Monday, May 25, 2009

2009 Redhook Brewery 5k

This weekend I passed on Wachusett to run in my third straight Redhook Brewery 5k (results) in Portsmouth, NH. This was my first real 5k in 2007 (on the comeback trail). This also marks the first race I've done 3 times (also since coming back). Last year I won this race with a last minute kick to pass Dan Princic with about 400 meters to go. This year, I was on the receiving end of that, but I'm still pleased with the effort (at least 95% of it).

I had no real expectations for this race, as I haven't run a fast 5k yet this year (for me) and my shorter races haven't been going that great as of late. As I milled around the start for a bit I noticed a slightly faster crowd than last year, including Chris Mahoney (who has been on fire this season), Mark Hudson, John Mentzer, Scott Rowe, Tim Cox, Christian Muentener, and Seth Williams. All guys I've lost to at one point in time....over various distances... I warmed up solo over the course and thought about my strategy... last year I hung on and waited...this year, I wasn't going to let anyone go early, and would try to use the speed I know I have, near the end if needed. That almost worked...

As the race went off, Scott Rowe was out of the gate hard. He starts really fast and tries to break people early. I wasn't sure how much speed he had for a kick, but I knew (seeing he's got a 2:27 and 2:29 marathon in the past 2 years under his belt) he was strong. He went through the first flat mile in 4:47. I was right in tow with a quick 4:48.51. I knew it was quick from the beginning, but was ready for it. At the halfway point, the only hill on the course starts. Right past the water stop, as the moderate climb started, I took over the lead. I knew we slowed when we hit the hill, I peeked behind to see a trail of guys getting closer, and I felt pretty good. The next mile which has a sharp turn and the only hill was a slow 5:11.80 as I went through the 2 mile mark with the clock just ticking over to 10:00. After that, there's a slight downhill and then long straight back to the original road we started on. I was all alone out front at this point but could hear footsteps and breathing coming. I peeked behind and knew it was John Mentzor (who had beaten me at the Children's Museum race a few weeks back). He's got wheels and I knew it. I took the last turn onto the main road with about a half mile to go and he pulled up next to me and passed. I tucked right in behind him and went with him but my mental toughness laid down hard. I gave up once again and settled. We took the last turn into the Brewery parking lot and I looked at my watch, looked behind to see how much space I had on Scott, and let John go.

I cruised in for 2nd place in 15:38. Both the time and the place were far better than I was expecting so I wasn't particularly annoyed at how I ran the race until afterwards, while I had time to think about it... I've got to find that 'kick' and mental toughness I used to have at the end of races... right now I have a bad habit of settling for second or third or whatever... I've got to find a way to change that soon. John ran a really smart race and did exactly what I did last year. He got me right where I pulled up on Dan and held me off by about the same amount and also ran just about what I ran last year. He's got a 1 point lead in the Seacoast series ahead of Chris Mahoney. I've yet to officially put throw my hat in the series but will probably do it after Market Square. As of now, I'd be sitting 1 point behind Chris and 2 behind John. We'll see how it plays out and whether my desire for another jacket is strong enough to warrant toeing the line with these guys week after week :)...

Another really cool trophy (like the one last year, but different), a free night stay for 2 at the Courtyard by Marriot in Portsmouth, and $100 cash all for 2nd place.... I also filled up my growler from last year's 'Free Beer for a Year'...

Splits (from my watch) - 5k - 15:38 (2nd place of 1958)

Mile 1) - 4:48.51
Mile 2) - 5:11.80 (10:00.31)
Last 3.1) - 5:36.13 (15:37.04)

Photos taken by the lovely and talented Kristin.

My Year by Year at Redhook:

2007 - 7th of 1824 - 16:33 (5:20 pace) [results] [photos]
2008 - 1st of 1898 - 15:32 (5:00 pace) [results] [photos]
2009 - 2nd of 1958 - 15:38 (5:02 pace) [results] [photos]


  1. Nice job, JJ! Keep doing what your doing and what your looking for will arrive when it is most needed.

  2. Nice job man. Good to see you're cranking at your distance.

  3. Nice post. I like it because a.) even though you PR'd the course (crap, a minute over two years at those paces?) you b.) ain't satisfied.

    Yeah, I like it. We learn more in losing than winning. If you ran 15:58 today and won, you'd be okay. Instead you run 15:37 and are looking for that tough gear in the last 400. That is good stuff.

    Live it.

  4. Nice job Jim. Try finishing hard when doing intervals to work on that extra something. Don't ease up in workouts and it will come naturally in races.

  5. JJ,

    Good job. What if they put a little snow on the course? That would propel you!!

  6. Nice Job, Jim!! I remember Dave mentioning to me you were curious where your speed would be for a 5K, looks like you're on the right track.

  7. Thanks all... things are coming around...felt good in this one but not sure about the longer stuff...we'll see this weekend... I'm bummed I had to miss out on the mountain series again this year, as I can't make Northfield, hence I can't do 5 of them... Looking forward to the one's I can do though...