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.


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