Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kingman Farm and DH Jones

This weekend was my most interesting double of the year so far as I had the Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe 5k (results) in Madbury, NH on Saturday night (6pm) and then the USATF-NE Grand Prix 10 Mile Championship (results) race out in Amherst, MA at 11am on Sunday. The Kingman Farm race was the last race in the Granite State Snowshoe Series and a must for me, if I was to get enough points to win the series. The DH Jones 10 Miler in Amherst was race #1 in the 2009 USATF-New England Grand Prix Road Race series. I am satisfied with both races as I ran better than expected at Kingman and on par with what I thought I was going to run at DH Jones... On to the write ups...

Saturday, I shot up to Madbury, NH for the last race in the Granite State Snowshoe Series. Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe 5k was acidotic RACING's last snowshoe event of the season and boy was it a fun time. This was a NIGHT race in the pitch dark woods at Kingman Farm (UNH owned property) in Madbury. All racers (107 strong) were required to wear headlamps to brave this course after hours... All the usual suspects were in attendance and I needed to finish within 44 points of Ri Fahnestock to win the series. My original plan was to let Steve Wolfe take it out and try to stay with him and not completely hammer (as I know he wasn't about to either, as he was also running DH Jones 10 Miler on Sunday). To my horror, the ringers all started to show up...Dungeon Rock sent like 40 people, all the acidotic runners were there, Bob Jackman from RI (TNT) was in the house, and Josh Merlis and some Albany Running Exchange guys showed up. I immediately knew it was going to be much faster (unfortunately) than I planned. After an initial run of the course (in reverse) with Steve Wolfe in regular trainers, I grabbed my gear, strapped on the snowshoes, and headed to the line.

After some words of wisdom by RD of the Year for 2009 (he has my vote already), Chris Dunn, we were off (there 'may' have been a false start at the beginning by one of the speedier Dungeon Rock runners, but we'll pass on that for now ;) ). After 200 meters or so, I reluctantly took the lead (which was probably the longest I had gone all season without doing that)... Maybe 600 meters or so in, Bob Jackman went by me with authority and started pushing the pace. After a few climbs and some twists and turns we went by the first K and noticed that we were dropping everyone. We pushed on. We chatted a bit and worked off each other until right around 2K (maybe just after)... We came up on a turn that went up to the open fields and there was one of only a couple spectators that had made his way out onto the course. This guy had a flashlight in hand and a ferocious dog by his side. Just as we got up on him, the dog wigged out and lunged at Bob, knocking him to the ground as we took the turn. I looked briefly over as I heard him hit the snow and start yelling at the dog. The owner was also yelling and came over to retrieve the dog off of Bob who had to regain his composure before pressing on up the climb. I was already halfway up by this time. Further up on the fields, I noticed Bob's headlamp fading behind me...this I learned later, was due to him having trouble with one of his shoes, which eventually came off. For the last 2K + I ran very comfortable but steady...making sure I maintained the lead, which I was very grateful to have at this point... The last couple of K are single track bushwack / switchback climbs up the highest point of the course (which you actually summit, go back down, and then come back up the other side before winding back down to the finish). As I was rocking down the slope at the end and approaching the line, I could hear cowbells and I saw the first light (other than the one flashlight) I had seen over the whole course, which was coming from the Madbury Town Hall (the finish line). Right before the line, there were people strewn out on the course cheering us on and I hear Al Bernier's distinct voice calmly but sternly telling me to take it easy because I 'have a race tomorrow'. I finished up and turned and eagerly awaited the next runners to see who was going to come in and what order. I was shocked to see Steve Wolfe (whom I was fairly sure was just going to run easy) come bombing into the chute in 2nd place. acidotic RACING's Danny Ferreira was next in 3rd place, followed by Josh Merlis (who had already raced earlier that morning out in one of the WMAC races) and then Bob Jackman, who has to be the most unlucky snowshoe racer I've come across so far (putting into consideration his course troubles at Pooh Hill earlier in the year).

