Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2009 High Def Codfish Bowl XC Video

Wow is all I have to say.  Just came across this on YouTube.  Excellent high definition coverage of the 2009 Codfish Bowl Cross Country Invitational at Franklin Park - Boston, MA on 9/26/09.  It is simple to spot me in this video, as I am the ONLY one that is wearing a hat (it's white). I knew I did that for a reason ;).  I also have a white singlet on with navy blue shorts.

The camera position is a little strange, as it basically is all shot from the center of the park and they just zoom in and out.  It would have been better had they moved around just a little bit (Frankin Park is perfect for that) and repositioned near the path of the runners to get people head on, as they went by, and filmed more than just the top 10 or so people (I'm really not complaining though because I was in that group :) )... but I'm just offering a little friendly critique. In any case, the video quality is excellent and it's very cool that someone went there and took the time to film it.  Thanks to whoever you are :)... Pretty neat...check it out (HD video, so it takes a bit longer to load).


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Codfish Bowl XC and Nahant 30K


This weekend was another double, although not really planned...it was more of a confidence restorer, as I've had a string of back to back weekends where my racing has not gone well and i haven't felt 100%.  As Baystate looms, I needed to get back on track and I think that was done this weekend.  All photos in this entry are from Nahant 30k and are courtesy of Kristen Kozlosky.

Saturday: Codfish Bowl XC (results) - Boston, MA. On Saturday, I picked up Jose Ortiz (WHIRL) and headed down to Franklin Park in Boston, MA for some good ole' fashioned cross country.  The Codfish Bowl is a race I did in college, all 4 years.  It was one of our first races of the season, and the first trip to Franklin Park.  I figured out that with 4 runs in college and this being my 3rd straight year running it as an open runner, that it is my most frequent race (with 7 times).  I have run no other annual race more than that.  The past 2 years haven't gone very well, but this is one of the only races where that doesn't really matter to me.  I love racing at Franklin Park. For me, that's where it all started, back in high school and to go back there, where I've run so many great races and have so many good memories (from both h.s. and college), is just a treat in itself.  Whether I run good or bad, I just love getting back there at least once a year.  This year, this would be my only trip in there, due to other scheduled races conflicting with the New England Championships and Mayors Cup.

Jose and I got there in the nick of time (after having to park about 10 minutes + away).  I was the last guy that was allowed to register (literally less than 40 min before race time).  Jose and I dropped our stuff off over by the starting line and headed out for a couple mile warmup over the course.  The weather was perfect. Sunny, near 70, and the course was mud free.  We did a loop up around Bear Cage hill and headed back for the start.  I noticed a bunch of GBTC guys (as usual) and a large BAA group, including Terry Shea.  I spoke to Terry while doing some strides and he sounded awful.  He said he had been sick over the past week, but he was still my pick for the win.  We lined up next to the Merrimack boys and we were off.

Jose took it out hard and was in the lead after the first stretch up and over the first hill.  A pack of GBTC guys and NYIT runners were up front, with Jose and myself and maybe a couple other college guys.  I believe there was also an MIT guy up there as well.  I went through the 1 mile mark in 4:57 and was in the top 10. I remained in the same group, although it started to spread out a bit.  By 2 miles, it was pretty thinned out, but I was riding 9th or 10th with some NYIT runners.  Terry Shea had gone by me shortly before that and looked pretty strong.  He was picking off guys and I was watching from a distance.  I held my ground over the next couple miles and picked off a couple guys.  There may have been 1 or 2 guys that went by me as well, but strangely, I had a pretty big gap behind me (which usually never happens in these XC races at Franklin Park). I went through 4 miles in under 21, which gave my hope that I could get in under 26, but I still had Bear Cage (2nd loop) to go. Over the last 1.5 miles I was hanging onto Matt Haringa and stayed right with him until the bottom of Bear Cage, where I went by him and battled with a Westfield State runner right to the line.  I came in in 25:50 for 9th place, which is in line with what I was doing at this race 14 years ago when I was 18-19 years old.  So guess what...I'll take it!

Splits: 8k XC - 25:50


Mile 1: 4:57
Mile 2: 5:19 (10:16)
Mile 3: 5:14 (15:31)
Mile 4: 5:17 (20:49)
Mile 5: 5:01 (25:50)


Top 10 Overall (of 202 Finishers):


Place
Name
Club/School
Time
1
Ryan Place        
Greater Boston TC  
25:15.3
2
Terry Shea        
Boston Athletic    
25:24.3
3
Dan Smith         
Greater Boston TC  
25:25.9
4
Hemiagiri Arumugam
Mass. Institute    
25:27.5
5
Kevin Somers      
Greater Boston TC  
25:30.5
6
Daniel Rono       
New York Institu   
25:37.8
7
Devin Dilts       
Bates College      
25:40.9
8
Kibrom Temelso    
Greater Boston TC  
25:43.7
9
Jim Johnson       
Central Mass Str   
25:50.5
10
Jon Joyce         
Westfield State    
25:50.9

Codfish Bowl over the Years...


