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

No comments:

Post a Comment