Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wild Turkey 5 mile Salem

The gun went off sending over 1700 runners out for the Wild Turkey 5 mile road race away from the Salem Common and past the Hawthorne Hotel. I noted senior Jason Barnes and fellow master David Long just ahead of me. In between was Jordan Kinley pushing a baby jogger. I had to throw in a surge to pass him before two miles and got on the heels of David. Jason was pulling away. Reciprocating shout outs to those entering Winter Island while I was exiting went on for a few minutes. David and I had some back and forth through the neighborhood behind the Salem Willows. I got some separation in my favor in the parking lot of the Salem Willows. Any chance or miracle of catching Jason was looking bleak while he was reeling in CMS teammate Matt Veiga into mile four at the top of the hill beyond Dead Horse Beach. I kept my place, running scared, keeping baby joggers and other runners behind me as I approached the finish. I hit the line in 28:20 (5:40 per mile), good for 7th overall, 1st master. I ran 28:31 last year in cold conditions so to be a little quicker was good. CMS did well. Matt ran 28:03 (6th) and Nakri Dao placed 4th in the master category. William Jackson was chilling out while placing 39th. Congrats to Caleb Evanter (winner) and Dan Chruniak (just ran the Philadelphia Half on Sunday) for setting 5 mile PRs! Splits and results below.


Wild Turkey 5 mile race results November 26, 2015 Salem, MA

Winner, Caleb Evanter and I at the awards

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nougat 6ix with no common sense

"Common sense at the Nougat?" said one of the co-race directors. Yeah, I figured it out I said. If I kept going, I would have gotten back here a mile premature. 

He and Gregory promptly headed out to mark the trail that I said was missing a marker to advise which way to go......

I showed up at the widely advertised (taking sarcasm from the race site that is so far underground, you’d be at the core of the earth) Nougat6ix at Lynn Woods on Saturday 10 minutes before the start at 7:00. Simple race, 50K (4 loops) or 100K (8 for the mentally bored). Bring your own, no race entry fee (sorry, $1.00 for International runners), invited only sort of event. Go ahead read the site, look around. It is hilarious.

I raised my hand for 25K which was 10 miles on the left and 5.5 on the right. Each loop would return to the start. I recruited for some company the day before. I got one taker, Stephen Trainor. Thank you sir!

A group of twenty or so took off at 7:02 and Stephen and I took off after 30 seconds. We got into the lead at the top of the first hill. It was very casual and we were taking it easy. Heads were on a swivel, keeping alert for white ground arrows on top of leaves or orange streamers hanging from branches. The pace was conversational. Miles went by, the sun went away and the wind picked up. I waited for Stephen as he needed a potty break after 6 miles. I got a little anxious at the as we went by Stone Tower and opened the stride a little. No marker at the bottom of it was concerning. I went right, Stephen followed, and I corrected my error after 10 seconds, noting common sense that I had almost 1.5 miles to reach the start. So I turned back and ran up to Steel Tower and then to the start which gave me just over 10 miles. Stephen fell way back, a minute or so, when I reached where we started. I took a Gel and Red Bull Seltzer mix that I planted at the aid station. 

Stephen was cooked so I headed out to the right side for the 5.5. It took me on new trail that I never saw before. It was very technical so I just rolled with it getting out to Rt.1 wondering where the GAC crew was along with Linda Fitzpatrick. They are usually in for the ultra races. Well, guess who I bumped into 10 minutes later. Yup. Linda and a few friends. I grabbed her hand, noted a story of a hunter crying that she recently shared, and ran off. A power line or two went over head and found my way heading back to the start or in my case, my finish. I was pretty tired. 15.64 miles and 2:11:39. The effort is a DNF because I and most others did not do the minimum 50K. It fits the sarcastic, underground, non-commercialization of the super secret event. Huge props to those tackling each loop twice. The 5.5 mile loop on the right side is as technical as it will get in Lynn Woods. Once was enough for these bones. Twice and I would end up breaking one or two. 

Gregory Esbitt, co-race director and my tired bones
Photo taken by a kind soul with my phone

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I arrived at Franklin Park with Todd Callaghan and met up with Tim Van Orden and Dave Dunham who helped set up the canopy tent for the team. I ran a warm up and got on the line behind my CMS team and to the right of BAA for the 8K masters race at the USATF New England Championships. The weather was great and the course was dry. I got into good position behind (maybe 10th) the lead pack of BAA and CMS runners who seemed to be setting a rather comfortable pace but it picked up after the mile. I did not hear a split but the GPS tagged a 5:12. My second mile slowed to a 5:33 with an up and over Bear Cage hill. 

At the top of Bear Cage Hill in front of Christopher Lawrence
Photo by Michael Quintal
I lost a few positions but continued a good battle with Robert Bottomley and Francis Burdett whom I noticed had a racing flat come untied. He would eventually lose it and finish the race without it. I went through the 5K just a few ticks slower than my 5K at Mayor’s Cup two weeks ago. I was pretty happy with that. Wayne Levy and Kevin O’Neal from BAA passed by with about a mile to go. I kept them close climbing Bear Cage Hill but they took off with good momentum on the backside. I would not catch either from there to the finish line. I wound up with an 18th place finish in the masters race. I was the 6th CMS runner on the day and felt I had a pretty good race, similar time to my 8K at Mayors Cup in 2014. I had three teammates with Alan Bernier, Joshua Perks, and Todd Callaghan in view the whole race and all within 24 seconds of my finish.

Francis and Christopher Lawrence chasing
Photo by Urvi Mujumdar
I was aiming for a top 15 finish but that was optimistic with the talented runners and Seniors (50+) around me. The team ran very well for a 2nd place finish to the BAA. I finished the Cross Country Grand Prix Series (5 races since August) and would appeared to have won the masters division. Justin Renz, last year's GP Series Master Champ, was just a few points behind me going into the race today. After the race, he admitted that he just ran the New York City Marathon last Sunday and was tired. I know how he felt as I did this race last November, one week after the Manchester City Marathon.

Running away from White Stadium and to Bear Cage Hill
Peter Bottomley and Francis Burdett in pursuit
Photo by Dave Dunham

GPS splits below

2015 USATF New England Masters Cross Country Championships

Coming out of the Bear Cage Hill with Michael Quintal in the background
Photo by Dave Dunham