The series came to an end with an awards and post-race raffle bonanza (as usual w/ the acidotic races)... Although I was blanked in the raffle (for the first time in 3 acidotic races), I did pick up pair #3 of the Katoolah Microspikes, 2 Redhook pint glasses, and another 12 pack of Redhook beer (bringing my total beer winnings for this series at close to a full keg I'd say).... Also, for completing the series (running all the races), we each got a nice Granite State Snowshoe Series winter hat. Very nice. The grand prize for winning the series was a ticket for free entry into all 6 original series races for next year. You can bet that weather permitting, I'll be there! :)

Pictured above are the top three from The Granite State Series Overall (L-R): Ri Fahnestock, JJ, Scotty Graham. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Wolfe.

I have to say, this series was an absolute blast. Chris Dunn and his family and friends at acidotic (along with Michael Amarello at 3c Race Productions) do an absolutely fantastic job at putting on fun, interactive, and exciting events. They are extraordinarily generous with not only the swag, freebies, and awards (which are SECOND TO NONE in any series I've ever seen), but they take extraordinary care and measures to ensure everyone gets the proper communication via email and on race day...from things like details about the course, maps, upcoming events, tips, and everything you can possibly think of, that really make you feel like part of something special. The icing on the cake was Chris' ability to accommodate runners who didn't register in time for this last event, which was capped (as it understandably had to be). The folks at acidotic made all the appropriate measures (including the bold red font on the website) to ensure that people knew it was going to be capped...but demand for this event made the spots go fast, and the procrastinators (me included) missed the window. Chris didn't have to accommodate, but listened to a few that voiced their desire to be part of the fun at Kingman farm, and he worked with others to go the extra mile and accommodate some folks and provide them with a spot in the event. This just shows the true character and desire to please the snowshoe racing community, that the acidotic crew has. I'm thrilled to have been part of the series this year and to have met really cool fellow bloggers Steve Wolfe, Scotty Graham, Dan Scotina, and many others that frequented these races. I know it's one day removed, but I can't wait for next year already.

Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe Splits (5k):

1k: 4:02
2k: 4:35 (8:37)
3k: 4:26 (13:04)
4k: 5:08 (18:13) ... the climb
5k: 4:23 (22:36)

22:36 - 7:16 pace - 1st of 107

Pictured left are the top three from Kingman Farm (L-R): Steve Wolfe, JJ, Danny Ferreira. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Wolfe.






Overall Results:

PlaceTimePaceNameAgeTeam
122:367:16Jim Johnson 31CMS
225:188:08Steve Wolfe 44acidotic RACING
325:508:19Dan Ferreira 26acidotic RACING
425:518:19Josh Merlis 27ALBANY RUNNING EXCHANGE
525:538:20Robert Jackman 26TUESDAY NIGHT TURTLES
626:408:35Ri Fahnestock 30acidotic RACING
727:088:44Warren MacPhail42DUNGEON ROCK RACING
827:118:45Shane Sherwood 36Dungeon Rock Racing
927:138:45Leslie Dillon 25acidotic RACING
1027:208:48Patrick Smith 46DUNGEON ROCK RACING

107 Total Finishers....

Additional very cool nighttime shots courtesy of Scott Mason.

Quick Video #1 - Scotty Graham ad hoc interview...



Quick Video #2 - Jim Dunn at the start/finish...



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Sunday Kristin and I met Dave Dunham, Kevin Tilton, Dan Verrington, and the brothers-Quintal at the River Trail in Andover at 7:30 am for the 1:45 trip out to Amherst, MA for the DH Jones 10 Miler which serves as the USATF-New England 10 Mile Championship race. During the trip out there, it was evident that the impending snowstorm that was so very much evident on any weather newscast or website, was not going to happen. As we rolled into Amherst, there wasn't a drop of precipitation of any kind falling from the sky...a great sign.

