Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mill Cities Relay

This past Sunday was my 5th consecutive Mill Cities Relay with the Somerville Road Runners. I ran on the coed open team in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Last year, I got bumped onto the masters team. I ran the long leg (#4) in 2011. Since then, I have been fortunate lead off the relay for the teams. I like the first leg for a few reasons. It has a wide downhill start and I can see all competition around me. I can time my warm up appropriately so I am at the starting line for the 8:00. It was a cold morning with a frost on the grass but the sun was rising and sure to warm up into the 50’s by 1:00.

With the drop of the brick, the race sprinted out. I chose my position carefully and scanned ahead for any master runners. David Long (Wicked Running Club) and Doug Martyn (Whirlaway) were just ahead. I passed Doug before the first bridge and got in behind David. We passed the mile in 5:31. David said that was pretty quick and I shrugged while mentioning to just keep it going. We slowed to a 5:40 into mile two and he was now behind me. We would occasionally run past his relay car of Wicked mates who would cheer for us. The rolling hills slowed me down to a 5:50 through 3 miles but I bounced back with a 5:43 and 5:46 that had a little downhill in them. I passed no one and no one passed me since I broke away from David before mile 2. I did have SRR’s Sean McDonough (his first race since exactly one year ago) in front of me battling someone else along the way. I rolled into the relay exchange, hearing David behind me (see video below). My time was 30:46 for the 5.4 mile leg handing off to Sanjay D’Souza. I traded the slap band for his keys. I had the masters team in the lead by less than five seconds.

I got in the car after a quick photo with Krissy (she ran leg #4 later in the morning) and drove off along the leg 2 course following along into relay exchange zone #2. Sanjay held his own giving up a few seconds to Chris Nolin from Wicked. John Wichers took over for the 3rd leg running 2.5 miles before passing the reigns over to Greg Pickelsimer who got the lead back and extended it for our masters team. Sanjay and I drove into relay exchange zone #4 to give Joe O’Leary a heads up and to support teams along the way by shouting out the window at anyone we knew. At the last exchange zone, I caught up with the teamates and watched Greg come in and hand off to Joe who was the last leg runner for our team. Out team, SRR - Joe O'Leary and the Heartbreakers would win 1st place in our master category with a time of 2:34:46, just about three minutes ahead of 2nd place Wicked Persistent, and 3rd place, Brick Chasers (GDTC).

2015 Mill Cities Relay Results

Krissy and I after my finish
Photo by Maryann Kozlosky
Just before the 1st exchange zone
Photo by Krissy Kozlosky

Myself, Joe O'Leary, Greg Pickelsimer, John Wichers, & Sanjay D'Souza
Photo by Chris Klucznik

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