Monday, June 22, 2009

2009 Mount Washington Road Race

Updated (at bottom): 6/22 - This past weekend was my 2nd go at the Mount Washington Road Race (results) up in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. The weekend was chock full of highs and lows... interesting and unpredictable New England weather... and good times with teammates and friends... The latter being why I do all this in the first place...

Kristin and I (pictured to the left at the finish line, post-race on Saturday) along with Dave Quintal (CMS) and Jon Healey (Adidas NE) headed up to Jackson, NH on Friday afternoon to attend the pre-race info-session and packet pickup at the Eagle Mountain House. There we met up with dd & Cath, Kevin Tilton, Paul Kirsch, and some of the usual suspects for a pre-race discussion around the USATF- NE mountain series, history of the Mt. Washington Road Race, the upcoming Mt. Washington Road Race hall of fame, and presentations by dd (race advice & Q&A) and two other female speakers....one who was running this year's race with only one leg and the other who was here doing research for her book on various interesting races around the world. It was nice to be up there ahead of time, relax, meet up with teammates, and get mentally prepared for the race. I also got to meet and quickly talk to GZ who had just gotten in from Colorado. Very cool to finally put a physical presence with the name and get him back over to the East for some 'hill running' :)... The weather before the talk was ominous and bleak...when we left the Carriage House to walk to the cars, the sun had broken through the clouds and it looked as though we may have some nice weather... but being New England, and in the Mount Washington Valley more specifically, anything was possible...

We all went from the Eagle Mountain House over to the Spaghetti Shed for dinner, where we met up with Francis Burdett, Al Bernier, Ben Nephew, Tim & Abby Mahoney, and others for some carbo-loading before heading over to Attitash for the night. That night, we checked into the Seasons at Attitash, off of Rt. 302 and only about 20 minutes from the base of the Auto Road. My sister Kristin, who was running Washington for the first time, stayed with us along with her husband and 2 of her 4 boys.

In the morning, we all headed over and up Rt. 16 to the base of the Auto Road where we met up with my Father who would be driving up with the lovely and talented Kristin. Along the way, the clouds seemed to be rolling in the closer we got to the base of the mountain. Just before we passed Wildcat Ski Area, the drizzle started to fall. We knew at that point, it was going to be interesting.

As we arrived , parked, and met up with Dad, the Goon Squad was in full effect, as Sarah Prescott, Scott Masse, and Hank Wilder all made their way over to give their auto passes to my brother-in-law so he could also drive up the mountain. As we waited for the cars to get the go-ahead to start driving up, I chatted with GZ, Eric Morse, and a few others as we waited for the CMS contingent to arrive. I also tried to offer some words of encouragement and advice to my sister (pictured here with me after the race) who was really nervous about what was to come. I even went as far as to walk her over to the hill to show her what she was going to get into in about an hour's time...I'm not sure that helped :).

At approximately 9:15, Jon Healey and I met up with dd, Dave Quintal, Justin Fyffe, Kevin Tilton, Andy McCarron, Matt Clark, Brad Klinedinst, Max Thomas, and some others for a warm up around the Great Glen trails at the base of the mountain...The weather seemed like it may cooperate, but I knew that most of the run was going to be in the clouds and had the potential of being pretty wet on the way up.

At 10:00am all 1000 brave souls had made their way up to the starting area where I said my last goodbyes and good luck to my sister and made my way right up to the front and mixed in with the CMS and Whirlaway guys. It was go time... After a brief talk by race director Bob Teschek, the cannon went off and we were on our way up 7.6 miles to the summit of the Northeast's highest peek (6288 feet).

