Monday, July 25, 2016

Friday Night Lights 10,000m

I jumped into a 10,000 meter track race on Friday night. It was hosted by the Western Mass Distance Project and Greater Boston Track Club. This is the 2nd year of the race, however, the field was expanded out for extra heats to allow for athletes to participate in the USATF New England Championship (for the outdoor track meet to be held on July 29 & 30). It was also available for All Terrain Runner points which was my objective. I was not going to participate in a 10K on a track but this opportunity came up and this was the last chance.

My heat, #2, was scheduled to start at 7:40PM at Danehy Park in Cambridge (800 meters from Fresh Pond and the Alwife T-stop). It was a hot night with some lightning that followed after my race. That lightning delayed the elite women's race by a half hour. I passed a few runners during the 25 lap race, as well as, got passed by the top four runners in the race which was won by TJ Unger who ran just under 34 minutes. My quickest lap was my last one, 84 seconds. My slowest lap was the 14th in 91 seconds. It looks like I had five laps at 90 seconds, all of which came after that 91 in the second half of the race.

The top master of the race, Chad Carr passed me during the race. I managed to keep him close in the last 8 laps of my race. His presence helped me stay somewhat focused in the long and hot race. I finished in 12th place, 36:42.9, in the heat (not bad considering I was seed # 31) and 2nd master runner. I was pretty exhausted as I could see that in everyone out there competing. Thank you Stephen Peckiconis for tracking my lap splits and more importantly, keeping count of my laps. He was also keeping track of Patrick Bugbee's laps too. Also, I need to thank Dave Dunham and Krissy for the vocal support during the race.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Level Renner 10K

I headed down to D.W. Field Park, the gem in Brockton for the Level Renner 10K with Joe Shairs, Gregory Putnam, and Krissy. We met up with Dan Vassallo and looked for the rest of our team. Where were the other four guys? DL? We were concerned with team not scoring. We needed a few more to cross the finish line. I could not convince Eric Narcisi to put the Dunkin flatbread and Iced Mocha down and jog for a 10K. Actually, he was in the midst of race duty so he was out. I swung a last minute deal for Dave Kraal and Samuel Fazioli to run with us.

Joe and I ran together for the 1st mile and a half under a mix of shade and sun. It was warm. The 1st mile was around 5:46 and I heard a 2nd mile split that just about doubled that. Up tower hill for the 2nd time, I ran with Jake Barnett for the next couple of miles during the rolling hills before he woke up and dusted me by 33 ticks. I stayed in the same position, 13th all the way to the finish line, in an exhausted manner. I posted up an average of 5:51 pace per mile, and 36:19, with zero turn-over in the last two miles.

Kevin Balance, CEO of Level Renner enterprises and team put on a good show for the 200+ runners. Tons of raffle prizes were given away. Our team picked up the first place prize which was cool. My 3rd place age group got me a gift certificate to Charles River Running in Norwood. I gave it to Dave as he lives in Weymouth - a lot closer to him. Lastly, my bib number was called pretty early and afforded me a New Balance gift card for some new kicks. All in all, a pretty good day for all.

I am back at it with a last minute decision to run in the Friday Night Lights 10K for some All Terrain points.

KrissyK SmugMug 2016 Level Renner 10K photos
Scott Mason photos
2016 Level Renner 10K results

Joe Shairs and I after the first climb up tower hill. Dave Kraal has the white hat behind Joe.
Photo by KrissyK
Jake Barnett and I just after the 2nd climb up Tower Hill around 2.25 miles
Photo by KrissyK
3rd and final time past Tower Hill and to the finish
Photo by KrissyK

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Miles Over the Moon 4 mile - Salem

Krissy and I post-race
I won a free entry to the Miles Over the Moon 4 mile race courtesy of the North Shore Road Race Guide a few weeks ago. The race is unique with a  Friday night, 8:00PM start. I picked up my number, ran a warm up with Bradley Gates and Chris Nolin, showing them as much of the 1st and last mile that I studied prior. The race opened up with a loop around the Salem Common on the road (not inside the common via the path). Four guys were immediately out quick wasting no time taking charge. Once the dust settled, I went by three runners within the first mile and was now in 4th place cranking through a 5:19 mile on Derby Street. I noticed ahead that Jordan Kinley was dropping off the lead pack now down to 2 that included Dan Chruniak. I would maintain my place heading behind the Salem Willows and out of it hitting mile 2 with a 5:39 split. The hill at Deadhorse beach is a beast and provided me with a 5:44 split now heading back to the Salem Commons. A few turns later, I was on the Salem Common for a full lap around it on the stone dust path. I knew I would be close to 5:30 pace so I tried to stay with that stride while the legs tired. I saw the clock at 21:39 and I made a sprint to break 22 minutes. I would end up with a 22:00 bib time and 22:01 gun time. 4th place, 1st master runner. I was happy with the effort and it has been a while since I was in the 5:30’s for a race distance beyond 5K. My GPS measured out 3.93 so that calculated out to 5:36 pace per mile. I ran a 4 mile race in Salem (Frosty 4) over pretty much the same course on January 1 with a 5:50 pace per mile. A little progress since then! Full results of the Miles Over the Moon event. I ran a cool down with Dan (won with 5:00/mile average), 2nd place runner Jon Lindenauer (new to the area from Hudson Valley who ran 5:03/mile pace), and Chris Nolin who was the 4th place master over to the Pickering Wharf and more of Derby Street before the darkness fell on the evening.