After going inside to register and mill around a bit (as we were pretty early) I started to notice some big guns walking around... the likes of Patrick Tarpy, Ryan Carrara, both Moulton brothers, Mark Miller, Ben Schmeckpepper, Ben Ndaya, and Terry Shea (who actually was just there to watch) to name a few. We sat and talked about the race a bit, as the other CMS guys started to file in (Matt Clark, Justin Fyffe, Andy McCarron, Joe Shairs, Jim Pawlicki, Ben Strain, Jeremy Huckins, and Tim Mahoney)... We all got our stuff together and went out for a warm up.

After a quick change of gear and the decision to go with shorts and just one base layer under the singlet, I was off to the starting line to get a couple of strides in before taking off.

The goal was 5:30s. I wanted to run around 55 minutes or under but knew this course was hilly and unpaved for 2-3 miles (of which were all ice and mud)...so I figured if I was around 55, it would translate maybe into slightly faster on a more friendly course elsewhere... I hopped in the 2nd row behind some BAA boys and off we went. Immediately I was in a chase group as the leaders went out in sub 5 through the first mile. Kevin Tilton offered some words of advice about catching people on the hills, but at the first mile, he was way ahead of me and his lead just kept on growing...I'm not sure why I didn't just go with him initially...I think some part of me was concerned he was going out maybe a little to aggressively, but I was wrong. He wanted it and took it out at the right pace. I cruised through the first mile in 5:17 and then the second mile (with some downhill) in 5:04 before starting to hit the hillier part of the course and my pace slowed up for the next two miles before I settled into near-5:30-pace for the rest of the race. From about 2 miles until 8, not one person passed me and I only passed 1 guy (from Whirlaway). I ran in the same spot, staring at the back of Andrew Womack (GBTC), Jared Markowitz (BAA), and Andy and Matt (CMS boys). At one point (around 5 or 6) I was pretty sure I was going to get Andy and Matt Clark, but I noticed that the downhills were not treating me that well. I was gaining on them on the climbs (believe it or not) and they were just losing me on the downhills. At around 8 miles (maybe just before), Joe Navas (Whirlaway) motored on by me with Titus Mutinda (who I had passed before the 3 mile mark). Titus passed me with authority and put some distance on me before I caught him again at mile 9 going up the last hill. The last climb was really good to me as I was able to pass Titus and hold off oncoming CMSers Joe Shairs and Dan Verrington, along with Mark Larosa (BAA) and a slew of others that had caught me at the base of the last hill.

In the end, I finished in 55:08 for 5:31 pace, which is what I thought I might be near for that distance and for the type of course....I was also in 22nd place which is about right for me in these New England Championship races. Most of the guys who beat me, always beat me and I did end up beating a lot of guys who have beaten me at other races over the past year, so I am pleased with the race today for sure... Nothing bothered me as far as my legs go, but I think I was a little tired a little too early on. The worst I felt was around 3 miles. I think the longer weeks and the race last night may have run me down just a bit, but not enough to really matter I think...There will be more 10 milers and more Grand Prix races for me this year and I look forward now to New Bedford in 3 weeks.

Kristin braved the cold and rain (as it started to fall right as I was finishing the race) to get some photos of the first 77 people (ending w/ dd) before she ran for cover. The camera was getting too wet to stand out and get any more shots. Thankfully dd wasn't out there all day.

DH Jones 10 Miler - USATF-New England 10 Mile Championship Splits (1oM):

1 Mile: 5:17
2 Mile: 5:04 (10:21)
3 Mile: 5:46 (16:07)
4 Mile: 5:50 (21:57)
5 Mile: 5:34 (27:32)
6 Mile: 5:32 (33:05)
7 Mile: 5:22 (38:28)
8 Mile: 5:33 (44:02)
9 Mile: 5:28 (49:30)
10 Mile: 5:36 (55:07)

55:08 - 5:31 pace - 22nd of 596 - 5th CMS.