As we hit the hill, about 200 or so meters into the race, I was mixed in behind 20 or so guys and was very aware that I wanted to stay w/ dd as a race strategy for this year...but he was about 10-20 yards behind me and I couldn't slow down. I continuously looked over my shoulder during the first mile to make sure I wasn't pulling away too much and trying to pace off of him while being in front...easier said than done. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of a couple key points he was giving the night before... relax, relax, relax, and don't worry about what anyone else was doing... At just after the 1 mile mark, Eric Morse and Francis Burdett (both CMS) made their way by me and looked very strong and steady. From there until mile 3 I tried to keep Kevin Tilton (CMS), Justin Fyffe (CMS), and another La Sportiva runner in sight and maintain my stride and pace. The higher we got, the thicker the clouds became and pretty soon, visibility was very poor. We were now in the clouds and you could see maybe 20 yards in front and behind and that was it. This made it impossible to see the runners in front or behind you, but I think it also helped keep me mentally in the game, as I was unable to see the tops of long stretches of incline....this made the hills slightly more manageable I think. At around 3 miles, I had been run down by Sean Livingston (WHIRL) and Dave Dunham (CMS) who had caught me at about the 2 Mile mark last year...so I was able to hold him off for an additional mile this year. I didn't worry about either of those two and kept pushing on at my own pace and actually felt pretty good (or as good as you can possibly feel as you chug up 7.6 miles at a 12% avg. grade in thick cloud cover)... After they went by, I caught up with Brendan Callahan (BAA) who was coming off some very good Grand Prix races and a win at Pack Monadnock in May. He was in the hurt box and slowing with each step. I caught up to him and he was able to react and push ahead of me again. This happened twice, as I once again caught up and maybe got a stride ahead before he pushed up and got out front again. The second time he reacted he actually put some good distance on me as we hit a steep climb and he actually got out of sight and disappeared into the clouds... I put my head down and pressed on and maybe about mile 4.5 or 5 I looked up and he had come back into view and had stopped to walk with hands on his side... It looked like he had gotten a cramp and I just kept pushing on by with the goal in mind at that point of not stopping at all to walk. I was able to do this last year and ran the entire race without walking....this year it seemed easier to maintain the pace and I wasn't tempted to walk at all, although I was hurting just as bad. Fortunately, this year, like the last, I didn't get a cramp...had I gotten a side-stitch or something similar, there would have been no way I could have kept going...

Just before the 7 mile mark, I had been hearing moans and groans and was eventually caught by Glen Guillemette and Andy McCarron (CMS) who were working together. I had beaten Glen by two spots last year and by about 10 seconds. They went by and I did try to hang on for a bit, but was basically in survival mode at that point and was just looking for the finish line. Right around 7 miles, I could still see Glen and Andy up front but now could hear breathing behind me...I occasionally turned to look but couldn't make anyone out... the breathing had a different sort of sound to it...for a few seconds I wasn't sure what it was...then I realized...it was the sound of a woman breathing heavily in the cloud cover directly behind me... then, as clouds opened up and I hit a switchback, I saw who it was...Brandy Erholtz of Colorado...the woman's leader and last years winner. I was 4 spots ahead of her last year and this year, at the 7 mile mark, she was the only one near me now and she was running me down... I pushed on but thought for sure she'd get me somewhere over the last .6 miles... As I began to make out the summit buildings and heard the crowd, I had probably a quarter mile to go and glanced back to make sure I had enough room on her to salvage the last finishing spot before the first elite woman....it helped push me over the last half mile as I hit the base of the wall and knew I'd be over my goal time of 1:10. The wind was taken out of my sails when I saw my watch tick over the 70 minute mark, but I was so focused on holding off Brandy that I continued on up and across the line to finish in 1:10:22 and 23rd place overall. This was 16 seconds slower than last year, but I felt better as a whole. I think because I had done this once before and knew what to expect, it didn't seem as bad although mentally it is one of the toughest races out there...

Splits from watch:

23rd Place Overall: 1:10:22

Mile 1) 6:49
Mile 2) 8:39 (15:29)
Mile 3) 9:07 (24:36)
[Half Way: 33:01]
Mile 4) 9:20 (33:56)
Mile 5) 10:16 (44:13)
Mile 6) 9:58 (54:11)
Mile 7) 10:08 (1:04:20)
last .6) 6:00 (1:10:21)