1995 - Place: 9th - Time: 25:42
1996 - Results lost over time...(comment if you have them...)
1997 - Place: 12th - Time: 25:48
1998 - Place: 6th - Time: 25:29
2007 - Place: 15th - Time: 27:21
2008 - Place: 27th - Time: 26:57
2009 - Place: 9th - Time: 25:50

After a cool down w/ Jose and the Merrimack College boys, we headed back up north.  I was on the fence about doing either a longer run on Sunday or going down to Nahant to do a 30k as a marathon paced tuneup effort.  I got home and headed over to Kevin Andriolo's (former UML teammate) house in Tewksbury for Joe Dunn's bachelor party.  I opted to not partake in the adult beverage drinking that was going on and to come back home early (9pm) to get some rest and do the Nahant race on Sunday morning.  To my surprise, when I got home at 9pm, I was locked out, with my house keys sitting right near the front door, but on the wrong side.  Kristin was out in western Mass for the weekend, so I had no choice but to break a window completely out to get in. After all the excitement, around 10:30pm, I was able to hit the sack.


Sunday: Nahant 30k (results) - Nahant, MA.  On Sunday, I woke up at 5am and headed down to Nahant, MA to run in the Nahant 30k, which would serve as my long run for the day and a marathon-paced training run with some other guys, rather than a solo long run at a slower pace.  The goal for the day was to try to run comfortable at around 6 minute pace for as long as I could.  I was actually thinking that with the course and weather they way they were, low 6s would be a good goal for a relatively comfortable tempo pace. Holding it for 18.6 miles in those conditions, with not really having planned it, was another story.

I got down to Nahant (which I believe was my first time down there) within an hour and was there early enough to see the first wave of runners go off (the 'Sunshine' start which included an additional 19 runners who opted to go earlier at a slower pace).  After I registered and said hello to Krissy K, I noticed Dan Verrington walking across the parking lot...I wasn't expecting any other CMS guys so that was a pleasant surprise.  Dan is also getting ready for Baystate and was there for the same type of effort that I was looking for.  I also noticed a load of GBTC guys (namely Tomoaki Uchiki), Martin Tighe (TNT), Mike Toomey (D2 All American XC at UML), and Marc LaBlanc (SISU) all warming up and knew there would be some boys to run with.  Dan and I warmed up just an easy 10 minutes and I went back over to the car to put my racing shoes and uniform on.  I had opted earlier to go with a regular long sleeve shirt and I had pinned my bib onto it ahead of time.  But when I got back over to the car, I changed my mind and threw my compression sleeves on and my CMS singlet (without the bib number on it).  I totally forgot to take the number and pin it to my singlet.  I headed over to the start and got on the line.  As the RD made a few announcements, he indicated that the race would be starting within 2 minutes and that 'all bib numbers should be pinned on the front...'.  I immediately looked down and noticed I had no number...I shouted a quick expletive and turned to jet back to the car to get my number.  I sprinted back and made it back to the car within a minute, and riffled through looking for my bib.  I found it and quickly threw my key in, slammed the door, not even locking it (with some clothes sticking out of the door) and booked it back to the start and made it back just in time.

As the race went off, I settled in behind a group of maybe 6 or 7 guys and really took it easy.  I knew it was going to be a long, wet, windy day and didn't want to even think about running fast until a few miles in.  As the first mile ticked through in 6:14, there was still a good pack of us together. Little did I know, that would be the slowest mile of the day.  I felt nice and comfortable, as I should, at that pace and talked a bit back and forth with Martin Tighe who was running right along side.  With Martin, was Tomoaki (GBTC), Luis Torres (GBTC), another GBTC guy, Dan Verrington, and a few others.  The next couple miles were just over 6 (6:02s) and again, it felt like a regular training run.  We were all talking back and forth and the pack started to thin out just a bit.  During the conversation, I mentioned to Martin that I had run the Codfish Bowl yesterday and immediately Luis Torres laughed and said he had also raced it.  It was apparently his first 8k.


