The Jetta Turbo Diesel and I headed down to Chepachet, RI for the Run With The Beavers 10 Mile Trail race. The trails are in Casmir Pulaski Memorial State Park. The race is directed by CMS teammate, Bob Jackman. After I ran it last year (1:10:57) I immediately suggested to Bob that he should host the Championship in the future. It was nice to see it get selected as the USATF New England Trail Championship for 2018. The race was also part of the All-Terrain Runner Series, race #2, which I am tracking for so far.
CMS had 12 men on the starting line. The race started on the field this year to accommodate the field of 275 runners (the 10 mile would have 175 finishers) for a nice wide start. The race started about 75 yards away on Center Trail, last year. One loop for the 5-mile runners and the 10-mile runners would run the loop a second time. Bob gave the field careful directions on how not to get lost in the pre-race announcing.
With a wide start, I got on the front row, real estate that I rarely occupy. 150M after the start, the course would funnel down and take a hard-left hand turn onto Center Trail – a fire road that went up a bit (this little rise hurt a lot on the 2nd loop) before the race got onto the single track to the right. I tucked in behind a tall guy, and hung out there trying to keep Chris Smith and Kassandra Marin patient behind me. Not long though, they went by me on the single track. It was not easy to stretch the legs on the single track. I also had to keep a “line of sight” – about 8 feet ahead of me and the next runner to see what I was stepping on.
Once I got a clear shot and out of the single track on approach to Richardson Trail, I opened the stride more than a surge to get by a half dozen or so runners. With a bit of downhill, I caught up to Chris Smith. I auto-piloted past Peck’s Pond, holding back any commentary about celebrating a sighting of a Beaver. I stayed close to Chris and the eventual 5-mile winner along the technical parts along Keach Brook. Once I took the right up the hill, I got by Chris on the 2nd stage climb. This had us within the mile of the end of the 1st loop and I caught the eventual 5-mile winner toward the end. He was glad to not have to hustle the 2nd loop. I went through the half way point in 34:05, 13th place.
At the start of the 2nd loop, I saw a runner with a green singlet, Tim Cronin (Forrest Hills) ahead by 25 seconds. It took me miles to catch up to him. In the process, Michael Luebeck (Greater Lowell Road Runners) caught up to me and pressed my heels for a bit before hustling by on entry toward Peck’s Pond. No Beaver sightings on the pass either. Michael buried me by a minute and forty seconds over the last two miles. I went by Tim Cronin on the hill leaving Keach Brook to regain 13th place and finishing up with a time of 1:08:39.4, 6th in the 40-49 age group. I also ran 1:18 quicker this year, although the course was a little bit longer (9.55 in 2018 to 9.51 in 2017 per my GPS). I felt I ran much slower on the up-hills and some of the single track during the 2nd loop, however it was not too bad. The 2nd loop time was 34:33 compared to 34:05 for loop 1.
I headed out for a cooldown after dropping off the CMS singlet at the car in the lower lot. I ran past Peck Pond which ran me across the state line and into CT. I turned back after 1 mile as my left hamstring was getting really pissed. I jumped into Peck Pond to rinse off. Other runners like 10 mile champ, Brandon Newbould had the same idea. After 10 minutes or so, I dried off and hit the road without heading back to the field to see race results.
13 JAMES PAWLICKI 43 M 1:08:39.4 CMS 6 M40 - 49
Loop 1: 0:34:05.7
Loop 2: 0:34:33.6