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