Monday, January 30, 2023

The Great Stew Chase 15K

Race Director Roget Perham brought the The Great Stew Chase 15K out of the Knights of Columbus back for the first time since 2020. I missed that one but ran 59 and a half minutes in 2019. It was good to be back. A reported 150 were registered for the 10AM start. The weather was great too being in the high 40's and dry pavement. I used the event as a long run but wanted some discomfort without wrecking myself. The weekly mileage and anaerobic work just has not been there to support any oxygen debt. I was really undecided on a time but planned on feeling it out one mile at a time. In the end, I wound up averaging 8:16's and this is how I got there breaking each 5K down.

The opening 5K had splits around 7:56, a bit quicker than I wanted but adjusted for the middle of the race. I kept my place after 1.5 miles as it thinned out. The next 5K introduced the hills in Centennial Park, Peabody, so I was cool with backing off, averaged around 8:30's. Two folks caught me on the big hill approaching the turn around before Rt. 1. The last 5K, got back to 8:10's but it felt like I was pushing harder. I had a few folks coming back on the rolling hills before reaching Rt. 129. I managed to catch three people with a mile to go and closed in with a 7:33-ish paced last half mile. 1:16:59 overall time, 8:16 pace average per mile. We'll take it. I collected myself and headed into the KofC dining room for a bowl of Stew and Cookies to reward my humble effort. 


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Run-A-Latke 5K - Swampscott

Word at registration was nearly 300 signed up for this scenic 5K course in what remains one of the few road races in Swampscott. This would be a record turn out. Krissy, Nakri and I rolled in an hour before the race 10AM start.  

Nakri and I joined up with Emily McDivitt for a 2 mile warm up. The sun made mid 30's feel mild. I opened up with a 6:19 mile with a slight tail wind. The 2nd mile climbed a bit and got me closer to Christopher Kay as we turned left onto Humphrey Street. This put us into a head wind and inched ahead of Christopher. The course with rise up to 3 miles and I would be passed by him and two others. 

This put me into 11th with the closing 300m and that is where I would finish, 21:09 (6:49 pace), 3rd in the 40-49. My 2nd mile was 6:57 and last was 7:03. Nakri finished 4th, 19:22 (1st 40-49) and Emily was right behind me as first female, 21:42. We headed out for a 2.5 mile cool down before finishing the event with fresh Latke and Sufganiyot (Israeli Doughnut with Jelly). 2022 Run-A-Latke 5K results Race Photos By KrissyK

Monday, November 28, 2022

5th Annual ECTA Thanks for the Trails 5K – South Hamilton

The ECTA Thanks for the Trails 5K is hosted, Friday, the day after Thanksgiving at 10AM in Hamilton. This event was formerly Gabe’s Run and ECTA took it over five years ago. I did a light warm up and got on the line. The plan was to be competitive with the terrain and keep heart rate elevated but not convince Garmin that I raced twice in 24 hours. Garmin was telling me to take a rest day. No rest for the wicked!

Patton Park and the Tank

I let several runner jump out ahead at the start line. It was single file quickly as we rounded the fields and into the woods. I got through the mile in 7:37 and the miles slowed thereafter as there was a decent sized hill in the middle of the second mile. That hill crashed back down into the opening filed and mile two split was 8:06. The hill in the middle of the closing mile was shorter but steeper. The back side of the hill allowed me to stretch the legs and head back to the finish. 

I lost one place on the return. GPS recorded 3.23 so a touch long for a 5K.  26th place overall, 4th in an odd age group of M46-55 and an unofficial time of 25:37 or 8:15 pace per mile. My average heart rate was 161 bpm. I connected with Larissa Bifano for a short cool down a minute after my finish. After checking the results I grabbed a cider donut and a cup of soup before heading out for the day. Splits were as follows: 7:37, 8:06 (hill in the middle), 8:17 (hill in the middle) and 6:58 for last .23 miles. Results

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Wild Turkey 5 Mile – Salem

With Thanksgiving Day, there was no shortage of races to choose from. I was tossed between the Wild Turkey 5 mile road race in Salem or the Maudslay State Park 5K cross country run in Newburyport. I picked Salem as I had more friends and family invested and the race is so close to home. Krissy and I got there with zero traffic at 6:50 AM getting primo parking at the Salem Commons. She headed out for a course walk with a friend at 7:05. I waited until 7:25 and headed out for a 2 mile warm up with Nakri Dao. Nakri would go on to run a few seconds quicker than last year with a 3rd place age group time of 31:52. 

The weather was awesome, mid-30’s, bright sun and no wind. A long sleeve under the singlet, shorts and gloves fit the bill. I bought a pair, first for me, of carbon plated shoes made by Asics the day before at New England Running Company in Beverly. "Super shoes" they call them. Supposed to shave seconds off my pace per mile, keep me on my toes, magic! After all they are Magic Speed 2 Ekiden. 

I lined up 3 rows from the front line for the 8AM start. It felt like I was in 100th place after 400m. I did my thing along Derby Street ensuring to not get too excited. I was expecting to run a sub 7 mile pace all the way today. Mile one passed by in 6:47 (per my GPS recording). I entered the loop into Winter Island for mile 2. Andrew Ernst running with the Notch Brewing kit already had a huge lead. More on that later. I gave a high five to Dan Donato on his exit from Winter Island. He would go on to run 27:15, 4th OA and first master. 

My 2nd mile split was 6:53. CMS member, Brian Hutter from Lynnfield was pulling away from me. He would go on for a 33:10. A loop around Salem Neck revealed another 6:47 mile. Now running through Salem Willows to the walkway along the shoreline passing Deadhorse Beach, had a little back and forth with competitors. 

