Stephen Trainor picked me up and we arrived at Franklin Park an hour before his open 8K race. I had nearly two hours before my race but wanted to set up camp for the CMS guys coming. I fumbled around trying to set up the canopy tent. I even had a young lady from New Balance Boston come over twice to point out what we were doing wrong. It took four people to figure it out. The morning rain that stopped by 9:30 had zero effect on the course. It was dry as could be so I went with my Inov-8 flats instead of spikes. I watched Eric Narcisi and Stephen run their first XC races for CMS in the 8K. I got on the start line after that race with exactly five CMS men (Gregory Putnam, Ben Nephew, Tim Van Orden, and Dan Verrington) for the last race of the day, Franklin Park 5K. The race was number four of the XC Grand Prix and also the masters race.
The race bolted out and I hunted for a visual on Justin Renz (HFC) as we were seeking coveted individual Grand Prix master division series points. I went by him on the downhill 600m in and was about five runners away from Ben Nephew. I went through the mile in what I heard as 5:20. Chris Lawrence and James Callaghan (no relation to teammate, Todd) from the BAA pulled away going down into the Bear Cage Hill. I was able to catch Ben up the hill. On the exit, I got by Chris and we went back and forth through mile 2. I heard a 10:56 split while Chris pulled away a bit as we got into the Wilderness Loop. As we ran a short climb in there I got past him and pushed on the downhill exiting the woods.
As I climbed out into the field loop, a race official holding flags pointed to me and said that the team race was coming down to me. I was not sure because I was the 3rd CMS guy. I think she was keeping tabs on the front of the race where Gregory and Tim were battling the top three guys from the BAA. I got passed by a runner as we fell into the field with just two more right hand turns remaining into the finish line other other side of the field. I told him to get going as this race was going to be over in less than 700m. I was trying to keep Chris behind me which I did. I finished with a time of 17:36 and in 18th place, 3rd CMS runner. Ben and Dan finished right behind me to help us finish 2nd to the BAA. The results are here. I felt pretty good about the effort and execution that was not planned, instead flourished with the race around me. I think the last time I ran a 5K at Franklin Park was in a USATF New England development race 17 years ago. The guy that finished behind me then was Ben Nephew. We have been teammates ever since.
1,000 miles down (and 1,000 to go?)
3 hours ago