Finish line in the Salem Commons
photo via video, KrissyK

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

John Carson 2 mile road race

Joe Shairs and I talked about the possibility of running this race, just the day before while at a cookout. I was not sure how my legs would respond 24 hours after Loon Mountain. However, I love the race, setting, and early start which allows one to enjoy the rest of the day for whatever the 4th of July brings (cookouts, rest, fireworks, et cetera). I picked up Joe the following day and we got to post registration early at the back of Hannaford Supermarket in Chelmsford. We found Terry McNatt (CSU, would go on to run 11:18, 2nd 50+) on our warm up and went 1.75 miles into the 2 mile course in order to show Joe the terrain. Back at the car, I put on the race gear, did a few strides, and got on the line behind Joe and Jim St. Pierre (would go on to run 10:58) who always runs very well at this race. He joked that was his last race, one year ago. Jim and I were teammates for a year way back in the day. 

The key in the first 400m is to stay clear of the little ones who are all over the first few rows of the start. They sprint out and fade before you know it but they are a risk to race around. Indeed, I saw one go right down to my right. It would appear he tripped over his own feet . I was keeping pace with Kara Haas in the opening 800m which got us up a short hill to turn left. Once up and over, I focused on what and who was ahead. Joe was a few seconds up. I would catch Joe just after the mile (recall a 5:26 on the watch). Passing him slowly, I focused on catching up with Jim who seemed to be struggling as I found a good stride going downhill. 

I went by and now was facing the hill up to the finish where of which reminded me of the Loon legs underneath. With 400 to go, I tried and managed to hold my spot for 17th place, 3rd master behind Bob Tremblay (10:36) and Jared Nyamora (10:42). My 10:52 on my watch confused me because I thought that I saw 10:41 on the finish line clock. I grabbed a Sullivan Farms t-shirt that were being handed out immediately after the finish line, handed out some fist pumps to the competitors around, and found Joe who ran 11:07. I swallowed a lemonade and some watermelon before he and I headed back to the start line. We ran a bit of the course which we came upon the very start of the parade coming through which reminded me of our countries independence and freedom. 

Two short miles with elevation profile

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Loon Mountain Race – US Mountain Running Championships

Loon Mountain
photo by Gianina Lindsay / snapAcidotic
Dave Dunham let me to crash with him, Tim Van Orden, and Jamie Woolsey the night before the race, saving me from a multiple hour drive the morning of the race (to and from). I ran a warm up with the team, did my thing in the woods, as the group turned around and headed back to the lodge at Loon Mountain for the 8am men’s start. As a ran back, I saw Ed Sheldon running funny, leaned over, slowly, with two others keeping him company. The company looked as concerned as I was puzzled. As I caught up, I asked what is going on, thinking the worst, that Ed hurt his back? With the sun directly in his line of sight, he hit his head on a sign a few minutes earlier near the entrance to the condos. He had 1 inch cut and blood to make you wonder if he would even bother racing 15 minutes later. I gave him my toilet paper and he applied it on the wound to stop and clean the blood. We were back at the lodge in minutes as he went inside to clean up. I went back to my car to get my racing gear on. Five minutes later, I ran over to the start to find Ed all cleaned up, with a bandage, ready to go. I would not see him again until 2.5 miles into the race. Tough guy for sure!

It was great to see all of the CMS runners at the start of the race. The went off quick and I seemed to be buried behind 100 runners in no time as we climbed the dirt road in the US Mountain Running Championships. No surprise. We had some downhill mixed in the early miles to break up the 3100 ft of ascent to the top of Loon and the Upper Walking Boss. I settled into my race pace in the first few miles, passing a few tactically to ensure I had good visibility in the shaded trails. I passed William Jackson after two miles and set my sights on Ed Sheldon who was running pretty well considering what happened earlier. I got by him on one of the climbs. I grinded up all the hills, passed a few men in the process, noting who had a 40-44 age group bib on the back. The 2nd half of the 6.3 mile race was in the open sun and it was getting warmer. I would say however, conditions for air quality (no humidity) and temps were perfect. The miles went by quickly for me despite the hard effort climbing and occasional downhill. I took it easy going down the hill to the Upper Walking Boss on purpose. 

Then I came upon UWB with a timing company table and equipment right there to time the segment going up. Pretty funny actually to see how slow or fast you are against the race after the fact.
I tried to take little steps, big steps, side steps, run, jog, hike, walk, et cetera. I found no comfort or relief from the fight with 30% grades up. It was steep and tricky enough in a few sections to get on all fours to ensure you got up the rough patch. I got passed by teammates Dan Verrington and William Jackson (hiked by with his long stride) over the next 11 minutes up. Although the course line was straight up, I was wobbly at best, legs weak, just trying to stand up and keep going up and not fall over. Chris Smith went by too earlier but he was close enough at the top with 200m to go that I got motivated to get out of hike mode and run the last of UWB. I made it up and could hear people at the finish line. I reached the line in 1:05:08. If you add in the women’s times, this placed me 87th overall. I seemed to have placed 4th within my 40-44 age group. Here are the fullresults.

CMS ended up getting 1st place in the men’s open, masters, and senior divisions. The women picked up gold in the open and silver in the masters. Several picked up age division win’s outright such as Dave Dunham (top 50-54) and Todd Callaghan (top 45-49). They were followed by other teammates as the Seniors swept with Dave, Erik Vandendries, and Jeff Hunt going 1-3. Tim Van Orden was the 2nd 45-49 runner.

Here are my splits per mile to give you an idea of what this race is all about. You can tell where the climbing was.