Wednesday, November 9, 2016

USATF New England Cross Country Championships

I was looking forward to the USATF New England XC Championships for the master’s race which is a 8K distance. As Joe Shairs and I drove to Franklin Park, we chatted about the CMS men lining up for more team competition up north in Manchester, NH via Manchester City Marathon. I was anxious and excited for them - wishing to a degree that I was up there being a part of that. While waiting for our race, we were getting updates from Sasha Mindel who was getting a play by play about her husband, Scott Mindel, racing for CMS, leading the marathon in the early miles with Dan Vassallo just a few strides back. Just pure awesome. It pumped me up for my race.

Yes, back to cross country. I was thrilled to have a few extra CMS master runners (Alan Bernier, Steve Brightman, and Martin Tighe) in our race beyond what we had at the Franklin Park 5K two weeks ago.  I jumped out at the start and followed Steve for a short while before having to settle in. I had good position within the race among folks that I usually finish near. Mile 1 went by in 5:28 (per GPS). Up and over Bear Cage Hill and a Wilderness Loop brought me through the 5K right at what I ran two weeks ago in 18:13. 

The wheels came off in the 2nd Wilderness Loop and I felt my cadence back down from Ron Lombardi (GSH) who motored on pretty good. Steve Brightman got into the mix while I was being hunted by Senior’s John Sullivan and Wayne Levy in the last mile. Their presence kept me racing scared to the finish two seconds behind Steve. My time was 29:07, 8th runner for CMS, placing 36 overall out of 107 runners in the race. My goal was 28:45. The team finished 2nd to a strong BAA squad. Results and awesome photos by Scott Mason of all three races (men's open, women's open/masters, and men's masters).


Within an hour after our race we would get random updates for the marathon. Dan would go on to win the race with Scott finishing 2nd. Eric Narcisi rounded out the scoring helping the CMS open team to a first place finish. Our masters team, 2/3 of them Seniors (Ed Sheldon & Dave Dunham), would finish 2nd and also go on to win the Senior team division. 

Striding out with Ron Lombardi and Steve Brighman before 3 miles
Photo by Scott Mason

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