Over the next couple miles, we picked up the pace a bit as the course weaved left and right and up and down...very VERY confusing and complex course for sure.  I'm not even sure the lead police vehicles (which were only on maybe 1/4th of the course) knew exactly where to go.  Take a peek at the course map listed above and hit the elevation to see how broken up and hectic the course is.  As we hit a few 5:40s over the next few miles, I announced that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to hold that pace, to which I got 3 other replies indicating that everyone was in agreement.  But for some reason, nobody slowed their pace.  It was just 4 of us at that point and everyone looked and sounded pretty relaxed and strong.  Every other turn on the course was confusing.  The police vehicles would only go so far and then stop to block intersections and then were were on our own.  Another would catch up and eventually take the lead again, but it seemed like it was every other mile or so, until maybe 8 or 9 miles, and then there was no police car at all.  Some of the volunteers who were on some of the less obvious turns, were preoccupied with the slew of other runners who were coming back in the opposite direction (we run against lapped runners for much of the course).  A bunch of times, we had to yell out to get their attention, to ask where to go.  It seemed like a very difficult race to put on logistically and I didn't envy the volunteers standing out there in the cold and rain for 4+ hours...

By mile 8 or 9, Luis started to fall off the back and soon it was down to 3 of us.  Martin, Tomoaki, and myself.  We worked well together over the next few miles, and around mile 12, we had just clicked off another few miles in the 5:50s.  The 11 mile mark was way short (making the 12th mile seem long), but the 12 mile mark seemed to be in the right spot, as the cumulative time made sense.  Right around mile 12, Tomoaki announced he was easing up the pace and soon he dropped back.  Martin seemed to react to that by picking up the pace a bit and I went along (reluctantly) because I felt comfortable running along side him.  We had a good back and forth discussion from time to time and I felt at ease matching his pace (for another couple miles).


By mile 15, Martin seemed like he wanted to break away a bit and he eventually did.  Shortly after 15, we were running along the beach near the start/finish area, to go up to the mainland turnaround and I told him I was rigging up a bit and that if he wanted to go, he could. He said ok, but tried to get me to come along.  I noticed that he started hammering and I just tried to keep the same pace.  Over the next mile, he stretched out to a pretty big lead on me (100 meters or so at one point).  By the turn around, up near mile 17, I had cut it down to maybe 20-30 meters by just keeping the same pace.  He had gone a bit too early and started to slow  right around mile 17.  One the way back, at around 17.5, I caught right back up on his shoulder and he looked over and said 'good job Jim, go ahead'... I got my second wind and started to break away.  Over the last mile, I opened up approximately a 50 second lead and cruised in just under 1:50, in 1:49:34 officially (5:53 pace).




Nahant 30k Splits (from my watch):


Mile 01: 6:14
Mile 02: 6:02 (12:17)
Mile 03: 6:02 (18:19)
Mile 04: 5:48 (24:07)
Mile 05: 5:42 (29:50)
Mile 06: 5:47 (35:38)
Mile 07: 5:53 (41:31)
Mile 08: 5:53 (47:24)
Mile 09: 5:56 (53:21)
Mile 10: 5:54 (59:15)
Mile 11: 4:47 (1:04:02)** Mile marker was short
Mile 12: 6:53 (1:10:56)** Previous mile marker was off
Mile 13: 5:44 (1:16:41)
Mile 14: 6:02 (1:22:43)
Mile 15: 5:41 (1:28:25)
Mile 16: 5:43 (1:34:09)
Mile 17: 5:49 (1:39:58)
Mile 18: 5:48 (1:45:47)
last .6: 3:45 (1:49:33)


Official time: 1:49:34 (5:52 pace) - 1st place of 171


Top 10 Overall (out of 171) - CMS in blue

Place
Name
Town/State
Time
Pace
1
Jim Johnson     
Salem        NH
1:49:34
5:53
2
Martin Tighe    
Providence   RI
1:50:20
5:56
3
Marc LeBlanc    
Natick       MA
1:52:56
6:04
4
Dan Verrington  
Bradford     MA
1:53:37
6:06
5
Tomoaki Uchiki  
JamaicaPlain MA
1:54:29
6:09
6
Steve Neri      
North Providence RI
1:54:32
6:09
7
Timothy Stickney
Brookline    MA
1:55:56
6:14
8
Zachary Laidley 
East Walpole MA
1:57:02
6:17
9
Mark Engerman   
Concord      MA
1:57:12
6:18
10
William Crabtree
Lexington    MA
1:57:51
6:20


I was very happy with the effort and was pleased at the way my body reacted after racing an 8k XC race the day before.  Over a very rolly and twisting course, and on a wet and windy day, I was able to go under my goal pace and feel pretty good doing it.  No real issues other than some minor hamstring pain (dull ache) around 13-14 miles.  That seemed to be a non-issue over the last few miles.

Check out the photos from the day by KrissyK.

