four seconds and I started to have some doubt that I was going to close it if he kept the gas on. Fortunately, I closed it and start to throw in my game of surges through the next three miles. I was taking command and trying to not so much shake him loose but to tire him out, if possible. Splits were now under six minutes per mile. I was all business, racing, negotiating, and trying to now win this race. 5K to go, how is this going to shake out? Well, I know this course. I know the terrain and I know that we do not have to run Little Nahant on the way back to the finish. I felt an advantage there, just was not convinced he was not just sitting on me and waiting to collect a check at the end. I hammered the last decent downhill and he matched it like no big deal. It was on and I was loving it. This was going to go down to the end and I had no doubt. We passed Dunkin’s and Tides and were now on the bike path passing mile 12. I increased the tempo, ran in between pedestrians trying to shake this dude as we approached the bath house (half mile to the finish I guessed). I thought I heard him stumble, trip up, or something and then it go quiet while I pressed on to the finish. I looked back with 400m to go and was in the clear for the win. He finished 15 seconds back. I grabbed a water and came back to greet him, now on friendly, boxing gloves down terms. I shook his hand and thanked him for the battle. We never separated more than four seconds but certainly for 99% of the course, he was my shadow or I was his depending on how you look at it.

Mid flight at the finish of the Nahant Half Marathon
1:19:45, 1st place
Photo by KrissyK
My winning time of 1:19:45 is what it is. It was well earned. Did I have a chance to run faster and run quicker at the start? Yes, but would I change the approach today? No way. This was a fun chess match today. I think we both got what we wanted out of it. The veteran mentioned above is Roberto Gonzalez, from Eloibar Spain. He is going to rock the San Sebastain Marathon in November while I hope to rock a decent effort at the USATF New England Cross Country Championships. Thank you for a great race today sir. I am grateful for the company. Thanks to the officer who led the way and the North Shore Striders for the opportunity to allow me to win my first race of 2015. Full Results and a few Photos by KrissyK

Myself and Roberto who is from Elgoibar Spain
Update December 1, 2015
Roberto Gonzalez Fernandez placed 12th in the 40-45 age division, racing to a 2:40:11 at the San Sebastian Marathon a few days ago.
PUESTO_TOT
NOMBRE
APELLIDOS
META_NETA
ritmo_mili
POBLACION
46
ROBERTO
GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ
2:40:11
3:48
ELGOIBAR

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lone Gull 10K

The Lone Gull 10K was the last of the USATF New England Grand Prix road race series (7th) for which I have run all so far in 2015. I ran a warm up with Dan Vassallo, Joe Shairs, and Martin Tighe beyond the first and last miles of the course. It was cloudy, humid, with temps in the low 70's. I started on the far right a step in front of Dan Verrington and Dave Dunham. I was next to Nick Taormina and Arthur for the mile. Tim Van Orden was a stride ahead looking cool, calm, and collective. The next few miles rolled through Eastern Point next to Arthur. I started to feel the pace and lost touch on the next mile and back out to the water. My struggle continued along the water with a bit of head wind. Kevin Alliette was helping Michael Cooney along (teammates on Whirlaway) with words of encouragement to finish strong with 800m to go. That got me fired up and I encouraged them to give it one last push up the hill before a nice downhill into a flat finish. Michael smoked me but in pursuit, I managed to catch Katie Misuraca (BAA, Gloucester), women's winner just before the finish. My guntime of 35:50 (5:46) gave me a placing of 77th place. Our CMS masters team who was trailing BAA by one point in the series, lost to them for the 2nd time in three weeks for a respectable 2nd place for the day and 2015 series.

Garmin history and random thoughts
5:28 feeling good, racing with teammates
5:42 a little hill, saw and yelled for Bob Gillis (Team Gloucester but spectating)
5:41 into Eastern Point, sun pops out when this is the only shade for the course
5:57 Wicked Good Guy, Mike Paulin blows by and I lose touch with Arthur
5:50 OK, suck it up Jimmy
6:01 unraveling but team Whirlaway lifted my misery with 400m to go

I sucked down no less than three freeze pops after the finish line. I caught up with the mates and the competition. It was awesome to have Martin and Tivo back racing. After an asessment with John Gillis that I was blowing off a cool down, I ran a 3.5 mile cool down along the Long Beach boardwalk with him. I got back to the race awards and confirmed the team scoring. The CMS open team was 4th, masters and seniors 2nd. I now set my racing attention to some cross country racing with no marathon distractions.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

