Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 Boston Mayors Cup

This past Saturday was the 18th annual running of the Boston Athletic Association / Adidas Boston Mayor's Cup cross country races at Franklin Park in Boston. It was a perfect day for a cross country race as there was plenty of sun (slightly windy) and temperatures in the lower 50s. There were 782 finishers over 5 separate races (Boys 1.1 mile Girls 1.1 mile Open 5K Women's Championship 5K Men's Championship 8K).

This was the race I had been looking forward to since coming back to running one year ago. When there was a race I would think about over and over again in my mind, this was it. When I was out on a long run and daydreaming about racing in particular, I would think about the Mayors Cup. There is just something about running in a steady stream of about 200 or so of the top xc runners around, that gets the blood pumping slightly faster...Back in 1996, when I ran this race for the first time, I had a mediocre performance at 26:11 and was 111th place. A humbling experience to say the least. This year, I ran even slower than that (still on the comeback trail), but because the field wasn't exactly as deep as it was last time around, I placed much higher. This year, I came in at 26:25 for 74th place. I went out in 4:57 for Mile 1 and settled in with essentially the same group of runners for the rest of the way, picking a few off here and there, and surrendering places to others occasionally. The fun thing about this race is the fact that you have absolutely no idea where you are, place-wise, and you 'think' you are running far worse than you are, because there are so many people in front of you....what you have to realize though, is that this is probably the deepest field that most people will ever run against in a xc race... I had fun regardless of not breaking 26 minutes (my subconscious goal going into this week)... While my attempt at fielding an MVS team failed (thanks to no, it was nice to see Todd Lagimonier and Phil Cootey on the line with me. Both were coming back from extended time off and ran just for the experience...

In the Women's championship 5K, Salem's own Jennifer Toomey (Nike) finished 7th overall in 17:15 (5:32 pace). Fellow MVS members Melissa Donais was 21st in 18:05 (5:48 pace), Crystal Sineath was 41st in 18:52 (6:03 pace), and Maureen Forsyth was 69th in 19:54 (6:23 pace). The overall winner of the women's championship race was Ethiopian Aziza Ayilu, representing Westchester (New York) Track Club. Aziza also won the women's championship race last year. Results 5K Women's Photos

In the open 5K, Mike Toomey placed 19th in 16:56 (5:26 pace). Boston College's JV runners occupied spots 2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11. Results 5K Open Photos

The men's 8K championship was won by Ethiopians Girma Tola also representing Westchester (New York) Track Club. The winning time was 23:18 (4:43 pace). The top 6 spots were all under 24 minutes and last year's winner, Stephen Chemlany, was 14th this year in 24:38 (4:59 pace). It was Chemlany who narrowly edged American mile record holder Alan Webb last year for the win. Former UML alumns Brad Klinedinst (37th - 25:35 - 5:11 pace) and Kevin Alliette (52nd - 25:53 - 5:15 pace) had very good races respectively. Results 8K Men's Photos

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Georgetown 5K

This past Sunday I raced in the 1st Annual Mike Donahoe Memorial 5k in Georgetown, MA. This was a last minute add to the schedule. My coach thought this would be a good opportunity to get all the intangibles together before Mayor's Cup this coming weekend. The day didn't start too well, as I was up late watching the Red Sox game, and woke up slightly dehydrated and packing a very bad headache. It was a good thing that the race was a 12pm start, as it gave me a good opportunity to properly hydrate and stretch. All things aside, the race went surprisingly well, and I was able to run my 2nd generation (post-comeback) PR of 15:53 (results here). This was my first time under 16 since coming back. The course was relatively flat, with only 1 slight uphill at 2 miles and some gentle rolls just before. I stayed right with a pack of about 6 runners for the first 1.5 miles and then made a slight move as we made the turnaround to go back towards the finish. Nobody reacted right away and I was able to build up a lead that I held until the end. My head was definately on a swivel for the last quarter mile, but I was able to hold off former UNH runner Ro Crispin, who finished in a close second place. He had beaten me by only a few seconds at the Market Square Day 10K back in June. My splits were 5:08 5:10 5:06 :27 (last .1). I officially set the course record (as this is the 1st Annual race) and won $100 (also my first cash prize since coming back).

Fellow MVS member and Olympic Trial qualifier Molly Taber also ran and was the first woman across the line in 17:35. She too, walked away with a nice $100 first place cash prize.

Click here for the Flickr set of pictures taken by the lovely and talented Kristin! Next up will be Mayors Cup this weekend ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

8th Annual Jennifer's Run

This past Saturday it was the 8th Annual Jennifer's Run in Lowell, MA. This run is a memorial to Jennifer D'Amour who was killed in a car accicent during May of 1999 (just before our graduation). Jen was a member of our women's cross country and track teams from 1994-1999. This run took over in 1999 for the Alumni race, which used to be held over the Chelmsford H.S. cross country course in early September.

Despite the 85 degree temp, my recent back problems, and my blister-ravished feet, I ran to what I now call my 'second-career PR' of 16:05. This was the fastest time I have run since coming back a year ago. The course isn't exactly fast, but it's not terribly slow. Brad Klinedinst (UML '00 and New Balance Boston) and Kevin Alliette (UML '03 and Whirlaway) ran neck and neck and had a good battle back-and-forth up front (I sat back about 25 seconds and watched this over the entire 5K). Brad ended up making a move on Kevin over the last quarter mile or so, which ended up being a very good strategic move on his part (taking into consideration Kevin's superior overall speed and finishing kick). Brad cruised to a 15:37 and Kevin was 8 seconds back at a cool 15:45. UML redshirt freshman Danny Wang (4:18.95 Mile and 7th place at the 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals) was third, holding yours truly off by 4 seconds.

Top 12 w/ scoring...yes I know there was no 'official' scoring for Alumni vs UML students...but I thought it would be fun to point out that WE WON 28 to 37!

Place Name Alumni Student Time Pace

1 Brad Klinedinst X 15:37 5:03
2 Kevin Alliette X 15:45 5:05
3 Danny Wang X 16:01 5:10
4 Jim Johnson X 16:05 5:11
5 Jose Ortiz 16:46 5:25
6 Adam Hanley X 17:08 5:32
7 Jason O'Connell X 17:10 5:33
8 Andie Colon 17:14 5:34
9 Brian Beaudoin X 18:22 5:56
10 Steve Walsh X 18:30 5:58
11 Sung-Nam Jo X 18:34 6:00
12 Andriy Danylov X 18:49 6:05

1. Alumni

1 2 4 10 11 = 28 Brad Klinedinst, Kevin Alliette, Jim Johnson, Steve Walsh, Sung-Nam Jo (aka Jason Lavalley, aka Fuji, aka The 'Greaser')

2. Students

3 6 7 9 12 = 37 Danny Wang, Adam Hanley, Jason O'Connell, Brian Beaudoin, Andriy Danylov

Photos of this race can be found at the usual Flickr site and all images were taken by the lovely and talented Kristin! Official full scoring can be found here at Coolrunning.