For the win, I got a gift certificate for a free pair of Asics trainers and a beautiful framed photo, courtesy of  Kristen Kozlosky, of the Nahant Life Saving Station, that they are trying to raise money to restore.   Each finisher also gets a very nice finishers' medal.  On a side note, I believe this is my longest 'road' win.  I have won a 22.2 mile trail race (twice) but never anything over 10k on the roads (as far as I can tell). I've won a slew of 5ks and shorter races (5 milers) on the roads, and some trail/snowshoe/mountain/xc/track races, but never anything longer than 10k on the roads...and that 10k win came when I was only 17 years old (senior in high school) at a race in Needham.

Next up 'may' be Topsfield XC Festival this coming weekend, if I am recovered enough.  I am playing this week by ear and will make my decision later in the week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 Pre-Season New England Snowshoe Rankings


Chris Dunn and the folks at acidotic have released their pre-season rankings for the 2010 New England Snowshoe season.  Now, because Chris and acidotic originally came up with this idea and release a nice, neat weekly update during the season, I take this as the 'official' ranking.  Also, with Chris' API (Average Performance Index) calculation, it makes sense that this be pretty accurate. As many do each time this list is released, I will add my thoughts to the below list. First, here it is (CMS in blue):

Men
Women
1
Kevin Tilton
1
Abby Woods
2
Justin Fyffe
2
Kim Webster
3
Josh Ferenc
3
Leslie Dillon
4
Jim Johnson
4
Amber Cullen
5
Ben Nephew
5
Amy Lane
6
Dave Dunham
6
Liz Hall
7
Matthew Cartier
7
Chelynn Tetreault
8
Tim Van Orden
8
Jessica Hageman
9
Tim Mahoney
9
Laurel Valley
10
Steve Wolfe
10
Holly Atkinson

Now, it is interesting to put Josh Ferenc on this list, as he only ran (to my knowledge), 2 snowshoe races all of last season, but if he runs at least the minimum amount of races, this will be a good pick. Don't get me wrong, he's legit and won both races he ran, including the first race of the season, up in Woodford, VT (against yours truly, whom he spanked...my worst snowshoe loss ever actually).  But he ran 2 races last year.  Hopefully we will see more of him this year, seeing Nationals is in the East this year...but for the most part, he's been quiet this year as a whole.  He ran pretty decent at the US National Mountain Championships this year, once again besting me by one place at Cranmore Mountain.  If he races more than once or twice, he's worthy of a top spot on this list for sure.  I think the only 2 guys capable of beating him are ahead of him on that list.


Continuing on this topic, Kevin Tilton, who is having a great year on the roads and in the mountains, only ran 1 snowshoe race all of last season.  He won Sidehiller up in Sandwich, NH and took me by 50 yards or so.  He too, is pretty much unbeatable if he shows his mug at the races... he told me he'd be doing a handful of them this coming year, so we'll see.  If Chris is making some predictions based on performances on the roads recently, Kevin is a solid pick.

Matt Cartier is a solid pick and is usually in the top 5 or so in each race, and last year he raced A LOT.  But this year he was hurt and he hadn't updated his training blog in ages. I hope he too will be back this season.  Chris should know, as Matt had joined acidotic late last season.

Fyffe, Nephew, Dunham, VanOrden, and Mahoney are all top 10 picks for sure and don't really require much explanation.  Justin is having an absolutely phenomenal year with numerous PRs at virtually every distance.  He will essentially be untouchable and is my pick for National Champ (there, I said it) if he runs Nationals in 2010 (no pressure man).  Ben could be a shoe-in for WMAC champion (again) just because he races a lot and wins a lot.  Top 1 or 2 for him in every race.  Dave Dunham will probably win in points for WMAC and will be on this list ever week.  Typical stuff from the funniest looking guy on the list.  Tivo needs to stay healthy and get some sleep this winter to be effective. He's always top 5 so should be on this list each week IF he can stay healthy.  Hot Chocolate Tivo...HOT chocolate...that's the key.  Tim Mahoney has been running VERY well and got stronger in the mountains this year...he is my pick to make a lot of noise this year and steal a couple of wins or top 3 spots. He should be on the list regularly.  He is another that can finish in the top 3 in points/finishes in the WMAC series.


Hopefully Steve Wolfe will be back to top form this coming season. If he is at least where he was last year, he's a top 10 guy too.  Again, he had problems this year and didn't make a lot of the races he originally planned on making due to injury.  Hopefully by December, he'll be back to top form.