Overall Results w/ top 7 CMS (in blue) and additional CMS Men's Open/Masters Finishers:

PlaceTimePaceNameAgeTeam
149:515:00Patrick Tarpy26RUN
251:285:09Patrick Moulton 27BAA
351:305:09Mark Miller 28BAA
451:405:10Brendan Callahan 27BAA
551:475:11Justin Fyffe 28CMS
652:095:13Michael Chettle 31BAA
752:165:14Casey Moulton27RUN
852:175:14Matthew Kerr 32BAA
952:415:17Ryan Carrara 32NBB
1052:485:17Andrew Hill 28BAA
1152:505:17Bernie Muller 25BAA
1253:005:18Nate Freese 23GBTC
1353:095:19David Bedoya 32GBTC
1453:345:22Ben Schmeckpeper 27BAA
1553:495:23Ioannis Papadopoulos 24GBTC
1653:545:24Kevin Tilton 27CMS
1754:115:26Jared Markowitz 26BAA
1854:205:26Andy McCarron 26CMS
1954:355:28Matt Clark 26CMS
2054:425:29Joe Navas 38WHIRL
2154:495:29Andrew Wommack 25GBTC
2255:085:31Jim Johnson 31CMS
2355:165:32Drew Best 26LLP
2455:205:32Titus Mutinda44RUN
2555:235:33Joe Shairs 40CMS
2655:245:33Mark Larosa 30BAA
2755:305:33Dan Verrington 46CMS

PlaceTimePaceNameAgeTeam
5157:375:46Jim Pawlicki 34CMS
5357:545:48Ben Strain30CMS
5458:175:50David Quintal45CMS
5758:245:51Michael Quintal30CMS
7359:405:58Jeremy Huckins26CMS
7759:566:00Dave Dunham44CMS
891:00:516:06Tim Mahoney29

CMS

596 Total Finishers....

Male Open Team Results:

1. BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION 51:28 51:30 51:40 52:09 52:17 ( 52:48) ( 52:50) = 4:19:04
Patrick Moulton 27, Mark Miller 28, Brendan Callahan 27, MichaelChettle 31, Matthew Kerr 32, Andrew Hill 28, Bernie Muller 25

2. CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS 51:47 53:54 54:20 54:35 55:08 ( 55:23) ( 55:30) = 4:29:44
Justin Fyffe 28, Kevin Tilton 27, Andy McCarron 26, Matt Clark 26, JimJohnson 31, Joe Shairs 40, Dan Verrington 46

3. GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB 53:00 53:09 53:49 54:49 55:33 ( 55:53) ( 56:25) = 4:30:20
Nate Freese 23, David Bedoya 32, Ioannis Papadopoulos 24, AndrewWommack 25, Ryan Aschbrenner 31, Junyong Pak 31, Kevin Somers 31

4. WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM 54:42 55:42 56:22 56:40 56:49 ( 57:09) ( 57:28) = 4:40:15
Joe Navas 38, Dan Princic 29, Brandon Newbould 27, Mike Platt 47, JoeHegarty 24, Mike Cooney 47, Chris Hamel 25

5. GREATER SPRINGFIELD HARRIERS 57:21 58:33 58:48 59:17 59:42 ( 59:45) (1:00:38) = 4:53:41
Carlos Rivera 34, Robert Landry 40, Ron Lombardi 45, Ian Wright 22,Paul Fratini 43, Christopher Gould 43, Michael Brouillette 31

...14 Total Team Finishes

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Horse Hill 7k

Saturday was race #5 (of 6) in the Granite State Snowshoe Series for 2009.  The Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe race in Merrimack, NH (results) is run in beautiful Horse Hill Nature Preserve and put on by 3C Race Productions.  The usual suspects were all in attendance today, including the Dungeon Rock racing team and the acidotic RACING team.  I was kind of in the dark on this race before the start.  I was supposed to run over the course on Thursday afternoon with Steve Wolfe but had to back out and pulled a big '0' on Thursday, as I have been suffering from severe stomach pains and issues since Wednesday night.  It all started after my long run of 18 on Wednesday afternoon.  I started to really suffer from what I thought was bad gas pains on Wednesday night and it led me to have to go out to the store at about 11pm to get some Pepto.  That bottle was gone before the afternoon on Thursday and I got about 30 - 60 minutes of sleep total on Wed. night.  Thursday I could barely stand and straighten up, the pain was that bad.  Running was impossible.  Thursday night it got slightly better (had to go out again and this time picked up some Maalox).  Friday afternoon I was able to do two shorter runs, but the sharp pain in my abdomen persisted.  I knew through all this, that I was getting dehydrated so I did my best on Saturday morning to rehydrate myself before the race.

