Monday, September 7, 2009

13th Annual St. Charles Children's Home 5k

The summer racing season officially wound down this weekend, as this labor day I ran once again up in Portsmouth, NH at the 13th Annual St. Charles Children's Home 5k (results). I ran this race last year and managed a 4th place finish in a pretty good field. This year, I managed one place better in an even better top field and won a little bit more money in the process.

I headed up to Portsmouth on Monday morning solo (so no Kristin pix). The weather was turning out to be perfect..not hot, not cold, no wind, bright sunshine...perfect day for a run up on the Pease Tradeport, over a relatively flat (except for part of the second mile) course. This course is essentially the same course as Redhook except it starts and finishes down the street just a ways further than the brewery and adds on a small section near the end. As I pulled in, I noticed Mark Miller in the parking lot and right away knew I had at least one lad to run with. After registration, Mark and I headed out and ran over the course and then some for our warm up. I felt OK, considering I've been struggling with really bad allergies over the past week+, and my arms and shoulders have been very sore over the past 2 days from water skiing on Saturday (I don't use those muscles anymore!)...

After a quick change I headed over the starting line for some strides and stretching. I began noticing a lot of pretty fit guys warming up, including some younger college/h.s. guys and a few of the local guns like Nate Huppe, Tim Rider, Scott Rowe, and last year's 2nd place finisher, Ben Ndaya. Mark pointed out that there were a couple of Kenyan gentlemen (aside from Ben) who were warming up. I knew them from previous races (NY guys)...only one was actually racing, and that was 40 year old Joseph Ekuom (though the results say 39)...I've lost to him countless times in larger NH/MA races but did manage to just beat him at Cigna this year by 1 place (but zero seconds).

After some words of wisdom from Andy Schachat and one of the running nuns, and a very nice rendition of the star spangled banner, we were off. 17 year old Eric Jenkins from Portsmouth (who was rocking a PHS singlet) was out at what was probably 4:30 mile pace or better for the first 1200 meters of the race. A tight pack of Mark, Joseph, Ben, Nate, myself, and a few other guys including Jason Dedonato (fellow UML grad) stayed together and let him go. By 1200 meters or so, we caught up to him and he stayed with us through the mile in 4:54. Just before then, Ben, Mark, and Joseph surged ahead and I stayed with Jason and Eric while we dropped the rest of the field. At about 1.5, I had shaken off Jason enough to pull ahead and battle with Eric who was reluctant to let me go. Eventually, I pulled ahead and now saw that Ben was falling off the back of that lead pack. By 2 miles, I had caught Ben and Mark had pulled away from Joseph who was now in no-mans land. Ben and I battled back and forth over the next 1200 or so, as he would pull slightly ahead, then I would pull ahead...all the while 3 or 4 more guys were not too far behind. As we took the turn onto the last road to the finish, I pulled ahead for one last time and was able to hold Ben off over the last quarter mile + to the finish. I came through in 15:25 (4:58 pace) which was good enough for 3rd place overall and $100 (breakdown was : 1st - $200 / 2nd - $150 / 3rd - $100 / 4th - $50).

Results: Top 10

114:5814:594:49Mark Miller 28Keene NH
215:1715:184:56Joseph Ekuom 39High Falls NY
315:2415:254:58Jim Johnson 32Salem NH
415:3015:315:00Benjamin Ndaya 33Chelmsford MA
515:4215:435:04Tom Davis 22Newton MA
615:4415:465:04Mackenzie Kilpatrick27Concord NH
715:4615:475:05Jason Dedonato 23Nashua NH
815:5815:595:09Nathan Huppe 29Rochester NH
915:5916:005:09Eric Jenkins 17Portsmouth NH
1016:2416:255:17Miles Richardson 17Kittery ME

Total Finishers: 915

Side Notes: Mark Miller broke Casey Moulton's course record of 15:23 from 2008. There have been a couple of locations (Rochester and Portsmouth) of this race, and course changes. This is the current course record. Also, the top 8 guys broke 16 minutes. Not bad for a Seacoast 5k by any means..

Splits - 5k - 15:25 (4:58 pace) - 3rd of 915.

Mile 1) 4:54.72
Mile 2) 5:05.59
Mile 3) 4:53.92
last .1) 31

I cooled down with Mark and a couple other guys and then chatted with my parents (who came down from Wakefield, NH to watch the race) for a while afterwards. I always appreciate when they go and watch me race...good or bad race, it's always a good feeling when they go and offer their support and encouragement. It's always great to have the family support... Also, Coach Deek (my high school coach) was at yet another race and finished in a very respectable 32:44 (32:32 chip) - 10:29 pace - 632nd overall out of 915, all at 81 years young!

Also, special thanks to Gary Reuter (acidotic) for the great photos!

Next up is the Ollie Road Race in South Boston. This is once again, serving as the USATF-NE Grand Prix 5 Mile Championship.


  1. Great Race! Looks like you are ready for Ollie!

  2. Thanks man... but that wasn't anything compared to your effort in the half this weekend! Mark Miller told me a little about that course...that is a great time for that type of course. Does it still go along a dirt railbed for a while? Course record attempt at Baystate for you in 5.5 weeks?