Looking at my splits from last year it looks like I went out essentially the same over the first mile, slowed a bit over the 2nd mile and 3rd mile, was just a few ticks over where I was through halfway last year, had a better 4th mile than last year, slowed again over miles 5, 6, and 7, and then (because of Brandy breathing down my neck) had a faster last .6 to the finish... Essentially my 2nd half of the race was where I fell off pace and that really is no surprise to me at all... I think the goal for next time will be to try to not hit any 10 minute miles and keep the last .6 around 6 minutes or less...that will be the key to a PR. Seems simple enough... ;)

Last year's splits vs this years:

20082009
MileSplitOverallSplitOverallTot + - (sec)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
16:526:49-3
28:3215:248:3915:29+5
39:0424:299:0724:36+7
3.832:5833:01+3
49:2333:539:2033:56+3
510:0643:5910:1644:13+14
69:5253:529:5854:11+19
79:581:03:5110:081:04:20+29
7.66:141:10:066:001:10:21+15


The CMS Men's Open team was once again dominant in the team competition, with all 5 scoring members under 1:09 for a total time of 5:38:42... that was nearly 24 minutes faster than the next team (Whirlaway). Last year, the BAA broke CMS' 16 year consecutive win streak...this year CMS once again captured the team title. Unfortunately, with my 23rd place, it was only good enough for 8th place for the CMS men's open team, as we put 2 in the top 10 and 14 in the top 50. It's great to be able to run with this many great runners on the team and experience a team victory in such a prestigious race...I just wish I could have contributed to the scoring... This is only the 2nd time since coming back to running in 2006 that I wasn't able to actually score for my team in a team-scored event (the other being this year's Bedford Rotary 12k)...but I am not complaining...this is what I was looking for and I think it will make me better in the long run... It is now motivating me to work on some things and improve my fitness, strength, and competative edge going forward...

Since moving over to CMS and being around guys who are interested in the same races and who share the same or similar goals, I have really enjoyed running and racing a lot more... No matter what jersey I've donned over the past 2 and 1/2 years and no matter what club I've run for, I've met nothing but great folks and have the utmost respect for everyone I've had the pleasure of running for and with... I feel now that I have the right support and motivation to improve and further my running career and hopefully take it to the next level (which is beat dd at Mount Washington...eventually)...

CMS at the Hill for 2009 (Top 50 Men + CMS in Blue):

