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

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