Which brings me to other potential guys that should / could show up... Leigh Schmitt and Brian Rusiecki for sure.  Both of these guys are phenomenal trail/ultra runners and both won a snowshoe race last year.  If Greg Hammett (CMS) runs a couple more races this year, he's easily a top 10 guy.  He only ran 1 race (to my knowledge) last year, but if he expands his season out a few more, he'll be in contention. Corey Watts ran only 1 race last season and it was a convincing win at Turner Trail in Pittsfield.  If he isn't a 1 and done guy this year, he could make the list.  Lastly, Rhode Island (TNT) guy Bob Jackman could make the standings as the season progresses, if he stays on the course (Pooh Hill wrong turn) and doesn't get mauled by a dog (Kingman Farm dog encounter).

Of course all of this is just guys who strapped on the snowshoes last season at least once...  Who knows what new guys will give it a try this year and have a breakthrough...

Sorry about only commenting on the guys.... Abby Mahoney (CMS) is the only woman on the list above that I am familiar with and she rules, so thats about all I can say about that :).


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lone Gull 10K


After talking with DD on Saturday afternoon,  I made a last minute decision to head over to Gloucester on Sunday to try and help the team in the USATF-NE Grand Prix 10K Championships (results).  We thought we may need a 5th guy to score for us, seeing a couple of our top guys at that distance weren't going to be there.  Even though I had been struggling with severe congestion and haven't felt 100% in a couple weeks, I went thinking I would just give it a shot.  I'm glad I went down, even though it didn't go well.  If I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have known how I could have done and I would have felt even worse, knowing I didn't even try to help out the team.  As it turns out, we did have a solid 5th man and they didn't really need me.  It would have been nice to have run the same time I did exactly 1 month ago in the same type of course (at Rye).  Had I been able to do that (32:20) I would have been about 15 places higher overall and 3rd man instead of 6th man...but then again just about everyone can say a similar thing...woulda coulda shoulda... but not to be this time around.

I felt sluggish out of the gate and still went through the mile in 5:02...but then I realized, as I was pretty far back even at 5:02, that a lot of other guys were having great days out there and I was not going to be so lucky.  The 2nd mile was very slow and the 3rd was a bit faster but I still came through the 5k in 16:14 which was a couple ticks slower than my 5k split in Rye...and I knew I wasn't going to be able to run a negative split  like I did in Rye...The cramps started coming in (I haven't had a cramp in a race since I can't remember when) and my breathing was terrible.  I was rigging up badly over the last few miles and was just reaching for the line as guys continued to pass by.  I rode 5th man for CMS out of the gate, and then at about 4 miles (maybe a little more), Matt Clark motored on by me and I was done.  I gave him a little pep talk about being that last man and lit a small fire as he went by.  I hung on and wimpered to the finish line in 40th place, in my 2nd slowest 10k (33:14) since coming back, not including Bridge of Flowers (which is a very hilly / slow course).

That is now 2 bad races (2 bad Grand Prix races) in a row + a race in which I took a wrong turn...not a very good taste in my mouth over the past 2 weeks, that's for sure.  Right now my motivation is kind of low, but aside from my congestion / headaches/ breathing issues I've had for the last month, my legs and body feel really good.  I have no issues to speak of other than the sinus problems.  The hamstrings/back/hips, etc. are all fine.  My runs are going ok, although my mileage is not as high as I was wanting around now...but the important thing for me now is to recover and get back to 100% with my breathing and head issues.  This weekend I am going down to Franklin Park for what may be my only time down there this year, for some cross country fun at the Codfish Bowl.  I'm hoping I can muster a decent 8k, or at least faster than the previous 2 years.  We'll see how it goes.

On a side note, again I found myself going from very disappointed an defeated, to elated and excited when I came up on Justin Fyffe and Al B. walking back to the cars after the race.  I asked how he had done and found out that yet again, he manned up and got another top finish (3rd overall) in a Grand Prix...this time in a fleet 30:40 (4:56 pace).  This kid is on fire and has a chance for the win at Baystate.  He's all but wrapped up the overall individual title, which if he can get it, will be the first CMS individual Grand Prix title since Dave Dunham last did it in 2000.  Just nipping Justin at the line is my former MVS teammate Dan Vassallo, who is also having a great year on the roads... Big things to come from that guy as well, as he is only 24 years old...his team is loaded with talent and they had the best team showing, in my opinion, of any team at any of the GPs this year, with their 2,5,6,7,29 finish at the 10k.

In the team competition, CMS just edged out GBTC (even without my help) by 2 seconds to take the 5th spot.  Now, with only 1 event remaining (and only 3 runners scoring for it), which is the Baystate Marathon in just under 4 weeks time, it will be almost anyones guess as to who will come out on top.  Everyone of these teams (except adidas who are new this year) generally field good teams at the GP marathon. Had adidas NE fielded a team of any kind at DH Jones, and BAA scored at the 12k, the standings would no doubt look a lot different...but you've got to send guys to get the points...