I saw Krissy on the far right walking and cheering. Mile 4 came sooner than I remember from the past just beyond that last hill. That split was a 7:01. From there to the finish, flat as a pancake. 

Maybe I can reel in a few scalps? I was talking myself into catching at last six of them back at mile 3. I think I got 3 of them over the last 2 miles (did not count the kid tossing his cookies on the side of road at 4.8 miles). I wheeled into the finish with plenty of body language to show that I was tired. 83rd place, 34:04. Almost broke 34 and that would have been sweet. Yet, I will take the 6:48.8 mile pace overall! Did the shoes help any? Hard to say. Maybe a few seconds per mile. The last mile was the quickest for me on the day at 6:42. Heart rate was over 170 for the last three miles.

I regrouped, sunk a bottle of water and headed out for another 1.5 cool down with Nakri who was almost thinking about a 10AM 5K race in Lynn. Now for those who have not peeked at the overall results or for those that have, may overlook the winning time via Andrew Ernst. He managed to break, no, crush the course/event record by 1.5 minutes. He ran 23:25! That is 4:41 pace per mile. The previous record was 24:55 by Russell Brown. I'll try and secure from top times over the past two decades from Doug Bollen and post them up here soon. 

Wild Turkey 5 Mile Results, Salem, November 24, 2022 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Rachel’s Run USATF NE XC GP #5 – Tyngsboro

November 19, 2022 – Rachel’s Run 5K hosted by the Greater Lowell Road Runners was the last of the five cross country races in the USATF New England Cross Country Grand Prix Series. I got to all in the series this fall except #3 hosted in Wayland. This course is a tough one with Abrams Hill. The 5K course is the same 1.5 mile loop done twice. The hill is in the middle of the loop. I warmed up with Todd Callaghan and Nate Jenkins – making his masters debut for CMS. I counted nine CMS guys on the 10:45AM start line made up of three masters and six seniors. 

I was wearing a new pair of New Balance waffle racers which felt awesome. I got out and settled into the back end of the field toward the Notre Dame Academy. Krissy got some race footage as the race stretched out one the trail next to the pond 600m into the distance. Rachel’s Run opening lap video by Kristen

Mark Reeder and John Barbour would pass by me before the mile. I kept them close after Abrams Hill and back out through the end of the first loop but they would open up a gap. I managed to close the gap a bit on Mark after the 2nd pass of Abrams, getting to within 11 seconds at the finish line where I crossed the finish in 22:21 (7:13) and or 62nd out of 81 men. 

I had fun and did not feel I left much out on the course. I rounded the guys together for a team photo or two (thank you Krissy!) A half hour later, headed out for a cool down with Iain, Dave H., Nate and Kara. I got into some warm clothes and headed over to Maxamillions down the street for pizza hosted by USATF New England. My splits were 717, 658, 730 (6:04 pace for the last 10th of a mile). CMS masters and seniors would place 1st as a team. 

Next up: Wild Turkey 5 Mile in Salem on Thanksgiving Day!

Rachel’s Run 2022 Race Results 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Upcoming races through the end of the year

Below are some fun upcoming races on trails, track and roads, most are on the North Shore.

Essex Turkey Trot

Saturday, November 19, Tyngsboro, MA - Rachel’s Run 5K last race of the USATF NE XC Grand Prix

Sunday, November 20, Essex, MA – Essex Turkey Trot 5K road race (only $20)

Thursday, November 24, Newburyport, MA – Maudslay TurkeyTrot (5K XC) 

Thursday, November 24, Salem, MA – Wild Turkey 5 mile road race 

Friday, November 25, Hamilton, MA – 5th Annual Thanks for the Trails (5K XC) 

Saturday, December 10, Melrose, MA – The Mount Hood Nutcracker Challenge (formerly Assault on Mount Hood), 3.5 XC

Sunday, December 11, Salem, MA – Festivus 5K for Autism road race

Saturday, December 17, Brighton, MA – 2022 USATF-NE IndoorSeason Opener @ the Track at New Balance, limited schedule

Sunday, December 18, Swampscott, MA – Chanukah Run-a-Latke5K road race (low key but scenic on the Swampscott coastline, views of Boston/Nahant)



Sunday, November 13, 2022

BIGGSteps 5K USATF New England 5K Championship Grand Prix Needham, MA

New 5K within the USATF Grand Prix Series here in Needham. I warmed up on the course with Terry McNatt and CMS teammate Sam Wood. It was flatter than what the course profile looked like with a dip down to 2 miles and a climb out of that. There was a light drizzle for the 10:30 start time. I settled in 10 rows deep next to Shawn Conway. I eased out, took me 8 seconds to cross the timing mat and made sure I did not trip or fall on another competitor. 

The first mile was flat, taken out around 6:30 next to Matt Adams from Beverly (Wicked). I had time to give a fist bump to Dirk Walther from SRR who was watching on the side of the road. He just missed his marathon PR at age 40 in Chicago by less than 5 seconds last month. The 2nd mile dipped down a bit showing another mid-6 paced mile split. The only climb I recall was after mile two and then it flattened out. Paul Hammond was heard coming on me so I pushed in the last quarter mile to get some room from him and Matt. Last climb came after 3 miles up to the finish in front of the Needham High School where I rolled into a chip time of 21:01, 6:45 mile pace! Paul and Matt finished ahead in the results. Results

Garmin Splits: 626, 638, 701, 623 (.15)