I made the trip out to Wilton, NH solo, as Kristin was sleeping in... The drive out is very nice once you get off the highway in Manchester and cut across to the southwest. When I arrived at the Lyndeborough/Wilton High School parking lot, I started to see all the usual faces from the mountain and snowshoe scene, as well as a well represented CMS team and a couple other very talented road/trail/mountain runners. In the house for CMS was myself, Dave Dunham, Dave Quintal, Tim Mahoney, Jim Pawlicki, Justin Fyffe, Andy McCarron, Ben Nephew, Tim VanOrden, and a few others that I wasn't familiar with... Also milling around was BAA's Brendan Callahan, Juan Jaramillo (1:08 at Mt. Wash last year), Todd Callaghan (2nd overall finisher in the USATF-NE Mountain GP series last year), and many other guys I knew could run up front. After the patented CMS 24 min. warmup w/ most of the crew over the first part of the course, it was time for a quick change and a short walk down to the finish line.
As the gun went off, I found myself behaving quite nicely for a chance, as I let Brendan, Juan, Justin, Andy, Ben, Jim Pawlicki, and a couple other guys go...I even think dd was in front of me up the first hill. I eased into this one for a change and slowly made my way by a few guys, by Jim, and up along side Ben. I ran next to Ben down the first incline and on for another half mile or so before breaking away and making my way up to Andy. I ran beside Andy for maybe another half mile or so and then picked up a bit of distance on one of the flat sections (yes, I said one of the flat sections)... By mile 3 I think I was solidly in 4th behind Brendan, Justin, and Juan. It basically stayed like that for the rest of the race, except Juan was able to edge ahead of Justin who is one week removed from a 2:27 marathon in Vermont. The course is a back and forth mixture of paved roads and gravel roads but one thing is consistent...hills. Lots of them. I didn't really understand why this was a 'mountain' race at first...now I understand that not only is it the last 2 miles that makes it a mountain race, but also there is no possible way they could get away with having the first 8 miles pass as a regular 'road race'. I had my head on a swivel for the last 4 miles or so as I was looking for Andy to come back on me...I also was slowly making up ground on Justin who was fading just a bit. As late as 8 miles I could see the leader (Brendan) and everyone else on one long section of uphill on Route 101. The last 1.3 miles is a BRUISER... the race website claims 'The last 1.3 miles of the course climb the paved switch-back road in Miller State Park to the summit of Pack Monadnock Mountain. The last 1.3 miles are as steep or steeper than Mt Washington.' They are not kidding... After running 8.7 miles, the last 1.3 up the auto road on Pack Monadnock is brutal. The last 100M + is way steeper than Washington and almost broke me. I was just about at a walk at 9:28 for the last mile... It's funny but I started to get that insane pulse beating on the side of my neck that I've only gotten in Washington, Cranmore, Loon, Ascutney, and a couple of snowshoe races.... The entire last mile, the veins in my neck were throbbing as I struggled to just keep the feet turning over.... But it felt great to finish strong, finish under 1:05, finish in 4th behind 3 very good runners, and to have run strong and done nothing but pass and then hold position during the race. I can't remember the last time I never got passed in a race (aside from some snowshoe stuff and the occasional rare win)...especially a Grand Prix race... Overall I am very pleased with the performance today and will most definitely be back at this race next year (hopefully the entry fee will be still in the double figures by then)...
Splits - 10 Miles - Mountain Race - 4th of 292 Finishers - 1:04:24 (6:26 pace)
Mile 1) 6:11
Mile 2) 5:44 (11:55)
Mile 3) 5:27 (17:22)
Mile 4) 5:59 (23:22)
Mile 5) 5:32 (28:55)
Mile 6) 6:14 (35:09)
Mile 7) 5:44 (40:54)
Mile 8) 6:38 (47:33)
Mile 9) 7:22 (54:55)
Mile 10) 9:28 (1:04:24)
Click image to left to enlarge graph.
According to dd's post on the all-time top times under 1:05 there, I'd now rank 34th on a list that now is 41 performances deep. Usually I don't make any of dd's many 'lists' so I'll take it when it comes...
My back spasmed a bit as I attempted to run down to the parking lot from the summit... and it is still bothering me pretty bad as I write this entry... I am going to have to watch this this week and I'm passing on the Hollis 5k to make sure I'm healthy for Rhody next weekend.
Special thanks to Kristen (from the 'other' Jim & Kristen fame) for taking the great photos, driving my bag to the finish, and driving me back to the start afterwards.
CMS at the summit (L-R Back Row: Justin Fyffe, Jim Johnson -- L-R Middle Row: Dave Dunham, Dave Quintal, Jim Pawlicki -- L-R Front Row: Andy McCarron, Todd Callahan (GCS but we'll work on that), Tim Mahoney, Ben Nephew)
Top 10 plus CMS in blue:
|1||Brendan Callahan||27||West Hartford||CT||HELLO KITTY AC||1:02:37||6:16|
|2||Juan Guillermo Jonam||38||Milford||NH||1:03:04||6:19|
|3||Justin Fyffe||29||E Dumberton||VT||CMS||1:03:28||6:21|
|9||Dave Dunham||45||Ward Hill||MA||CMS||1:07:36||6:46|
|10||Todd Callaghan||39||Somerville||MA||GCS TRIAD||1:08:40||6:52|
|14||Tim Van Orden||41||Bennington||VT||CMS||1:10:34||7:04|
Abby Mahoney was the overall women's winner...