Team standings (Men's Open) after 6 events:

Club
10M
13.1M
12k
5k
5M
10K
Total
GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB  
12
21
11
15
12
14
85
BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
14
22
  
17
14
18
85
CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS      
13
19
12
13
10
15
82
adidas NEW ENGLAND         
20
14
14
13
19
80
WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM      
11
17
13
12
9
16
78

For now, I've included some awesome pictures of my slow run at the Lone Gull 10k, courtesy of Ted Tyler, Kristen Kozlosky, and Stephanie Hirst.  Some of the best race photos I've seen, came out of this race...too bad it was one of my worst races of the year...



















Sunday, September 13, 2009

2010 New England / NY Snowshoe Schedule


Updated: 9/18/09 - The Granite State Snowshoe Series schedule is now officially out (thanks Chris!). With it's release (and some changes), I've blown away the other entry and worked on the completed (almost) schedule below.  The WMAC schedule still has one tentative race (South Pond) that has not been officially scheduled yet, and they are listing a holdover race but of course, that would only be used in the event of a cancellation.  Aside from that, the New England/NY snowshoe season has now come fully into focus with the release of both of the main series' schedules plus a couple of the 3C Race Productions events.

Below is the full schedule including the WMAC/Dion races, Granite State Snowshoe Series races, a couple other Eastern regional national qualifiers, and a couple of non-series events being put on by 3C.


WMAC/Dion - GSSS - Both - Non Series
** 2010 U.S. National Championship Northeast Regional Qualifier


Day
Date
Time
Race
Dist.
Location
Sun
12/27/09
10:30A
I Love Woodford
3.5M
Woodford, VT
Sat
1/2/10
TBD
Beaver Brook
5K
Hollis, NH
Sun
1/3/10
10:30A
North Pond
3.5M
Florida, MA
Sat
1/9/10
TBD
Witch City
TBD
Salem, MA
Sat
1/9/10
10A
Turner Trail
4.3M
Pittsfield, MA
Sun
1/10/10
TBD
Pat's Peak Relay
8K
Henniker, NH
Sat
1/16/10
TBD
Feel Good Farm
7K
Lyndeborough, NH
Sat
1/16/10
10A
Greylock Glen
3.9M
Adams, MA
Sun
1/17/10
TBD
Mendon Ponds Winterfest**

Mendon, NY
Sun
1/17/10
10A
Brave the Blizzard
3.8M
Guilderland, NY
Sat
1/23/10
TBD
Pooh Hill
8.5K
Madison, NH
Sat
1/23/10
10A
Hoot Toot & Whistle
3.3M
Readsboro, VT
Sun
1/24/10
10A
Curley's Record Run
4M
Pittsfield,MA
Sat
1/30/10
11A
Sidehiller**
4M
Center Sandwich, NH
Sat
2/6/10
9A
Northfield Mountain
3.8M
Northfield, MA
Sun
2/7/10
TBD
Northern VT SS Challenge**

Jeffersonville, VT
Sun
2/7/10
11A
Saratoga Winterfest
5K
Saratoga Springs,NY
Sat
2/13/10
TBD
Horse Hill
7K
Merrimack, NH
Sat
2/13/10
10:30A
Camp Saratoga**
8.25K
Wilton, NY
Sun
2/14/10
TBD
Frosty's Dash
5K
Atkinson, NH
Sat
2/20/10
10A
Hallockville Orchard
3.8M
West Hawley, MA
Sat
2/20/10
TBD
Moonlight Madness
5K
Madbury, NH
Sun
2/21/10
9:30A
Covered Bridge
4 & 13M
Adams, MA
Sat
2/27/10
TBD
Joppa Hill Sprint
2.5K &5K
Bedford, NH
Sat
2/27/10
10A
Moody Spring
5.5M
West Hawley, MA
Sat
3/6/2010
11:30A
US National Championship
10K
Syracuse, NY
Sat
3/13/10
9A
Northfield States
3 - 5M
Northfield, MA
Sun
3/14/10
TBD
Granite State Championship
TBD
Gorham, NH
Sun
3/14/10
9:30A
Hawley Kiln Notch
5M
Hawley, MA
Sat
3/20/10
4:30P
Catamount Sunset
3M
Hillsdale, NY
TBD
1/?/10
10AM
South Pond (TBD)
4M
Florida, MA
TBD
TBD
TBD
Tilda Hill (Holdover Race)
3.5M
Florida, MA

Now, looking at the NE/NY schedule, the following days have conflicts between series' or standalone events:


1/9: Witch City (non-series) and Turner Trail (WMAC)
1/16: Greylock Glen (WMAC) and Feel Good Farm (GSSS)
1/17: Mendon Ponds Winterfest (Qualifier) and Brave the Blizzard (WMAC)
1/23: Pooh Hill (GSSS) and Hoot Toot & Whislte (WMAC)
2/7: Northern VT Snowshoe Challenge (Qualifier) and Saratoga Winterfest (WMAC)
2/13: Horse Hill (GSSS) and Camp Saratoga (WMAC)
2/27: Joppa Hill (non-series) and Moody Spring (WMAC)
3/14: Granite State Championship (GSSS) and Hawley Kiln Notch (WMAC)


The following race is a double on the same day that is doable because of the start times:

2/20: - Hallockville Orchard (WMAC) and Moonlight Madness (GSSS)

I would also like to thank Chris Dunn (acidotic) for all the hard work putting together a schedule and a series that has really become a great collection of really fun, well organized events.  Also, I am very excited to see that the GSSS will be a 'Best of 5' series, which will really allow for flexibility across not only both series, but also for folks who may not have been able to make just 1 or 2 races, and therefor opted out of the series last year.  I know DD didn't do any of the GSSS last year because he likes doing series races and because he is an RD for one of the snowshoe events, he couldn't make all of the GSSS events last year.  This year, 5 out of 8 will be easy to do (unless there's a lack of snow)...  I am really looking forward to competing in both series' this year and hopefully fielding a CMS team to give Dungeon Rock and acidotic a run for their money!




Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ollie 5M

Saturday morning I met the brothers-Quintal at the river trail parking log in Andover for the ride down to South Boston to run in the Ollie 5 Mile Road Race (results) which serves once again as the USATF-New England 5 Mile Grand Prix Championship. The weather was abysmal and poured on the way down as well as during the race. Despite the steady downpour and thunder & lightning, the race went off as planned.

I immediately felt run down and tired. I hit the first mile in 5:03 and couldn't even begin to count how many guys were in front of me. I was getting smoked and felt terrible just one mile in. By mile 2, I really started to rig up and because the split was way off (2nd mile was way long) I thought I was running worse than I was and started to pack it in. Multiple guys started motoring on by me including my teammate Kevin Tilton. I tried to hang on to the back of Kevin and Patrick Rich (CMS) for the next few miles but it was just miserable and unenjoyable. I haven't been feeling well over the past couple weeks and this week I've really struggled with congestion and some fatigue. It was really catching up to me over mile 3, but because of the previous split being off, I didn't even bother looking at my 3rd mile split. It just didn't feel right and was one of those days. By mile 4, I looked curiously at my watch as I was continuing to pick off some guys who went out too fast, and saw 20:12 as I went past. I then started to realize that I probably wasn't running as bad as I thought and maybe had a chance at sub 26. The last mile was a grind. It was raining and the wind was blowing pretty good. I just hung on to the back of Kevin and Rich and finished in a mix of guys right at 25:27 for 34th place. Talk about a fast field.

I don't have a heck of a lot to say about this race in general. The course just doesn't excite me. To each his own...but I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, it's well run, well organized, it's just running around some less than impressive roads in Boston. This was technically my fastest 5 Mile since coming back to running (so my 30+ PR), but I've only run a handful of 5 milers, as the distance isn't all the common anymore, and almost never shows up on my schedule (a road 5 Miler anyways). At posting of this blog, I see that they screwed up the actual distance and it really was 4.91 miles, so I stinks. No other words to describe. A huge race. New England championship. And then mess up the mile splits and the turnaround to make the course short. Nice.

I am not really sure why I'm not particularly excited about the effort today (even when I thought it was a full 5 miles)...I have very mixed emotions. It could be because I couldn't hang with my teammates, the weather was awful, I'm not a fan of the course, I was way back in the pack, as this is a humbling New England championship, etc. There's a bunch of reasons...I think I'm just tired right now and wasn't really up for it. I wanted to run low 25 and even had dreams about going under....I would like to think that if I was feeling better I would have really done something special here...but it just wasn't to be.

On the absolute opposite end of the spectrum, Justin Fyffe (our top guy on CMS) absolutely ripped it up out there today. I didn't have a smile on my face for just about the entire day, until I came across the line and saw him standing there, and asked him how he did. When he told me that he ran 23:54 and came in 3rd in practically a photo finish, I was elated. That is absolutely incredible to see and I'm thrilled that he pulled that effort out in his FIRST 5 Miler ever. That kid is a hard worker and if anyone deserves that performance, it is him.

As a team, we finished 5th, which isn't too bad. We've been in the top 5 teams all year and continue to roll.