I got into Merrimack with a little over an hour to spare, registered for the race, and saw, to my delight (and contrary to the race form information) a bathroom facility (i.e. brand spankin' new Porta-John...I even unwrapped the T-P and was the first to 'christen' it)...  After tending to my business, I warmed up over the course with Steve Wolfe and Mike Wade (GCS).  The course was completely packed down and iced over.  It made it almost impossible to run on with any sort of speed with our trainers...but the deep cleat on the Dion's would be a different story...  We ran to a couple of the intersections where Steve said it may be confusing, but Mike A. had put out a substantial amount of signs and Steve had spray painted the snow earlier in the week so it was very well marked.  Some AWESOME course descriptions/elevation profiles/maps can be found on Steve's Blog.  A quick change of the clothes (de-layered, as it was nice and warm out after the warmup)... and we were off!

I got right out and noticed a couple things right off the bat...1) the conditions were FAST.  REAL fast.  It was like a trail race out there on the straight, wide parts.  2) my stomach was not an issue at all.  3) my hamstring was very tight and I was a tad dehydrated...  My right hammy started to bark almost immediately.  I tried to shake it out as I stepped down some of the downhill parts and held off any major issues.  About a K into the race, I stepped off the trail a little bit and rolled my right ankle slightly...enough to bother me a little over the rest of the race...it actually made it feel like my right shoe was coming loose although in the end, it wasn't.  I clicked on through the K's pretty strong...felt a little sluggish in the middle parts (there are are 3 major climbs but nothing that will really hurt you) and rocked on the last downhill section.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the effort for sure, and thankful I didn't have any problems with my stomach during the run.... 
For a little bit, I could see Chris Dunn behind me through the trees and knew that Steve Wolfe was milling around in there too.... I also knew Mike Wade was out there in his first snowshoe race, but he's a trail monster and I knew he'd be mixing it up up front as well.  I also like the fact that Scotty Graham wears the brightest colored jacket on Earth (probably visible from space)...so it makes it very easy to spot him as well through the snowy woods (as opposed to stealthy Steve Wolfe who wears white so you can't spot him as he runs you down!)...  In the end, the course was fast, well marked, and the climbs were subtle enough where I could run the entire thing without a power hike...I really do think the conditions on the flats also contribute to me being able to hit the hills runnin' as well...the races that have very loose and slow-going single track leading up to the climbs, wear me out enough to where the climb, even if not that difficult, becomes tough because my legs are worn before I even hit the start of the hill.

Results:  7k - 1st of 50 - 30:41 / 7:04 pace

Top 10:

Place
Time
Pace
Name Team
Age
S
City/State
1
30:41
7:04
Jim Johnson       CMS POLAR BEARS    
31
M
Salem NH    
2
36:03
8:18
Steve Wolfe       acidotic RACING    
44
M
Merrimack NH
3
36:51
8:29
Chris Dunn        acidotic RACING    
40
M
Strafford NH
4
38:11
8:47
Michael Wade      GATE CITY STRIDERS 
40
M
Nashua NH   
5
39:03
8:59
Reeder Fahnestock acidotic RACING    
29
M
Exeter NH   
6
39:21
9:03
Patrick Smith     DUNGEON ROCK RACING
46
M
Salem MA    
7
39:48
9:09
Scott Graham      acidotic RACING    
50
M
Westford MA 
8
39:52
9:10
Jay Myers         acidotic RACING    
38
M
Dover NH    
9
40:04
9:13
Dan Cooper        DUNGEON ROCK RACING
36
M
Salem MA    
10
40:09
9:14
Jim Hansen        GATE CITY STRIDERS 
50
M
Nashua NH   


50 total finishers...