GBTC XC Festival

Nakri, Joe and I arrived at Elm Bank Reservation for a quick canopy set up for the team and to register for the GBTC XC Festival 5K. This was the second of the five USATF New England Cross Country Grand Prix races. Our open team was second in the 1st race in Manchester, while our men's masters team had the only masters team with five men. We met up with Nate Jenkins, Dan Verrington, and Joshua Perks who were already there. We headed out for a warm up to preview the course. The course was dry (no puddles or mud) even though some light rain and drizzle was about earlier in the morning. If anything, the grass was damp. I ran this course the last few years (last year 17:19 in the 5K open race) so I knew the course well. I was happy about two things today: having five guys for the masters team, and the rain holding off.  After a 10 minute delay, we got our masters 5K race started.  Joe, Josh, and I got right to the front to lead the race. I led them through the first 800 meters but took a back seat to them into the mile, 5:33. We went past the start/finish at 2K as the top three in the race which I was pretty excited about. We went past the soccer fields and I felt Josh picking it up, dropping Joe and I through mile 2 (5:39). We hit the rooted trail along the Charles River with good command of the top three overall but l lost a few more strides to them. Josh (17:07), Joe (17:21) and I (17:29) finished in that exact order. Dan and Nakri were 9th and 21st. Our combined cross country scoring (finish place vs all other teams with the five scorers) beat all other teams. We got a team pie for which Joe picked out Blueberry. However, he nor Nakri wanted to cut it up so it came back to my house. Here is to the rest of the cross country season. 

GBTC XC Festival results

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Seasons 20K


This morning was race #6 of the USATF New England Grand Prix Road Race series. The Nagog Seasons 20K in Acton was a new race to the Grand Prix this year and was the 3rd annual. Joe Shairs and I arrived rather early by accident, under estimating how close Acton was to Peabody. We decided to drive the course leveraging two cell phones: one with the left right text directions (not easy without distance marked down) of the course, and the other: GPS. We read Dave Dunham’s course preview over a week ago but seeing the course first hand proved valuable. It was a roller coaster of a course. We got back to the race parking lot and still had almost 80 minutes to the 9:00 start time which would work to our advantage. We picked up our numbers, greeted some CMS men and got back to Joe’s car only to find it locked with the keys and our racing gear inside. What to do? No problem. Just call the wife, Cyndi, and she’ll bring the extra set of keys. Would she get to us in time before the race. Yep. She arrived fifteen minutes before the race. We got our racing flats, singlets, and ran the half mile over to the starting line without feeling rushed. 

I broke this race down into four 5K increments. I planned on going out conservatively, with the idea of picking ducks off in the 2nd half of the race. In theory anyway…..a 5:39 mile next to Dan Verrington and Nick Taormina. “It is what it is” I said to Nick and he agreed. The next mile was a touch over six minutes so you know what this course is all about. Now after three miles, the course drops generously into a valley as I recall while previewing the course. Lot’s of shade too. Thankfully. I worked the next few miles, reeling in ducks. No doubt, I had the guys wondering WTF I was doing zipping along so early. I figured to use that stretch to help me catch up to some BAA guys and close the gap between Joe Shairs and I. It worked as I was now in the center of sleepy Acton and just about at 10K with sights on Al Bernier and his group of DJ Raboin (almost a CMS runner two years ago), Kevin ONeil, and Christopher Lawrence. 

It took a few miles of rolling hills but I caught and passed all in that group except Kevin. Al was taking some water carefully when I passed, hoping he would tag along and rip the last few miles as I was running out of gas heading into 10 miles. It seemed everyone was hurting. Except Kevin Gravina, Christopher Lawrence and Ethan Nedeau who hustled past me. I managed to fight Chris off soon after but Kevin and Ethan buried me from there to the finish. The last mile was welcomed but it was a long, hot, and sunny straight away on Rt 2A. I finished in 34th place and a paced time of 1:13:23 (5:55/mile). Al and Joe were right behind me, but there was a sea of the blue and yellow BAA singlets. The CMS masters team finished 2nd to BAA. Tough one considering Todd Callaghan and Gregory Putnam were on the DL. The open team finished 3rd, less than 20 ticks away from 2nd place Whirlaway once the race timing updates JJ's team affiliation. The Seniors team also place 3rd overall.

