Monday, September 13, 2021

GBTC XC Invite 5K

Finally got a CMS team race under the belt nine months into the calendar year with some cross country racing at the Great Brook State Park trails in Carlisle, MA. The course is a fair mix of grass, single track, corn field scenery along with back woods hills to break any momentum. This was race numero uno in the USATF XC Grand Prix.

The masters race was small (32 runners) but competitive. It was nice to see the fellow teams like HFC, Greater Lowell Road Runners and GBTC. I have not seen the new course which changed a few years ago. I ran the course during the warm up with the CMS guys. It was awesome to see guys I have not seen since last year: Tim Van Orden, Steve Brightman and Arthur Besse. 

I put on my New Balance waffle racers and got on a wide start line with the team. I was giddy to be back racing with other master runners (age 40 and older). Loop 1 paraded around the corn field and out into a bigger loop for the 2nd loop. I got through the mile behind Chris Kelly and Jimmy Fallon from HFC around 6:30 in. Former Salem State Viking and teammate, Brian Beaulieu running with GBTC was right behind me. So good, again, to be rubbing elbows. Photo of Brian and heading to loop two. Photo by our then SSC coach, Tom Derderian - now coach of GBTC.

The last loop, the largest of three on the day, was the toughest with rolling hills that were short and steep (for my legs). Those slowed me down a lot. I managed to rally over the last 500m around the corn field to just outstretch the guys mentioned above into the finish line. I placed 20th overall with a time of 20:14. 7th CMS runner. Had a blast. It meant a lot to be back for a cross country race with some peers. It is my favorite season and racing discipline. I hope to run a few more races in the XC Grand Prix.

I ran a nice slow cool down with the CMS gang: Steve Brightman, Dan Verrington, TiVo, new to CMS but not the group - Doug Deangelis and Dave Dunham - both mates I have been racing with in the CARS (Concord Area Race Series) this Spring and Summer. I have my last series race this Saturday in Concord NH, SEA 5K, which is supposed to be a fast one. Can I break 20:30? 

Dave Dunham's locker room, er, Honda Civic with over 250K miles.

Hollis Fast 5K

The Hollis Fast 5K is a point to point race that drops down to the finish gradually. Dave Dunham picked me up and we car pooled into the school near the start. Plenty of time for the 3 mile warm-up and photo opportunity with CEO of NH Delta Dental and competitor, Tom Raffio who has donated a lot to the sport and races. 

Got on the starting line. Someone asked me what I was looking to run. 20 minutes I said with a straight face. That was the 2021 goal. I jumped out actually holding back on the quick drop in the first 100 yards. The early morning sun on this fine Labor Day broke onto the street off and on. Mile 1 passed by in 6:19. The folks around me pressed forward and soon felt I had to ease up. I found mile 2 with a 6:31. Bill Newsham pulled up as I got that 3rd mile in 6:54 and ready to wrap it up. Finished with a chip time of 20:36.7. Short of the goal but had fun trying.

Dave waited for me as I downed 3 cups of water. We headed back to the start line which was now a 3 mile climb. Overall, a good day, over 9 miles combined with the warmup, race and cool down.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

NHTI Delta Dental 5K

The second to last C.A.R.S. race was back in Concord, at NHTI for a fast 5K. I was worried about the traffic on 93 North on a Friday evening so Krissy took the wheel and got us up there very early around 3:45 for the 6pm start. Perry Seagroves, head xc coach at NHTI, let me hunker down in the athletic building to wrap up some work stuff. Once wrapped up, I found Dave Dunham wandering the halls scaring coeds. I convinced him to find a shirt and do a course warm up with Darin Brown. It was going to be a fast course over two flat loops. 

Mother nature added a challenge of the heat and humidity. There were three heats going off at 6pm and I got into the back of heat one running with John Tuttle in the first mile. We traded back and forth before I tailed off about 1.5 miles in. We talked before the race and both agreed to help each other. I faded a bit more in the last mile only finding energy to convince Heather Searles (21:02) to jump back into the race and help me out. John finished with a 20:51 to my 21:11. I placed 24th overall and first in the 40-49 age group. I was still sweating while getting back into my street clothes heading off for another hour or two of work. 

Splits: 6:31, 6:50, 6:54 (6:13) with an average heart rate of 176bpm

Monday, August 30, 2021

Lynn Woods Relay

Team Dos Amigos placed fourth overall on a hot and muggy Wednesday evening at the Lynn Woods Relay. This was the 50th running of the relay. Nakri Dao ran 7.5 miles total by running the first, second and last leg. I gave him a rest by running the 3rd leg. Splits below.