Place
Time
Pace
Name
Age
City/StateTeam
1
59:58
7:54
Rickey Gates
28
Boulder CO
2
1:01:19
8:04
Eric Blake
30
New Britain CT BAA
3
1:02:35
8:15
Joseph Gray
25
Lakewood WA INOV-8
4
1:02:45
8:16
Matthew Byrne
34
Scranton PA
5
1:04:16
8:28
Simon Gutierrez
43
Alamosa COTEVA
6
1:05:09
8:35
Jonathan Severy
27
Winooski VTNYAC
7
1:05:47
8:40
Tommy Manning
33
Colorado Springs CO NMC
8
1:06:13
8:43
Jason Bryant
36
Elkin NCLA SPORTIVA
9
1:06:19
8:44
Matthew Russell
26
Boulder COCMS
10
1:06:39
8:47
Francis Burdett
44
Worcester MA CMS
11
1:06:58
8:49
Craig Fram
50
Plaistow NHWHIRL
12
1:07:44
8:55
Juan Guillermo Jaramillo
38
Milford NH
13
1:08:02
8:58
Shiloh Mielke
29
Weaverville NC
14
1:08:11
8:59
Justin Fyffe
29
E. Dummerston VT CMS
15
1:08:34
9:02
Eric Morse
44
Berlin VT CMS
16
1:08:36
9:02
Sean Livingston
40
Barrington RIWHIRL
17
1:08:38
9:02
John Tribbia
27
Boulder COLA SPORTIVA
18
1:08:40
9:03
Daniel Princic
29
Woburn MA WHIRL
19
1:08:59
9:05
Kevin Tilton
27
North Conway NHCMS
20
1:09:22
9:08
Dave Dunham
45
Ward Hill MA CMS
21
1:10:11
9:14
Glen Guillemette
49
Narragansett RINARRA
22
1:10:17
9:15
Andy McCarron
26
Lunenburg MA CMS
23
1:10:22
9:16
Jim Johnson
32
Salem NHCMS
24
1:11:28
9:25
Ben Nephew
33
Mansfield MA CMS
25
1:11:47
9:27
Matthew Clark
26
Amherst MACMS
26
1:12:08
9:30
Brendan Callahan
27
West Hartford CT BAA
27
1:13:10
9:38
Henry Scollard
45
Cambridge MA CRC
28
1:13:39
9:42
Kevin Tuck
53
Salt Lake City UT
29
1:13:51
9:44
Bradford Klinedinst
32
Hudson MA NB BOSTON
30
1:13:58
9:44
Chad Carr
33
Cambridge MA CRC
31
1:14:05
9:45
Michael Woodman
43
Timonium MDCMS
32
1:14:26
9:48
David Quintal
46
Salem NHCMS
33
1:14:45
9:51
David Herr
44
Canaan VT GCS
34
1:15:30
9:57
Todd Callaghan
39
Somerville MAGCS
35
1:15:59
10:00
Andreas Heilmann
24
Brookline MA BAA
36
1:16:26
10:04
Martin Tighe
51
Providence RITNT
37
1:16:33
10:05
Jonathan Healey
26
Chelmsford MAADIDAS NE
38
1:16:38
10:05
Brian Crowley
44
Hillsborough NJ
39
1:17:37
10:13
Matthew Curran
52
Gloucester MATG
40
1:17:39
10:14
Scott Leslie
27
Rutland MACMS
41
1:17:43
10:14
Tim Mahoney
29
Holyoke MACMS
42
1:17:47
10:15
Reno Stirrat
55
Dorchester MAWHIRL
43
1:17:59
10:16
Gregory Nash
34
Boulder CO
44
1:18:43
10:22
Donald Pacher
37
Easthampton MA WMM
45
1:18:43
10:22
Bernat Olle
30
Cambridge MA CRC
46
1:19:08
10:25
Bryan Marotta
25
West Chesterfield NH
47
1:19:24
10:27
Bob Evers
58
Park City UT
48
1:19:58
10:32
Adam Bulewich
33
Windsor CTGSH
49
1:20:15
10:34
Mike Dowling
26
Boston MA BAA
50
1:20:15
10:34
Warren Angell
46
North Kingstown RI NARRA
103
1:29:04
11:44
Stephen Peterson
43
Chelmsford MACMS
224
1:40:54
13:17
Edward Coleman
46
Auburn MA CMS
366
1:51:33
14:41
Walter Kuklinski
60
Princeton MA CMS
437
1:56:55
15:23
John Walsh
42
Worcester MA CMS


My sister Kristin finished 625th overall (out of 917), was 26th of 50 women in her age group, and was the 140th woman out of 247. She ran 2:01:26 (15:59 pace). I am very proud of her effort and she was overwhelmed with emotion as she plugged her way up the final hill with me jogging along side, giving her encouragement...

The lovely and talented Kristin took some nice photos that can be seen on our SmugMug page.

Mr. Scott Mason (who sent me a couple of the nice photos above) also has some great coverage here.




Race writeups:


Post race, Jon, Kristin, Brad Klinedinst and I joined Kevin & Jess Tilton, Dave & Cathy Dunham, Dave Quintal, Francis Burdett, and Tim & Abby Mahoney at Margarita Grill for some grub and then it was back to DD's condo at Attitash for a few adult beverages and some good times... Ben Nephew dropped in as well as Al Bernier and the party wrapped up around 10:00pm as we were all pretty beat. In the morning, Brad, Jon, and I met up with Francis, DD, DQ, and Albee for a run up in Bear Notch/Bartlett, NH (in the pouring rain)... Then it was back to the condo for a quick shower, clean up, and we were back on the road (stopping for breakfast and then later at Dunkins before getting back down to Salem NH at around 2pm).

Another year up...another year down... I'll probably get some video from my Dad's camera and I'll post later on... Now on to Cranmore this weekend! Thats all I got!...

Late Update:

I came across these videos tonight...cool stuff. The last one is my favorite... I knew it would pay off to run right in front of the lead woman...check out me 'holding off' Brandy Erholtz above the clouds... there was probably a half mile to go when this was taken... I can be seen peeking back continuously as she was coming on strong...