Seasons 20K race results

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lynn Woods Relay

I recruited a team of three other Central Mass Striders who have been regulars at the Lynn Woods weekly races all summer. I was excited to get Matt Veiga, William Jackson, and Nakri Dao on board a few weeks ago. The relay is a four person team. Each runner must run 2.5 miles. Matt led off with a 13:41 that put us in 3rd place. William Jackson and Nakri ran 15:49 and 15:48. I ran the last leg with a 14:48. Our combined time of 1 hour and six seconds placed us 4th out of 98 teams on the night.
Pawlicki, Veiga, and Nakri after the Lynn Woods Relay

Sunday, August 23, 2015

NH XC Festival Manchester NH

The NH XC Festival was on the calendar as part of two USATF New England related series: All Terrain and race # 1 of the XC Grand Prix. It was rather easy to get a five guy contingent from the North Shore to Manchester for the race. William Jackson, Todd Callaghan, Matt Veiga, and I piled into Nakri’s SUV and got to Derryfield Park in an hour. The race started at 4:00, after a pair of high school races and a community race. We bumped into old CMS friend Tim Cox, who coaches Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. We are hoping that he can stay healthy and represent the CMS singlet soon. He showed us the course which was a constant run in with hills. I did not mind and this was a classic style xc course. The race got on the line and it was cool to hear the New England teams introduced. The race headed up hill for the spectator friendly course. I went through the mile in 5:49 behind master Justin Renz. We hit a few hills and I still had him in sight into mile 2 but never got any closer than a second of him. Sam Wood was coming back a bit. I caught up and we had Kasie Enman come by trying to chase female leader, up by five seconds, Laura Hagley. We had less than 400m to go up a slight hill and a 160 degree turn before the final runway. I finished just behind Sam and Kasie for 33rd place, 4th master, overall time was 17:48 (5:44/mile). We ran the course again after catching our breath. The trip continued down to Elm Street for the post race party for a few plates of Nachos before heading home. The team, Central Mass Striders open team took second while the masters team was 1st - only team with five 40+ men. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1 hour run

I used the local opportunity to attend the Lynn Parks and Recreation Departments offering with the help of USATF New England to run the 1hr Masters Championship at Manning Field. The event was touting the potential of records which happened in the women's race as Caterina Misuraca and Jan Holmquist did. See the results. I was curious about the event as it was offered a few times last summer and the men's race on this particular night was promoting masters which is 40+ age group. I got a chance to watch it and was curious about running it this year. Watching the race last summer was fun and the hour went by fast – as a spectator. As for participating, it was sort of the opposite. The first 15 minutes were fun, I trailed Central Mass Strider teammates Ryan Collins and Nick Taormina as they planned on six minute pace to start with. I was merely a pedestrian who was fit for enough for holding that for 30 minutes. Ryan dropped the pace and Nick followed. I dropped back and ran solo with the exception of lapping the other participants. I gave each words of encouragement as my head and legs were absolutely mush after 45 minutes. My right calf cramped at minute 47. I took my water bottle (handed to me from the Lynn English ROTC program volunteers), carried it along for a lap, trying to hydrate. The volunteers from the ROTC program were absolutely awesome. Each runner had a volunteer with a clip board, tracking laps and cheering as we ran by. Nick almost lapped me and as the one hour gun went off, we was only 40 yards behind me. Ryan, who had to take a pit stop at some point, finished second. All three of us went beyond 9 miles and change. Caterina who won the women's race an hour later, would have beat all of us and lapped us twice. 

1hr Run USATF New England Lynn Parks and Recreation Department results (men)

Ryan, Nick, and I representing CMS
Photo by Bill Mullen

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Squantum 5 mile road race

I toed the line for another edition of the beautiful Squantum 5 mile road race, start and finish in Marina Bay (Quincy), which was on a Wednesday evening instead of the Thursdays of the past. I had the company of two through the Bellevue Hill at 1.5 miles. The younger of such, Nick Ryan, in bright orange Saucony racing flats appeared to be floating along while I lead them through mile 1 in 5:26. At the top of the hill, I would have to reel in Nick who would gain a few feet. After the hills were done half way through the course, Nick and I were matched even and working together so to speak. I was cutting tangents like a veteran and Nick was usually on the opposite side of the street, not knowing the course and the upcoming turn. I was a hurting unit by the time Nick started to pull away after 3.5 miles heading back into Marina Bay. He gapped me by 8 seconds into mile 4 and I saw an unfortunate 6:01 split on my Garmin. Ouch! I was worried more about getting caught by the 3rd place runner who I could occasionally hear as I was afraid to look back. With less than a mile to go, I noticed the distance between Nick and I was not expanding. I reluctantly dug down and tried to close the gap in the last 400 meters. 

