Monday, March 23, 2015

St. Patricks Day Hibernian 5K

Closing in with 800m left in the Hibernian 5K
I signed up for the Hibernian 5K with a paper entry and cash in hand on Saturday afternoon at the Hibernian Hall in Lynn. Krissy was volunteering so she picked up an assignment and orange “race in progress” shirt. There were so many enthusiastic volunteers handing out race shirts and packets the day before the race. The following morning, Krissy and I headed over to the race which can’t be more than a 2 mile drive. I parked my gear inside the hall and did a solo 2 mile warm up. It was windy and going to be a variable to contend with. Dan Vassallo and Dan Chruniak (set a PR at New Bedford last week) were on the starting line awaiting the Irish and American anthems. It was chilly under the Level Renner singlet and hat. About a dozen youngsters bolted out at the start. I got into 3rd place about a quarter of a mile into the race watching Dan squared duke it out up the hill at ¾ of a mile. Respect to them trading blows into the wind at mile one where Vassallo started to pull away. I was so far back with a 5:40 mile with barely a trace of someone behind me. The stretch into mile two provided relief from the nasty head winds and clocked with a 5:37 mile. I passed Krissy with less than a half mile to go. She had an Irish flag in one hand, camera in the other, and an eye on traffic. Mile 3 proved quicker with a 5:27. I rolled into the finish line with a 17:37 for 3rd place, top master. I got lucky as that time would have not been in the top six last year. Vassallo took the win with 16:05 and Dan Chruniak netted a 16:40. Once the dust settled, I headed out for a 3.5 mile warm down with them, Nakri, and Katrina. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Bedford Half Marathon

I navigated from the backseat with KrissyK, Joe Shairs at the wheel, and Dan Vassallo riding shotgun. It was a quick ride along the unplanned caravan of vehicles full of race distance stickers to the Elm Street garage for the USATF New England Half Marathon Championship. The New Bedford Half Marathon has been hosting the championship for what seems like more than a decade now. Race director Dan McCarthy and the city want to host each year and it shows. We got our numbers in the YMCA and I greeted any and all runners I knew before heading out for a 2.25 mile warm up with CMS teammate Dave Lapierre. I got into my race gear and was at the starting coral ten minutes before 11:00. Memorable was the runners picking up the National Anthem lyrics as the young lady at the microphone broke into a hum a quarter in. No problem. We are a cohesive community of runners. I was off at the siren, staying clear of trouble, and looking for a group to rock and roll with. I was looking for just under sixes per mile for the race. I eyed a few BAA jerseys and soon ran next to Arthur Besse.
Trailing Arthur Besse and Joe Fois after 5 miles
Photo by KrissyK
Then, up ahead, I saw former teammate Jason Dunklee. We were in touch earlier in the week discussing racing. Joe Fois, who ran at Westfield State while I was at Salem was soon in the mix. He just turned 40 and we exchanged encouragement as master runners before the race. My first mile was 5:50. My second mile was about 6:02. I hit the early hills with caution and lost ground to the BAA singlets and Jason. Once I got a little downhill, I opened up the stride and started to race. I closed in on Joe Fois and Jason. Arthur came back in and we rolled. It was fun. I passed Krissy after five miles tossing a strike with my hat over to her. I was excited to have Arthur next to me. He has been improving his race efforts, setting PR's, and training very hard. At one point, I looked over to Arthur, and told him that he was going to catch some of the guys in front of us late in the race. That was the PG13 version. I passed mile seven and started to fade from Arthur, Jason, and Joe. I managed to get back to them and started to take some water at the upcoming water stops. I passed the 10 mile clock around 58:30 - a minute faster than the 10 mile race in Amherst. I was gaining on Jason Porter from the BAA and kept Jason Dunklee close as we were now into a head wind. I caught Jason around 11 but fell back before the big hill. I charged up the best I could on weary legs and managed to get by as I saw Dave Dunham taking pictures and supporting us. I reached the top and collected myself noticing a few guys that could pass for my age group (40+).
The final push with 300 meters to the finish
Photo by KrissyK
I was all in and throwing myself down the hill before the last 300m of the race into the finish. It was crowded but managed to pass a few and lost a step to a few crossing the line with a gun time of 1:17:29 (chip time of 1:17:25). 103rd overall and 12th dude in the 40-49 age group. I'll take it. The Central Mass Striders masters team was down a few guys on the day allowing me to be the 3rd scorer on the day behind Joe Shairs and Alan Bernier. Arthur followed me by 200 meters and Dan Verrington capped off the scoring to place us as the 3rd masters team. The men's open team placed 3rd overall and the Senior team placed 6th. I jogged a half mile with Dan Vassallo for a cool down attempt before bailing out at the YMCA only to have to walk back to the parking garage to get my bib number. No bib number, no chowder!

KrissyK smugmug photos of the New Bedford Half Marathon
2015 New Bedford Half Marathon results

550 mile 1
603 mile 2
611 mile 3
606 mile 4
543 mile 5
542 mile 6
539 mile 7
541 mile 8
555 mile 9
551 mile 10
603 mile 11
559 mile 12
605 last full mile

Monday, March 9, 2015

Great Stew Chase 15K

The Great Stew Chase was delayed until yesterday due to the snow fall and narrow roads from in early February. The legs had a little soreness from the previous days snowshoe event. I told Krissy that I would have to be careful and hang back on my pacing and strategy. I did not take my own advice and had some sub six minute miles early on. I was pulling a group that included Joe OLeary though mile 4. As the course headed up over Rt. 128, I backed off and never got back in the game.

Pulling the group through mile 2
It was disheartening to see that crew take off or at least hold the pace. I settled in for the solo grind up and down Farm Ave and back to the finish. Jason Bui was chasing me in the closing miles to get as near as 8 seconds at the end. I crossed the finish line in 57:20 – good for a 6:10 average and 8th overall. Joe hit the 6:00 minute pace to get the top master position. In all, glad I went and supported the home town event. Here is a link to several photos that Krissy took of the Great Stew Chase competitors.
Solo around 7.5 miles
41st Annual Great Stew Chase
Lynn, MA, March 8, 2015
8  James Pawlicki 2/19 M4044 40 M Lynn MA CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS  57:20  6:10

New Hampshire & Northeast Snowshoe Championships

The whole winter almost got by without me racing a snowshoe race. The New Hampshire and Northeast Championship event was hosted by Acidotic Racing on the trails next to Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. Several gorgeous views of Lake Winnipesaukee were offered along the single track. Several CMS men and women were in attendance which was nice to see. As soon as the race started, it funneled into the single track. I made sure Todd Callaghan and Alex Hall got in front of me before it tightened up seconds after the start. If one were to step outside of that single track that was two feet wide - would be a risk as you would post hole and lose balance. This was the case throughout the race that was advised as being 6.1 miles. My position as it turned out was perfect. It gave me cushion between Alex in front of me and any pressure behind which was not an issue until late in the race. I passed one person before 2 miles as he stepped aside putting me behind Alex Hall who was dominating the down hills. David Martino caught me at 4.7 miles and held me off at the end by five seconds. It was nice to get out on the trails and feel the quads and lungs burn a bit. CMS got top spot on the team podium and several raffle prizes were handed out as Acidotic put on another classy event. 

Place Time   Pace  Name              Team                       
9      53:08  8:43 James Pawlicki    CMS