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

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