Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 I Love Woodford Snowshoe Race

Updated (12/30/09): Sunday was the first WMAC/Dion series race of the 2009-2010 season.  The I Love Woodford 5k Snowshoe Race (results)  held in Woodford, VT was the scene and it turned out to be an insanely deep field, in deep, slow, wet snow, and had a very exciting finish.

The morning started dark and wet, as Dave Dunham pulled into my driveway just

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Racing By The Numbers

This is a quick 'by the numbers' sort of review of my racing in 2009.  I will go into it a bit more in my year-end recap, but this is a basic statistical look at how my racing went down this past year.

Since I enjoy racing more than I do just 'training', I focused more on collecting statistical info/data on my races rather than just plugging daily/weekly/yearly

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 NH Male Runner of the Year

The week after NER named their runners of the year (based on state), I real quickly wanted to mention another NH-only honor that is announced at the end of each racing season.  I'm thrilled to have been recognized again this year by Andy Schachat and his Foster's column for being the NH/Seacoast runner of the year for 2009, sharing the honor with John Mentzer (Kittery

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2010 Inov-8 Roster Announced

I am thrilled to have been chosen to run for Inov-8 in the upcoming 2010 season.  The 2010 roster has been announced on the Team Inov-8 blog and I am happy to also be sharing spots on the team with fellow CMS teammates Kevin Tilton, Ben Nephew, Paul Low, Peter Maksimow, Kelli Lusk, and Abby Woods Mahoney.  

For those who don't know, Inov-8 is THE mountain and trail running shoe manufacturer.  Period.  I was introduced to Inov-8 after repeatedly noticing that just about every other person at the mountain and trail races I was going to in the past 2 years were wearing Inov-8 shoes and gear in some way or another.  Also, after talking with teammates Dave Dunham, Tim VanOrden, Kevin Tilton and Ben Nephew, along with race director and Inov-8 reseller Paul Kirsch (WMM) and no fewer than a dozen other folks I frequently see at the trail/mountain/snowshoe events, I decided to give them a try and in March of this past year, I ordered a pair of f-lite 230s to race in.  Well, I essentially wore those suckers out, by racing MOST of my 60 + races in 2009 in them (in distances from a 2 mile to a half marathon).  I also ordered a pair of x-talon 212 racers, which turned out to be one of the best running related purchases I've ever made.  These shoes are incredible for XC/trail/ and off-road mountain races.  Max King ran and won the US Trail Marathon Championships at the Lithia Loop this year in these (I wore the 230s because the road section scared me a little). Tivo actually trains in those shoes!  I also won a pair of the 212's after winning the Loon Mountain race this year.  I wore the 212's at Franklin Park for the Codfish Bowl, at the Laconia XC race, at Cranmore (US Championships), and at Loon Mountain.  I opted for the 230's at Mount Washington and I think those are a perfect shoe for a road mountain race.  What I have been missing in my arsenal of gear is the regular trail running shoe that Inov-8 makes (and they make MANY different variations).  This is what I am most excited about, is the ability to try out these different shoes here at the rivah trail and various other stomping grounds in the area.

Inov-8 is the returning sponsor of the USATF-New England Mountain Series for 2010.  The current races on the schedule are:

05-22 - Northfield Mountain Race
05-29 - Wachusett Mountain Race
06-06 - Pack Monadnock 10 Miler
06-27 - Cranmore Hillclimb
07-04 - Loon Mountain Race
07-11 - Ascutney Mountain Challenge

Add Inov-8 USA's Twitter feed for all the up to date information on Inov-8 gear, races, results, and upcoming events.  Also, become a fan of Inov-8 on Facebook and stay in touch with the Inov-8 community.

