Sunday, August 24, 2008

2008 Chamberas 6K XC

Sunday was 'my' official opener for the 2008 cross country season. This was race #2 in the USATF-New England XC Grand Prix and this time, it was Great Brook in Carlisle, MA for the 6th Annual Thomas Chamberas 6K Cross Country Race (results). The first race in the 2008 series was held way up in S.Burlington VT and was a tad too out of the way for most to get up there...

Photo on left by Dave Dunham.

As usual, I was the lone ('token') MVS men's runner...Julie Hanover (a frequent MVS XC and track competitor) was representing the women's team (solo) as usual again... Other clubs like SISU, CMS, GBTC, and BAA were out in full force. CMS and BAA even had an open AND masters team... Where oh' where are all the red jerseys? This race was 20 minutes from Andover!!! Anyways..back to the race...

The course starts out on a gravel path, turns into a thin, single dirt path with grass on either side, and then hits the woods not even a half mile in, onto single wide (in some spots) trails. The trails open up a bit during the course and quickly close up again without warning. This became more of a trail race than XC, but the start and finish felt very much like XC... The course was super-well marked and well staffed. The festivities began with a heart-felt rendition of the National Anthem by Mike Mahon (hear him as Mike 'The Can Man' on WAAF from Friday as he discusses the XC season and some Olympic performances as well as some movie reviews)... I've known Mike through his many informative and knowledgeable articles in the paper and gads of appearances at various XC races all over the joint...This dude is dedicated and passionate about the sport for sure... Over 1000 XC races and counting for this guy and he helped kick off the race in style...Thanks Mike. Photo above, of the Can Man signing my bib before the race...

The race went out super fast... No mile markers actually makes you run faster...I'm sure of it. Not knowing what you went through the first mile in, is great...You don't slow down to conserve or back off while thinking about pace....you just hammer. I went out with a pack of runners that included Ryan Cararra (NB Boston), Mario Fraioli (NB Boston), a BAA dude, Matt Germain (SISU), Ryan Miller (SISU), Matt Haringa (GBTC), Joe Shairs (CMS), and Ben Strain (CMS) who battled up front, led for the first mile, and regained the lead during mile 2 before falling back just a bit. Through mile 2, I was riding 4th behind the New Balance boys and a guy from BAA. Coming out of the woods and onto the last field to the finish, I looked over my shoulder and could see Ryan Miller coming for me... My goal (luckily succeeded) was to hold him off on the last straight and take 4th...Good to see Ryan back to form...

The race shirt was cool...a gray technical shirt from Saucony with a hand drawn design by a couple of young kids on the front... At the end of the race, they gave out 2008 Boston Marathon Jackets to all finishers and also 2008 Boston Marathon Adidas long sleeves... I also won the always important 30-39 age group and received (now get ready for this....drum roll please....the irony is truly fantastic for this....) a GoLite Hydration Belt. I'll remember that next year for Savoy :)...

The race was super fast and conditions couldn't have been any better. Hardly any mud, practically completely dry, TONS of shade (it was hot, but most of the race was completely under tree canopy), and fairly well groomed trails. There were a couple of spots that were rocky and rooty (if that is a word)...but all in all the course was pretty fast (again, this wasn't supposed to be a 'trail' race...This is Cross Country season again! Yeah!).



18:20 (for a 6K PR) - 4th overall place and 4:57 pace per mile. I think the fitness is finally coming around for anything 10K and under...

The lovely and talented Kristin (just back fresh from her world travels) again took a fantastic group of photos that can be seen here (SmugMug)...



Video and soothing commentary by Dave Dunham (who suffered a very bad ankle sprain on Friday's run and couldn't compete today)...

Next up, Magnolia 5K in Gloucester (Magnolia) MA on Thursday night... Mike Masse... Bring your dancin' shoes!

3 comments:

  1. great job jim!

    sadly, my red jersey was in chestnut hill...orientation at boston college for me or i totally would have been there. good luck at magnolia...i'll be at new haven next monday and then ollie (no workouts, just races- i love it!)...hopefully there will be some more mvs runners there! anyway, thanks for rocking the red so well!

    -melissa

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  2. Dang...even more school for you!?! Good luck! See you at the ever-picturesque Ollie!

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  3. JJ,

    Good stuff and a great race! And you hit the nail on the head, we just hammered. It was fun!

    MF

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