Top 10 Overall + CMS (Men) in Blue:


Place
Time
Pace
Name
Age
City/StateClub
1
23:53
4:52
Joseph Koech
40
Somerville MA RUN
2
23:53
4:52
Patrick Mellea
23
North Arlington NJ
3
23:54
4:52
Justin Fyffe
29
East Dummerston VTCMS
4
24:00
4:54
Mathew Kiplagat
26
New Rochelle NY WCTC
5
24:02
4:54
Mark Miller
28
Keene NH BAA
6
24:08
4:55
Ryan Place
23
Brighton MA GBTC
7
24:12
4:56
Brian Harvey
22
Allston MA BAA
8
24:15
4:57
Paul Ryan
29
Cambridge MA WHIRL
9
24:20
4:58
Curtis Wheeler
23
Buxton ME ADIDAS
10
24:20
4:58
Nicholas Wheeler
23
Gorham ME ADIDAS
29
25:21
5:10
Patrick Rich
33
South Hamilton MA CMS
31
25:22
5:10
Kevin Tilton
27
North Conway NH CMS
34
25:27
5:11
Jim Johnson
32
Salem NH CMS
43
25:48
5:16
Andy McCarron
26
Keene NH CMS
47
25:58
5:18
Alan Bernier
35
Providence RI CMS
50
26:06
5:19
Matt Clark
26
Amherst MA CMS
70
27:06
5:32
Dan Verrington
47
Bradford MA CMS
76
27:24
5:35
Jim Pawlicki
34
Beverly MA CMS
80
27:58
5:42
David Quintal
46
Salem NH CMS
99
28:36
5:50
Dave Dunham
45
Bradford MA CMS
116
29:31
6:01
Michael Quintal
31
North Andover MA CMS
147
30:37
6:15
Kevin Connor
45
CMS
204
32:39
6:39
Brian Specht
47
Princeton MA CMS
227
33:33
6:50
Edward Coleman
46
Auburn MA CMS
256
34:19
7:00
Sidney Letendre
54
Florence MA CMS

Awesome race photos by Krissy K at her SmugMug page. Thanks Krissy! All Ollie Photos presented in this entry are from this photoset.







After Ollie, I shot home for a bit (a couple hours) and then headed up to Newington, NH to run in the Fox Point Sunset 5 Miler, which is 6th race of 8 in the Seacoast Road Race Series. I did this double last year in the oppressive heat and humidity of one of the hottest days of the summer. I will pretty much say nothing more about this race, other than the fact that the weather continued to be garbage, I still wasn't feeling good, and I took a WRONG TURN about 2.5 miles into the race. My plan was to just go up there, run for 3rd place (because series leader and elite US marathoner John Mentzer was there, along with Kevin Alliette, who are not only both far faster than I at that distance, but they also had fresh legs). All was going fine. I went through 1 mile in 5:07 and was nowhere close to them, but had an out of sight (literally) lead on the next guy. I hit 2 miles in 10:20's high and felt fine. Then, I came to an intersection after coming up on lapped runners (it's a loop course at the beginning), and there was NO volunteers there. It was incredible. A race with tons of volunteers in a great and popular series, and there wasn't a soul at the intersection (or a sign) except for a police officer who was there for traffic control only and not to point runners in the right direction. Confused, I took a right and went with the lapped traffic. I ran down the hill and to the 1 mile marker (again). At that point, I came up on the guy calling out splits and asked him as I went by. He said 'no no, you go the other way on the second loop'. Well, I immediately hit boiling point. I shouted a few explatives to myself and turned around to look up the hill and see 7 or 8 guys all now ahead of me, taking that turn. It took my another mile or so to catch and pass everyone again. At this point, my race was trashed. I actually wasn't sure I'd be able to make up the ground on all the guys, but finally passed the last guy at about 3.5 and hung on to finish 3rd, but not by much. Just a horrible experience. I feel bad for making somewhat of a scene after the race and complaining about it, seeing the course was mapped out online, but still...in a race like that, with loops and 800 runners, you need signs and at least one volunteer at every intersection. I still got the third and the third place money and called it a day at 19 miles total. On the way home, I drove the turn and figured out that it was just over .3 miles extra and took me a good couple minutes (I had to run back up the hill to get back on course). I think the effort would have yielded me 26 mid, but it is again, what it is. 2 extra minutes or so of running...but same place I would have gotten. Mentzer ripped it up and set the course record with a 24:52 and Kevin was not too far behind in a fleet 25:05.

Not a memorable day for anything positive, except for maybe 30+ PRing in a SHORT 5 miles. I am beat and need some rest and to get healthy by next week's 10k championship. That's all I got for now.