My body was really exhausted and was fighting the failed attempt of a surge. My tank was beyond empty. I closed it down to 4 seconds taking second place behind Nick (29:31) with a time of 29:35, over a minute slower than the Bobby Doyle 5 mile on Sunday. I caught up with Nick 5 minutes later after drinking a water and recognizing the top 10 finish up. He is only 21 (almost half my age) and had a personal best under 28 for a 5 mile race earlier this year. The night was capped off over on the upper deck of the Waterclub as the sun set. Martin Hanley, race director of the James Joyce Relay, mc’d the awards. I picked up a marathon sports gift certificate. I got a chance to thank JJ Larner for the “race of champions” comp entry and opportunity to race another Squantum 5.

2015 Squantum 5 mile road race results

Boston City Skyline looking left from Squantum - about 1.4 miles into the course
Marina Bay with UMass Boston beyond

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bobby Doyle 5 mile USATF New England Championship

Narragansett, RI hosted the fifth race in the New England Road Race Grand Prix. Gregory Putnam picked up Joe Shairs, William Jackson and I. We got to the race quicker than the 2 hour expectation. The weather was great for August with an ocean breeze, cloud cover, and temperatures in the sixties. I handed out the black ribbons in memory of Jennifer Hogan to any Central Mass Strider I saw before, during, and after warming up. We wore them on our singlets that she procured for us as the club merchandise coordinator. She was taken far too early and her glowing smile will be missed. Rest in peace Jen.

Scott Mason described the course to me before the race while looking at the map. I saw the middle miles of the course warming up. I got in the start line, row 5, and took off with the race after a few quick words. The race went out quick, no surprise. It was nice to see CMS masters Arthur Besse and Nick Taormina in front of me early on. William Jackson was cruising along too. I got a yell from a welcomed face, Martin Tighe and Marisol Rodriguez after mile 1 which passed in 5:25. William passed by soon after and I had three CMS runners pulling me through mile 2. In the stretch down toward the water, I pressed past Arthur and William. With the wind at my back along the water I slowly passed Nick before the 5K providing reinforcement of a solid race so far, to keep it going. I began the climb to mile four trying to close the gap with Stephanie Reilly. It was a gradual and I was slowly passing a few runners which was a good sign. With a mile to go, I passed Stephanie. I saw Heidi Besse cheering us on and yelling for Arthur. I was all out and think I only gave up a place in the last 400m. My time was 28:27 and 109th. Arthur, William, Dan Verrington, and Nick were all right behind me. I ran about what I was expecting, hoping a for a low 28 but that is where I am.

I grabbed a banana and piece of watermelon, catching up with the CMS guys beyond the finish line. Everyone seemed to be happy with the efforts. The CMS open team finished 4th overall, the masters took 1st, and the surging Seniors took 2nd. We hung out for the awards and headed out stopping at the Shanty in Warwick for a surprisingly awesome breakfast.

5:25
5:40
5:28
5:48
5:45


Gregory and Joe showing off breakfast

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Get a comp entry if you won a race in the past year

Squantum 5 mile road race next Wednesday night (August 12) in Marina Bay. The course has a few hills but the opening and closing miles are flat. Harpoon Beer and Hot Dogs at the end. What else could you ask for?

Level Renner 10K Brockton

With team prize money in the offering along with solid competition for all age groups, the Central Mass Striders ran in the humid air of a beautiful DW Field on Sunday, July 19. The course is multiple loops on the access road with a beast of a hill referred to as Tower Hill just after the start, 2 miles, and at the end. This course is not for whimps. Race director Kevin Gorman, founder and CEO of Level Renner was all smiles as my car of Krissy and Joe Shairs arrived. Soon I would see CMS mates Dan Vassallo, Dave Dunham, Arthur Besse, Greg Putnam, & Scott Deslongchamps. I started out with a pace (mile 1, 5:41) that could not be held but felt my race position among peers was correct (top 20). Miles 3 and 4 hurt while pace slowed to the six’s which lost me a few places. I came through the line pretty wiped out with a time of 36:30 (5:53/mile average) and 15th place, 5th 40+ runner.  We got the win but it was not easy. Dan took 2nd and Greg won the master category with Joe 2nd. They picked up some well-earned dough.  The raffles that followed created quite a buzz of anticipation for all. I expect the race to only grow in participants and teams in the future.