For my effort, I got the first pick of the swag on the table...I opted for 1 of 2 copies of 'Fun on Foot in New England'.  It seems like a pretty interesting read, with cool pictures, maps, and write ups of hikes, walks, and runs all over New England... You can never have enough of these types of books in my opinion.

A La George Zack, I put together a very quick and dirty video blog of my pre and post race ramblings...  A kind of visual 'Cliffs Notes' for anyone who doesn't like to read my ramblings above...


Next up is the Kingman Farm Snowshoe race in Madbury, NH on Saturday night (5k) and then the DH Jones 10 Miler on Sunday....First USATF-NE GP event of 2009!!!  It also 'kinda' marks the end of snowshoe season for me and the beginning of the road racing season... good stuff!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sidehiller and Frosty's Dash

Another double in the books and two more series races down... 

Saturday brought us back up north to Center Sandwich, NH to race the Sidehiller Snowshoe Race (results) which is race #4 of the Granite State Snowshoe Series (and also race #9 of the Dion Snowshoe Series).  It also serves as the Northeast qualifier for the US National Snowshoe Championship. I headed out for the approx. 90 minute ride, from Salem, NH with Kristin and fellow CMS teammates Dave Dunham, and Jim Pawlicki.  We arrived in town around 8:30 and saw race director Paul Kirsch working out on the course, setting signs and flags near the road where the course crosses from groomed ski trail to single track.  We grabbed some flags from Paul and headed over to the start area to kill some time before going out to flag the course ahead of time...  Dave, Jim, and I walked over the course and flagged as we went...there were a couple of spots where we had to pause and Dave had to think about whether we were going the right way...but in the end, we mapped out the appropriate course and circled back to the start, where people were starting to show up.  After I registered, dd, Jim, Kevin Tilton, Scott Mason, and Bob Jackman all went out for a 3 mile warmup on the roads.  It was around this time I realized that the outer part of my lower fibula (near my ankle) was starting to kill.  It got worse as the warmup went on.  I got pretty nervous about it but I laced up the snowshoes, chatted with some fellow teammates and friends who started to file in (Al Bernier, Tim VanOrden, Max Thomas, Steve Wolfe, Scotty Graham, etc.) and started to get ready for the race...I knew it was going to be a very good field, as many of the usual suspects from the mountain and snowshoe circuit were milling around the starting line.

As the race went out, I immediately wanted (and somewhat expected) Kevin (pictured left) to take it out but he wasn't biting.  About a minute in, I realized that if I had any shot, I would need to open it up and put some distance on him and a few others before the climb on the other side of the road.  As we raced around the Sandwich fairgrounds, I put some serious distance on the field and Kevin stayed right in the middle of the gap.  Once I crossed the street (which is covered with snow ahead of time by some locals with a tractor), I hit the single track which basically cuts your pace by about half if you're lucky.  The climb was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it did slow me down quite a bit and allowed Kevin (who is a much better climber than I) to narrow the gap.  As I reached the top, he was still gaining.  At this point, the course crosses a couple of fields before going back down and around to the fairgrounds again.  By the time I got to the end of the fields and back onto the single track, Kevin was right behind me.  I managed to hold him off for most of the descent, but then came one final climb before a final downhill to road and he was breathing down my neck.  I pulled over to the side of the narrow trail a bit and let him go on by...I stayed in contact with him for the rest of the way out of the woods and as we crossed the road one last time to go back onto the groomed trails, I thought for a few seconds about surging up and going after him one last time...but no sooner did I finish those thoughts, did I find him pulling away for good....The gap got too far for me to make any last ditch efforts to try to reel him in and he picked up some last minute energy to widen the gap near the end... I finished 13 seconds back of Kevin and I'll take it.  He's been one of the best mountain runners in the country for years now and I always consider it a good day when I'm that close to him at the end of a race...especially a trail, snowshoe, or mountain race.  A couple minutes back was Dave Dunham rounding out the top 3.  CMS had 6 in the top 7 (with Bob Jackman from TNT in there in 4th place overall).

