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|