 4 . DOS AMIGOS (21) 1:10:07
  NAKRI DAO                  16:57     16:57
  NAKRI DAO                  34:27     17:30
  JIM PAWLICKI               52:56     18:29
  NAKRI DAO                1:10:07     17:11

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Angels 5K

Race # 6 of the Capital Area Race Series took us to Penacook, NH which is about 10 minutes north of Concord. I was late for the strict 7:05 warm up with Dave Dunham and the gang so went off and ensured that I ran the last mile of the course so that I knew how the end of the 5K would finish. I ran into them as they were finishing the course. I got into my New Balance racing flats 10 minutes before the start. After a prayer and national anthem, the race took off. I settled into a pace that felt right and let the fast folk zip away. The 2nd half of mile dropped nicely letting me into a 6:36 mile. Rumors of the mile into mile two were true. Everyone baked on the hot pavement on the long climb that offered some shade at the top. I was cooked. 

John Tuttle got a step on me at the top and recovered well enough to gap me by 10 seconds from there to the finish. I managed a back and forth with one other runner but in the end lost that battle in the flat ending back to the Merrimack Middle School. 27th overall, 2nd age group, 22:26 chip time, 22:28 gun time. There were about 150 finishers on this warm and humid day. The last three days have been 90+ and humid and today was not as hot but certainly just as nasty with the high dew point. No excuses though. 

Crew setting up the finish line before the race started

Splits: 6:35, 7:35, 7:22, 6:24 for last .14

Angels 5K Road Race 2021 results 

While cooling down with Tim Cox, Lucas Fisher and Darin Brown, we witnessed a Black Bear crossing our path, It was just 50 yards ahead on the residential neighborhood. It was tagged and had zero interest in us as we ran toward it crossing from one yard to the next. It was pretty cool to see and my first bear sighting while running. We slowed down to ensure no cubs were trailing and that the coast was clear and it was. The 2 mile cool down gave me about 7 miles for the day. After taking down a few more waters and a banana, I hit the road back home.

Up next is a leg of the Lynn Woods Relay followed by the NHTI Delta Dental 5K. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Beverly Homecoming 5K

Signed up for this Thursday night classic in my old haunt of Beverly. Start and finish at Lynch Park. A few rollers in mile 2 cramp the effort but overall fast with a drop into the park with the ocean in the background for the finish line. After a mile and a half warm up, tossed the Notch singlet and fast shoes on. My dad dropped by to watch me race. First time in a few years that he has been in attendance. 

Before the start, I discussed the race approach with Ian Edwards and Matt Adams. I said sub 6:30 and hang on. They agreed. Well, I felt good in the first mile and after running by Krissy, knew it was fast as in 6:25. It felt just right but pulled up a touch just a tad on a climb past Sandy Milligan Park. I was ahead of Matt but not by much and Ian passed by with Alen Yen. I ran 6:58 for the 2nd mile with the hills with Matt passing me on the longer hill. I had a calf cramp before that hill and then the rain began at mile 2. It felt pretty good. I got around Ian with half a mile to go but Matt kept 8 seconds away from there to the finish line. 6:40 or so last mile. 44th place, 20:46 (6:40 pace). Ian was 20:53 and Matt was 20:38. Thinking we should put a Lynn Woods Relay Team together.

I ran another 1.5 mile cool down over to Dane Street Beach and back to Lynch Park. By this time, the rain stopped and skies broke with a nice orange and pink sun set. 

2021 Beverly Yankee Homecoming 5K race results

A step ahead of Ian before 1 mile

Rains abound entering Lynch Park

Canterbury Woodchuck Classic 5K

Not just another Concord Area Race Series Race in Canterbury, NH here folks. You are signing up for a fast opening mile which sets up for a tough finish. 

What I have been appreciating with these races is that they are are fresh and new to me. I am glad I ran the course as a warm up with Dave Dunham, Doug Deangelis and Darin Brown. A 172ft drop through the first mile took me through a 6:06 - no doubt fastest mile in two years. Mile 2 was not entirely flat but brought the pace back down to earth with a 6:54. The last mile has four hills to get up and over. I was looking forward to the finish as mile three past by in 7:21. I think I lost 3 placings in the last half mile. 20:54 for the 5K (6:44), 3rd AG. More importantly, I was able to finish in front of a few who were ahead of me in the last two series races (10K and 5 mile) which I felt good about. Nice way to finish up the month of July. 

2021 Canterbury Woodchuck Classic Overall Results