Sidehiller Snowshoe Race - Center Sandwich, NH - 4.11 Miles
Top 20 Results (CMS in blue):

PLACE
First Last
Age
City
ST
Team
Time
1
Kevin Tilton
27
Conway
NH
CMS
31:40
2
Jim Johnson
31
Salem
NH
CMS
31:54
3
Dave Dunham
44
Ward Hill
MA
WMAC/CMS
33:53
4
Robert Jackman
26
Warwick
RI
TNT
36:07
5
Tim VanOrden
40
Barrington
VT
CMS
37:08
6
James Pawlicki
34
Beverly
MA
CMS
37:35
7
Al Bernier
34
Newton
NH
CMS
38:09
8
Danny Ferreira
26
Concord
NH
Acidotic Racing
39:15
9
Steve Wolfe
44
Merrimack
NH
Acidotic Racing
39:39
10
Gabriel Flanders
33
Hiram
ME
White Mt. Milers
41:00
11
Chris Dunn
40
Strafford
NH
Acidotic Racing
41:05
12
Russ Hoyer
48
Voorheesville
NY
42:06
13
Patrick Smith
46
Salem
MA
Dungeon Rock Racing
42:13
14
Kim Webster
32
Framingham
MA
41:18
15
Chris Smith
42
Woburn
MA
Dungeon Rock Racing
42:54
16
Bob Dion
53
Reedsboro
VT
WMAC/DION
43:34
17
Jay Myers
38
Dover
NH
Acidotic Racing
44:19
18
Scott Graham
50
Westford
MA
Acidotic Racing
44:48
19
Max Thomas
17
Wolfeboro
NH
White Mt. Milers
44:51
20
John Skewes
51
Keinsington
NH
45:07

...61 total finishers.

After everyone finished up and a quick change, the same group of us ( + Steve Wolfe, - Scott Mason) headed out for a 3 mile cooldown. It was here that I realized that my ankle/leg started to hurt again...I didn't notice it at all during the race (which is obviously good)...but it really came back as I ran on the roads... Hopefully icing and elevation will help alleviate whatever this could be... 

(pictured to the left, race winner and fellow CMS teammate Kevin Tilton and yours truly).

After the cooldown, everyone went over to grab some coffee and food at a local shop that was kind enough to cater to anyone w/ a bib number (which got you either some free soup or a free muffin and coffee).  We all sat around and chatted a bit before we had to hit the road to be home in time for some committments that Dave and Jim both had later in the afternoon.  

Now I look forward to tomorrow's Frosty's Dash in nearby Atkinson, NH (7.5 miles from my house) which is a 5k run over the Atkinson Country Club.  It is race # 4 in the Granite State Snowshoe Series and served as one of the WMAC Snowshoe Series races last season.

Like the good sport that she is, Kristin braved the cold temps once again (we didn't have anywhere near the 'warm' weather that was supposed to hit the lower part of New England) to take photos.  Because of the layout of the course and the snow cover, she couldn't get the start AND other portions of the race, so she settled for a spot about 400 meters or so from the finish line and got some really good shots of the first half of the field...she unfortunately couldn't get everyone, as her toes were understandibly freezing and she had to make her way back to the car.  

Check out her great photos (as usual) here at my SmugMug page.  If you are eating, you might want to finish up before looking at this gallery, as there is a substantial amount of spit and junk hanging off of Kevin's face as he goes by...  Also, dd is in some of these, and he has been known to turn some stomachs also....  The rest of the CMS contingent would be heading out to the other WMAC Dion Series race at Moody Spring - Hawley, MA on Sunday.  Rumor had it late on Saturday that former UML standout and DII All American XC runner Dave Quintal and his equally speedy brother Mike would be making their snowshoe debut at Frosty's on Sunday...