Into the finish line

Less than half way


Joe, Dan, Greg (Eveline on shoulders), I, Arthur, & Dave

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Run for the Hills 10K - Hamilton

The Run for the Hills race is aptly named behind Pingree High School. There are several short momentum breakers on the course. I had to sign up so I got to the race early to fill out an application. I was still laughing about a closed online registration portal on a Tuesday afternoon. I introduced Greg Putnam to Colin Carroll before showing Greg the course. It was muddy in the swampy sections. The course is one loop for the 5K and two loop (repeat the 5K loop) for the 10K. It was awesome to have the CMS teammates on the line. Colin was undefeated in the North Shore Trail Series in 2015. Greg has been racing well and looking to take no prisoners. Therefore, there was no surprise when they passed me a few minutes into the race - making me look like I was in the JV race. I somehow kept Colin in sight - only if there was a straight away on the first lap. He was not his usual self. The gap was getting smaller as we started the 2nd round of hills in the second lap. I told Greg earlier that the second lap was going to hurt. It did. I caught Colin in the middle of that second lap. We were both hurting, he admitted later that the lack of training caught up. I managed to get a little room and hold onto 2nd in the end. Greg smoked the course in what has to be a course record (edit - Joe Shairs ran quicker in 2008, 36:57). Colin was on my heels - 11 seconds behind. I drank a ton of Gatorade and ran a cooldown with Jason Matuelwicz over the loop for 4th time for the day. My reward beside muddy legs was a half dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies made by RD Cathy Lanois.

2015 Run for the Hills Race Results


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Loon Mountain Race - New England Mountain Running Championship

Krissy and I headed up to the Loon Mountain Race (6.6 miles). The ride to 60 Mountain Road in Lincoln, NH was about 2 hours. After getting my number and talking to Scott Mason about his GTI, I went out for warm up just shy of a mile. I changed into my racing gear and CMS singlet. Krissy headed to the top of Loon Mountain with Scott to work their craft behind the lenses. I got on the starting line with several team mates who have been crushing it within not only the USATF New England Mountain Series but the All Terrain Running Series. I have hit all of the ATR races so far but nothing to speak of in terms of an outdoor track 5,000m. Thus, I need to get to the remaining races which should not be a problem as long as I stay healthy.

There was a new start this year at LMR which was behind the lodge instead of down at the river. As a result, they extended the finish line back to the top of the gondola or about three minutes beyond the top of Upper Walking Boss. My expectations for the race were really simple, give my best effort and don't give in to walking until UWB as it is just inevitable. I started out huffing and puffing right away and I really thought I was taking it easy. There were some ups and downs and we hit the nordic trails which I really like. Dave Dunham and I traded spots in there. It was wet and muddy in several areas. Any standing water was ankle deep. I put on a little hustle to pass Dave and get after Kasie Enman and Kim Nedeau. I clocked my fastest mile of the day in 7 flat.

Heading down to Upper Walking Boss
Photo by KrissyK
I never did catch Kasie but got as close as a few seconds. I appreciated any shade on the course. I was slow on all climbing but resisted walking among those that had to. I was just waiting for Upper Walking Boss which is a devil including some 40%. I was running with Alex Hall from Whirlaway. While we were walking up, I tried to crack some jokes - making it up on the fly to cope with the misery. Some worked, some didn't. I kept it light. Had to. Running or hiking up this is insane. Kim Nedeau was the only runner to go past us on UWB. We seemed to get to the top sooner than in the past. Why? We did not have the switch backs up. Why? They did not mow it. I am OK with that.

Alex and I got into a trot before we got to the top and we hauled ass to the finish which took another three minutes of a steep down hill and a little steep hill up into the finish where Krissy was. I finished 25th overall with a time of 1:06:28. That is 10:05 average mile pace if you are keeping score at home. Josh Ferenc crushed it running 8:37's!

Head down and up into the finish
Photo by KrissyK
CMS did pretty well getting 6 guys in the top 17. Todd Callaghan (7th), Scott Leslie (11th), Chris Mahoney (12th), Dave Dunham (13th), Erik Vandendries (16th), & Matt Veiga (17th). I got some water and chatted it up with some of the guys I battled with. Then I headed over and hung out with Krissy and cheered on the next 45 minutes worth of runners into the finish. We headed down in the gondola and took a quick soak in the Pemigewasset River before hitting the road to beat some of the traffic.

Loon Mountain Race New England Mountain Running Championship 2015 results