2010 Inov-8 Roster (CMS in blue):

Sean Andrish - Ultrarunning
Jonathan Basham – Ultrarunning & Speed Hike
Todd Braje – Ultrarunning
Lainie Callahan - Ultrarunning
Eric Charette - Ultrarunning
Yassine Diboun - Ultrarunning
Scott Dunlap - Ultrarunning
Greg Feucht - Mtn / Trail
Emma Garrard – Xterra
Joe Grant - Ultrarunning
Joe Gray - Mtn / Trail
Michael Green – Ultrarunning
Michele Hartwig – Ultrarunning
Dave James – Ultrarunning
Jim Johnson – Mtn / Trail
Amy Lane - Ultrarunning
Aliza Lapierre - Ultrarunning
Camilo Lopez - Climbing (approach)
Paul Low - Mtn / Trail
Gina Lucrezi - Mtn / Trail
Cristina Luis - Orienteering
Mark Lundblad - Ultrarunning
Anne Lundblad – Ultrarunning & Trail
Kelli Lusk - Mtn / Trail
Abby Woods Mahoney – Mtn / Trail
Brendon Mahoney – Mtn / Trail / Crossfit
Peter Maksimow – Mtn / Trail
Amber Moran – Road / Mtn / Trail
Brian Morrison - Ultrarunning
Ben Nephew - Mtn / Trail / Ultrarunning / Snowshoe
Alex Nichols – Mtn / Trail
Dewey Peacock - Mtn / Trail
Anna Pfaff - Climbing (approach)
Jeremy Ramsey - Ultra
Chris Reed - Ultrarunning
DeWayne Satterfield – Ultrarunning
Dwight Shuler – Xterra / AR / Ultrarunning / Duathlon
Sophie Spiedel - Ultrarunning
Andrew Thompson - Speed hike / Ultrarunning
Kevin Tilton - Mtn / Trail
Todd Walker – Ultrarunning
Serena Wilcox - Ultrarunning
Scott Williamson -Long Hike no support
Joe Ziegenfuss - Ultrarunning
Team Yoga Slackers – Adventure Racing
Team Granite – Adventure Racing-

Ben Nephew and I at Busa Bushwhack 10 Mile Trail Race - Framingham, MA - 11-01-09

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beaver Brook 5k Winter Edition Snowshoe Race

Sunday was a last minute decision to over at Beaver Brook in Hollis, NH.  I initially planned on running this race when it was advertised as the usual 5k trail race, put on by Mike Amarello and 3CRaceProductions....but after the last couple weeks of non-eventful training and my hamstring woahs, I was backing away from this race and had decided to not race again until Woodford.  But Friday night I caught wind that this race would also be a snowshoe event, because of all the snow that was now covering the trails at Beaver Brook.  After some decision making last night and early this morning actually, I decided to shoot on over and get in my first snowshoe race of the 2009-2010 season a tad early.  It would also be race # 62 of the year!

The Beaver Brook 5k (Winter Edition) (results) was actually 2 races this year.  The regular scheduled trail race, which included 54 people who would run the course in regular running shoes, and a snowshoe race (27 people), which started 1 minute behind the trail race (and had a slightly different beginning 150 meters or so).

As I pulled into the Beaver Brook Association hq, I noticed a lot of the usual trail/snowshoe suspects including the acidotic crew there in full force.  I met up with Scotty Graham, Chris Dunn, and Geoff Cunningham (pictured above w/ yours truly) and went out for a warmup with Chris and Geoff about 35 minutes before race time.  This was the first time I've met Geoff, who has been laid up most of the last year + with injury.  He was the 2008 GSSS Champion and wasn't able to make any of the races last year, but is on the comeback for 2010.  On the warmup, we were also joined by Garry Harrington who ended up winning the 'trail' version of the race today.  It was nice talkin' snowshoeing with Chris and crew again... It was the motivation I needed to get my act together and get back on the serious training schedule again....The November/December funk is coming to an end and the fun stuff is starting (finally)!

A relatively modest bunch of us headed down to the start of the snowshoe portion of the race, which was at the beginning of a small field where you had to run uphill to the start, and then make a sharp 180 degree turn and get onto the actual trail.  Once on the trail, it is a fairly wide carriage road type of course that is downhill for the first quarter mile or so.  As the gun went off (a minute or so behind the trail race start), we all slogged up the hill and across the field.  There was only a single track of snow packed down, and the rest was a crusty, icey mess. I didn't get on any of the good packed snow before the end of the field.   I took the turn onto the trail in 3rd place actually, behind Geoff and one other runner, before settling into 2nd behind Geoff shortly there after.  It didn't take the two of us long to catch the back of the pack trail runners and it was a tough next 2/3rds of the race, as we had to continuously go off the thinly blazed section of the trail (which was about as wide as a snowmobile track, and go wide around everyone, on the crusy, unpacked, icey snow.  It made the pace very slow initially.  I ran very comfortable behind Geoff even though we had to run off the actual groomed section for most of the way.  I got a little nervous that the pace was a bit slower than I was expecting, and I didn't want it to come down to a kick between the two of us, nor did I want to give anyone behind us, a chance to catch up.  Geoff twisted his ankle in an icey rut and started to feel it before the halfway mark.  As we hit the turnaround (yes, it is an out and back), I circled back behind Geoff and then moved out and around him for the first time.  I told him I was going to take the lead for a bit and put in the work and blaze the trail on the way back... It wasn't too long after that, that I no longer heard his snowshoe footfalls any longer and knew I'd probably be able to squeak this one out.  I continued to pass runners now in two directions (the packs of trail and snowshoe runners behind me, still on their way outbound, and some of the faster trail runners now still ahead of me on the way back).  The last quarter mile + is uphill to the finish and this is where I passed the 3rd and 2nd place trail runners.  As I passed by the 2nd place guy, he told me that the first place guy was just ahead and I tried to push up to catch him but there was not enough real-estate left on the course to get him.  I finished first overall for the snowshoe race, just behind the first trail runner, but still had the fastest overall time, as we started a minute back of the trail race.  It was a great feeling getting out there and shaking the dust off the snowshoes for sure.