Photo on the left of Mr. RunningRaw Tim VanOrden who is now back to his clean-shaven self, and yours truly.  Tim managed to completely mangle one of his toes in today's race but slogged through to the finish... afterwards we all got a peek and it wasn't pretty.... looks like it was about to explode... It wouldn't be the first time Tim has gotten a completely disgusting snowshoe race injury though... Again if you've finished eating, check out this video from last year, in which Tim actually manages to cut the backs of his feet clean off after a race....then, there is a followup video that shows how Tim dealt with training through that specific injury....hardcore!  Way to go Tim!



Sunday, was the second half of the double, as I made my way 5 miles down the road to the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, NH for Frosty's Dash (results) (race #4 in the Granite State Snowshoe Series).  This race was advertised as a 5k but in reality is a little shorter (about 3)...  That didn't stop the times from being collossally slow as this was probably one of the toughest slogs I've gone through this year... Because of the very mild temps overnight and this morning, the snow was extremely wet and it made for a very difficult run.  There was absolutely nowhere on the course that was solid enough to get turnover going...every step I took was a challenge as you sink down about 6 inches and then slide to the right or left, making the effort that much harder to put one foot in front of the other with any sort of efficiency.  To put things in perspective, Bob Dion ran 21:48 last year and ran 29:36 this year.  Scott Graham ran 22:09 last year and 28:56 this year. Unfortunately and unlike all the other races I've run this season, this race had absolutely zero assurance flags or course markers other than a few signs put out by Michael Amarello (3C) where he thought people might get confused on which way to go... They stated that you were to follow the 'main' snowmobile tracks...the problem was that there were (in my opinion) many different ones... I got pretty confused at two different sections but fortunately chose the right path both times....  It was a VERY long last 10 minutes or so as I wasn't particularly sure I went the right way....but then one last sign, pointing straight, assured me that I was going the right way...  The CMS 'Polar Bears' went 1-2 again for two straight races as Dave Quintal finished strong in 2nd place in his VERY FIRST time on snowshoes.... This was also Dave's second race of the weekend, as he had done a quick 3.2 mile race the previous day... 

I left the house on Sunday morning solo.  I didn't think Kristin would be making the trip over to the race...I let her sleep in as she had been a trooper the day before and braved the cold up in Sandwich.   She surprised me at the starting line and showed up to watch the race...however no camera in hand (I had brought it and left it in my car)...  She did manage to get one shot w/ her cell phone (above).... not the best quality, but visual evidence that I was there...  The kid behind me in the hockey jersey was a volunteer that was just running all over the course and wasn't actually racing.





Frosty's Dash Snowshoe Race - Atkinson, NH - 3.1 Miles
Top 10 Results (CMS in blue):

Place
First  Last
Age
City
ST
Team Time   
1
Jim  Johnson   
31
Salem 
NH
CMS POLAR BEARS             24:28
2
David Quintal   
45
Salem 
NH
CMS POLAR BEARS             26:22
3
Steve Wolfe     
44
Merrimack 
NH
acidotic RACING             26:59
4
Chris Dunn      
40
Strafford 
NH
acidotic RACING             26:59
5
Dave  Hannon    
37
Roxbury 
MA
NEW ENGLAND TRACK & TRAIL   27:39
6
Ri  Fahnestock
29
Dover 
NH
acidotic RACING             28:37
7
Scott Graham    
50
Westford  
MA
acidotic RACING             28:56
8
Kim  Webster   
32
Framingham
MA
                            29:06
9
Ted  Hall      
35
Merimack  
NH
acidotic RACING             29:09
10
Bob  Dion      
53
Readsboro 
VT
WMAC DION                   29:36

...141 total finishers.

Next up is the Horse Hill 7k in Merrimack, NH (race #5 in the Granite State Series) next Saturday.  It will most likely be my only race next weekend as my ankle continues to bother me...hopefully backing off a bit will help...  As with Saturday's race, it really only bothered me on the warmup and cooldown... It's got to be the pounding on the roads...  


Thats all I got!  ...oh yeah, I might shave today...