Sunday, February 21, 2016

USATF New England Indoor Track & Field Championships, 3000m

I jumped into the 3000m event at Harvard University for the USATF New England Indoor Track and Field Championships to lower my time of 10:11 from late January in Providence. I got to the race just after 12:30  with Krissy. My race did not plan to start until after 3:10. I chilled out, caught up with friends. I ran a 3 mile warm up outside with Francis Burdett. Once inside, I waited out the rest of the 200m event and made my way down to check in for the 3K which I got into the slower 2nd heat. Meanwhile, the rest of my teammates: Pat , Fullerton, Colin Carroll, Scott Leslie, Chris Mahoney, Eric Narcisi, and Scott Mindel were in heat 1. That gave me the chance to cheer and yell for them. Scott and Eric went on to set PR's. The race was pretty exciting to watch. No one was giving in and fought all the way to the line. Awesome race. My race went pretty well early on. My instincts were to go with the flow at the back of the race as my seed time was the 2nd slowest. I was hitting some 39's in the first mile. I did not get a split at mile 1. After 2K, I slowed and blew my opportunity to break 10 minutes. I ran 10:05.47 and beat four guys in my heat. I chilled out for a bit and collected a few folks before heading out for another 3 miles. I don't have a race next weekend so I plan on a 2 hour long run. Later in the evening, Krissy showed me some video that she took of the races. I highlighted how clumsy and awkward my racing form is. I look like a twisted pretzel.

Still sweating after the race.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Snowshoe Classic at Brooksby Farm

The truck was pretty angry when I started it up. -5 degrees outside. Fifteen minutes later, I pulled into the Brooksby Farm parking lot, shocked  that it was only half full thirty minutes before the 10AM start. I went inside the retail store and glad to see Bob and Denise Dion from Dion Snowshoes.  I grabbed my goodie bag (contained a pair of gloves, socks, hand warmers, caramel candy, a stick of honey) and number and headed back to the truck to start a warm up with Brett Rickenbach. It was chilly into the wind but not too bad otherwise in the layers that I had on. I saw Dave Dunham after I got my snowshoes on and we traded notes on the course for which he said was a little tricky in terms of being able to see arrows in and on the snow in a few areas. He was right.

We were off after few words from the race crew and I jumped into the lead with Dave right behind. I was working hard and stumbling a bit to stay on top of the snow. Dave floated by a half mile in and got us into the woods. After a mile, I mentioned our split, just for awareness (7:53?). I moved around Dave a minute later as I felt good and wanted to bear some of the load. The footing was fast and ideal in the woods. I wish we had more trail portions within the race. We got out into the field and I did not see any arrows so I gambled on one of three ways to go. I picked the path based on what I recall the course was a few years ago and common sense that would get us back up to the finish area. I was right as a red arrow in the snow awaited 30 seconds later taking us up the hill. 

Dave was on my heels making sure I did not take any time off on the deeper snow or in the last climb. I held on for the win with Dave just four seconds back. The course measured out to 2.7 miles, shorter than the 3 miles/5K that I knew of in the past. Brett mentioned where they changed the course this year during our cool down. My time was 21:21. I got the shoes off right away and wanted to cool down just as fast after giving a few answers to a local Peabody Patch reporter. Dave, Brett, and I did a short cool down on the roads before heading inside to enjoy hot apple cider, Apple Crisp, soups, sandwiches, and raffle prizes. Race results

Brett and Dave post race

Dave and I in the CMS gear

Sunday, February 7, 2016

42nd Annual Great Stew Chase 15K

This out and back course is the 3rd oldest 15K in the country. Krissy dropped me off at the Knights of Columbus to drop off my bag and slide an unheard of, scant $20 bill for 15 kilometers over the table with a paper application. Thank you Roger Perham, race director, for keeping it simple. Simple prizes, nice warm bowl of Stew, a dinner roll, and cookie follow in a warm dinning room of the K of C. Plenty of volunteers from various running clubs such as the North Shore Striders and Wicked Running Club help out. Roger was sure to give all credit after the race.

