Friday, July 18, 2008

22nd Annual Sapienza Road Race

Thursday was a kind of last minute (4:30pm) decision to do the Sapienza (results) memorial road race (22nd Annual) in Haverhill MA. It turned out to be a good fit for me as I won't be racing at all this weekend. Coming off 4 weeks in a row of mountain races, I really hadn't run a mile in a race, faster than 8 minute pace in a month. I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew it would be a good idea to get a race in for a workout and for a fitness indicator. Next weekend I will be doing the next race in the Seacoast Racing Series (York Days 5k) and then 2 days later, the Yankee 10 miler (USATF-NE GP). It almost felt like I haven't raced in a month... What I did notice is a vast improvement in my cardio since the last time I raced a flat road race....the mountains definitely improved my breathing over the past 4 weeks and made me stronger in that regard...but the leg speed just wasn't there. Kevin Alliette (WHIRL) smoked me and ran away with it early. I let Kevin and Jon Healey (MVS) go out and establish a big lead...I started out conservatively and knew at 1 mile that I was in much better shape than I originally anticipated. I felt pretty smooth but knew that if I needed to use a kick, it just wouldn't be there. I was able to catch up to Jon by about 3.25 and coast in 20 seconds behind Kevin for 2nd. It was also pretty hot and humid, so factoring that in, and I am pretty pleased with the run overall. Warmed up and cooled down w/ the usual suspects... Dan Verrington, Dave Quintal, Mark Behan, Todd Lagimonier and the Whirlaway dudes...


Mile 1) 5:10 (although Matt P. graciously called out '7:08...7:09...7:10' when I went by...)
Mile 2) 5:00
Mile 3) 5:11
Mile 4) 5:04

Total: 20:25 (5:07 pace)

I got the dreaded 2nd place interview by the was a good interview and the kid was super nice... but I hate the runner up interview because you really can't do anything but talk about the guy who smoked you...and why you didn't beat him...

A little background on the race... This was the 22nd Annual (I went last year to watch..didn't run)... and it is in memorial to Tony Sapienza. Tony ran at Central Catholic, Boston College, and then for the Boston Athletic Association. His impressive career includes a 4th place in the Boston Marathon, a 6th place finish in the 1963 Olympic Marathon Trials, and 33 New England Championship victories among numerous other accolades along the way. Tony suffered a heart attack after breaking the American Master's record for 3000 meters in 1987 at Brown University. For the past 22 years, the actual trophies at this race are his old trophies. 22 years later and they are STILL giving these away. That is how many awards he won over his career. The race was very well organized and really fun. Special thanks to the Donais family for having a post race get-together at their home in Bradford afterwards...

Now back up to the Whites again for the weekend...I'll be meeting up with Kevin Tilton in his neck of the woods for some runs this weekend up off the Kanc. Should be fun...I'll post some pictures of the weekend's festivities sometime Sunday night/Monday.

The End.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jim!

    Thanks for the nice write up! :-) I was so glad you were able to come and race last night- and you did great! They say hills are speedwork in disguise- I guess that saying is true! Awesome job, and thanks for the kind words.