17 comments:

Jon said...

Nice pics Kristin, thanks for peer pressuring me to go do it Jim.

GZ said...

1.) okay, you and the croo have an open invite to the GZ estate if you ever come out here for a race. I had to go out there to check first to make sure none of you were ax murderers. You all check out fine.
2.) I am coming back. That comedy I put on called a race was piss poor.
3.) Keep the pins out of your shoes.

David Quintal said...

JJ
Great job writing up the entire weekend. On top of your running ability, you possess a way with words and your sense of humor and understanding of friendship is second to none. Thank you for your help this weekend. I hope to run Cranmore and attack more e mountains like yourself.
DQ

DoubleJ said...

Jon, glad you went...good times...hopefully you enjoyed yourself and thanks for giving it a go...

GZ, great meeting you man...I'm still trying to think of something clever to do w/ your shoes....

DQ, thanks for tagging along and great job on the hill...the photos I've seen of you up on the wall are intense... See you at Cranmore!!!

GZ said...

Careful. I think those shoes are cursed. There is an 80 min run those buggers for sure.

I expect to see some scalps taken at Cranmore. None of this holding off chicks from Colorado crap.

David Quintal said...

I told Scotty Graham that those pictures are PHAT worthy. Of course, I was hamming it up for the crowd.

DoubleJ said...

haha... I know what you mean... I hammed it up at MSD 10k...

David Quintal said...

Yeah, but you won $. Oh wait I won $50!
I just got an email from Mark Behan and he told me that Mark Kimball is in Northeast Rehab on Butler St in Salem NH. He is able to see visitors as long as you call before visiting. He is in Room 220. I am planning on visiting with Mark B. at 5pm on Wednesday.

DQ

GZ said...

"It is now motivating me to work on some things and improve my fitness, strength, and competative edge going forward...


BINGO

double-d said...

Your last split should be .7 not .6

Although the race is 7.6 miles the Auto Road is 7.7 miles. Hence the mile marks are .9, 1.9, etc.

Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

JJ, that was a great read. However I didn't see anything about DD only beating you by 1 second as he predicted in his blog. That's right he beat you by 1 minute. Anyway you ran a great race. Those photos of Dave Q that Kristin took were super. You can see the pain in his face.

Dan said...

Jim, I watched the 3rd video. That's the slowest I've ever seen you run. Maybe because you weren't wearing snowshoes? Still, it's twice as fast as can I run dowhill. Nice race. You'll be sub 1:10 next year for sure.

Kristin said...

I just wanted to say thanks for the nice photo comments. Someday I will learn how to REALLY use that camera...some of them come out blury and unfortunately Jim uploads them before I can weed them out. Anywho, it was nice getting to hang out and meet some new faces. Jim, I promise not to put the Pembroke Titans pin in your shoes again - hahaha - uluvit!

DoubleJ said...

Kristin! I'm just shocked you have a frickin' BLOGGER profile! wow. Also, shocked you are on my blog...what ever possessed you?

Yeah, keep those pins out of my kicks! I almost croaked when I saw that... :)

David Quintal said...

JJ
I just wanted to let you know since you are blogger central that Mark Kimball is doing really well as I visited him this afternoon. He was asking a lot of questions about Mt. Washington and is eager to get home and get back to running. He actually went on the treadmill yesterday for a half mile walk! It was very encouraging to see him in high spirits and looking well on his road to recovery.
Also, when are you leaving for Cranmore? Maybe hookup for a ride?
Finally, Kristen does take excellent photos - even if the runners are very scary as they climb the wall (not that I would know from experience:}!
DQ

David Quintal said...

Kristin,

Sorry I spelled your name wrong.

Kristin said...

I guess I have a blog profile, but I won't be setting up a blog...after I typed all that, it wouldn't let me post it w/o setting one up - kind of silly. Dave you mispelled my name, so now you are out of The Wainwright Family Circle of Trust! Hahaha - j/k! We watched Meet the Parents this past weekend - luv that movie!