This course will be the scene of the first race in the 2010 Granite State Snowshoe Series (The Beaver Brook 5k Snowshoe Race) put on by acidotic Racing.  The race is scheduled for January 2nd and will be the middle race of my 3 race weekend, (Hangover Classic, Beaver Brook, North Pond) which is a great start to the new year's racing schedule :).

Special thanks to Nancy Hobbs (USATF Profile | Blog) for signing the book I won (she was co-author and standing right next to me when I picked it off the table of swag).  :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Snowshoe Run of the Season

Saturday was my first snowshoe run of the 2009-2010 season. It felt great to get back out there and strap on the Dion 121's for some much anticipated snowshoe running.  I met Steve Wolfe up at his local stomping ground in Merrimack, NH at the Horse Hill Nature Preserve.  This is the scene of the Horse Hill 7k (race #6 in the Granite State Snowshoe Series for 2010).  I had a little difficulty at first, with the top of my right foot giving me some grief right out of the parking lot.  I think it was due to the old Nike Pegasus shoes I use when I'm 'shoeing'.  I don't wear them any other time, so my foot was confused for a bit.  That loosened up after about 5 minutes.  Other than 1 fall (pretty early into the run) and 3 other close calls, I would call it a success for sure.  There was much more snow up there than down in Salem.... They got 10 inches or so before it turned over to rain, during this week's storm, so there was plenty of snow over the entire trail system.  It was pretty darn cold out, and the trails had been blazed by Steve and Mike Amarello earlier in the week, but aside from that, we were the only brave souls out there this morning....

Steve and I ran over the 7k course (but not the exact course as it is run) and then some...probably close to about 6 miles we figured.  He really pushed hard up the last climb and then up and over, down to the finish...I was really working to keep up....he's gonna have a big season this year for sure!  

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2010 US Mountain Running National Championship Announced

Hot off the presses (from the USA Mountain Running ...aka Rich Bolt's Twitter Feed) is that the Mount Washington Road Race has once again been named as the US Mountain Running National Championship again for this coming year (2010).  This weekend is the USATF Annual Meeting out in Indianapolis and Rich has been tweeting updates all day.  Good stuff here including information on bids for various trail/mountain/ultra championships.  This marks the 4th time it will serve as the US Championships, and the 6th time out of 7 years that it will have been held in the state of New Hampshire (with the one exception being the Vail Hill Climb in Vail, CO in 2003).

Even more interesting news, is that the top 6 men and top 4 women will make the US Mountain Running Team for 2010 to compete in the World Championship.  There will be no 2nd selection race in 2010!!  That means regardless of what come in top 6 (USATF) and you are on the team.  I'm sure DD will have much more information as it becomes available (and as he gets time to update his blog).

What makes this coming year's Mount Washington even more special, is that it is the 50th anniversary of the race and the last in which Bob Teschek will be the official race director.  Couple all this with once again being the US Championship, and this coming year is as good as any (in fact much better) for anyone who has ever been curious about whether or not they should throw their hat in the ring for this race.  I am mainly talking about a lot of very good local area runners (whom I will not name directly in this post).  There are a lot of guys out there that are phenomenal road guys and some are even top in the country for specific longer distances... now that does not necessarily make them a good mountain runner, but still, I've been curious to see what some of these guys can do on The Hill, and I hope some new guys will consider giving it a try this coming year, cross it off the list and be done with it (or...fall in love with it like I have and keep coming back :) ).  In 2008, it was great to see guys from New Balance Boston, BAA, R.UN, etc. come up and give it a try.  Most of those guys ran very very well, but were still humbled by the likes of the top mountain guys and even some local goats and masters runners like Fram, Morse, Gutierrez, Ames, etc.

The Lottery Opens March 1, 2010.

Photo below of Mr. Gates making his way up 'the wall' in 2009 on his way to a 59:58 winning time.  Photo by Kristin Wainwright.