I ran a short warm up over to the start with teammate Nakri Dao. The weather was perfect, sunny, mid to high 30's and getting warmer. The race went off right on time, at 10 o'clock. Wicked Running Club's Dan Chruniak, took the lead and never relented his 5:45 pace. I counted nine spots before my placing 800 meters into the race. Mile one clocked out in the low 6's. Perfect. That was the goal. The other was not to blow up and drag ass over the last three miles. Familiar faces, Dan and Kat Vassallo were running toward the race with reserved low fives. Then I saw David Dunham after mile two taking pictures and supporting us on. He mentioned that Dan Verrington was 10 ticks back. I was expecting Dan to catch up but he never did. I recognized my father driving toward me and the race before mile 3. He gave me the unplanned thumbs up and a smile. Pretty cool. Krissy was down the road taking pictures. The hills started and Alex Morris from Somerville caught me heading to Farm Rd. He charged up the hill and I backed off. Joe Shairs was roadside. I told him that he should be out there leading the race. He is a prior winner, taking out Paul Hammond in the process in his first race with CMS many moons ago.

Up the hill past Krissy. Dan Verrington not far behind.
Photo by KrissyKSmugMug

I saw some familiar faces at the turn around and heading toward the race behind me. I charged along and focused now on the last third of the race. Two guys were ahead and I wanted to catch them. Plus I figured the focus would help keep Danny Francis Verrington behind me. It worked as I caught one of the runners just before 7 miles. I caught up with Alex from Somerville after 8 miles. I did not pass him until the downhill charge into mile 9. Third man in, Scott Foley from Atkinson, NH, got into the fray with them letting me charge up to the final straight away. Alex came from a second behind to blow our doors away in the last 50 meters. I crossed the line getting 9th place and 57:32, 6:11 pace, similar to last year. My last three miles were clocked at 6:00, 6:00, 5:54 for the fastest collective three of the day which was good.

I bounced into a cool down with Tara Paulin, Dan Chruniak, Dan Verrington, and Jason Matuelwicz for 2 miles  before diving into the Stew. If I can drop one more name, I met Michelle Bociek at my table who knows several CMS gents and is a former winner of the Bay State Marathon (1993, 3:02:46). I got a Stew Chase gym bag for the 2nd place age group placing before running home to cap out around 13 miles for Super Bowl Sunday. Looking ahead, I have the Boston Marathon in my line of sight. I am hopeful for a 3 hour race. We'll see how the New Bedford Half Marathon goes.

42nd Annual 15K Great Stew Chase, Lynn, MA February 7, 2016 results
Great Stew Chase 15K photos by KrissyK

Stew Chase after six miles
Photo by KrissyKSmugMug

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

USATF East Region & New England Masters Meet

I met up with Dave Dunham, Dan Verrington, and Joe O’Leary in Woburn at 7:30 for the drive down to Providence, RI for the USATF East Region & New England Masters Meet. The meet and facility were new to me so I was soaking it all in. I watched the men and ladies run the 5000m, cheering them on. BAA’s Chris Magill was pacing t’mate Doug McLucas and they went 1-2 looking comfortable in the 16:30's. Dave and Joe battled in the closing laps. Joe finished 2nd in his age group while Dan and Dave went 1-2. I ran 10:11.51 in the 3000m. The laps went by pretty fast and the race was down to the final lap before I knew it. I recall my mile split was 5:23. Dave cheered me on which helped, egging me to catch Dan for which I closed within three seconds at the end. I was looking for a 9:50 but was not too down with running 20 seconds slower as that was just the fun attitude for the day. CMS ladies Alicia Eno and Leslie O'Dell bettered their previous 3K times on this, a flat track. I had a wonderful day warming up outside with Brian Cullinan (won his age group in the 3K) from SRR and cooling down with Dan Verrington in downtown Providence. We got back in to watch a furious men’s mile, where Chris Magill made up a 100m gap in the last three laps to take the win. Meanwhile, Jesse Morrow (SRR) ran on to a 5:18 – adult mile PR which capped off a perfect day. There was talk about putting together 4 X 800m with the SRR guys but we nixed it and my legs are glad. I was impressed with the meet, organization, and the whole vibe. Everyone was so nice and chill. Thus, I would highly recommend that you come to the meet next year if you are a master (over 30 in track). You will not regret it. Full Meet Results