Saturday, January 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k

Friday 01/01/2010 - Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k

I rolled in the new year with a new race for me... The 32nd Annual Peanut Butter Chip Chase (results) in Temple, NH.  I've seen the results for this race over the past couple years and noticed how slow the times have been. I discussed this with Steve Wolfe, who has run this race approximately 9 or so times in the
past and the consensus has been a combination of a very hilly course and slick/snowy/cold conditions.  I found out just how hilly and slow this course was, first hand on Friday morning.  It made for a very fun and different 5k for sure.

I arrived in 'downtown' Temple, NH and registered for the race at the town hall, which has THE nicest bathroom I've ever seen at a race (upstairs) and met up w/ Wolfey. He was really the only one I recognized out of the 162 brave souls.  We headed out and did the course ahead of time as a warmup.  This is where I saw that the entire first mile and a quarter are mostly uphill (see the course elevation here, courtesy of Steve Wolfe).  After that, there is some nice downhill, but unfortunately half of it is on a dirt road that was all snowpacked, so you really can't get a good rhythm going.  There are a couple smaller inclines on the dirt road and then it dumps out onto the pavement for the last quarter mile or so.  The last .1 miles were uphill to the finish and probably a bit long at that.  After the warmup, Steve and I did a quick change and were off to the starting line.

As the gun went off it was immediately up the hill.  I haven't run a road 5k since the week after the Baystate Marathon and my body wasn't really liking the quick pace but I chugged up the hill and out to an early lead.  There was company for close to the first mile as I could hear the second place guy's footfalls behind me through almost the first mile marker.  Right as I came up to the first mile marker (about 10 seconds before), I glanced at my watch, fully expecting to see 6:20 or so... I was shocked to see 4:57 and cruised through the mile in 5:07, which was completely unexpected.  I then realized I probably wasn't in as bad a shape as I thought I was in (or the mile marker was off :) )...I'd like to think the first.  As I hit the first of 3 turns, at the top of the hill, I looked and didn't really see anyone behind me.  I knew at that point, it was mostly all downhill and I started to hammer (or at least I thought I was).  There was a decent stretch of downhill road and then it turns to a twisting, turning, up and down dirt road that was all caked with snow and packed down.  It would have been great snowshoe running.  That slowed me way down and I went through 2 miles in 10:19, but I was still happy with the run to that point.  After the slower snowy section, I took the last turn onto the main road and had to chug up one of the hardest last .1's of a 5k, which HAD to have been long (as it took me a full 56 seconds!!!).  I came in in 16:36, which is the fastest time I've seen at this race in all the results that are posted up on Coolrunning since 1995.  I'm not sure if there were faster times before that, but the quickest time previously (post 1995) was John Little's 17:09 in 2007 and Kevin Beck's 17:10 run in 2001.

After the race, Steve and I headed out in the reverse direction and did the course again as a cooldown.  The weather was decent overall as the temperatures were pretty mild and the road conditions were actually good (according to people who have actually run this race in the past).  For my efforts, I got a sweet peanut butter chip medal (pictured to the left) and a certificate for a full body European massage (which I will most likely be giving to Kristin to use).  As I was walking back to my car I started to notice my back stiffening up and on the verge of spasming.  My hamstrings and calves were starting to feel tight and I knew it would be an interesting ride home (as my back tends to spasm on longer rides home after races).  My back held up ok, but my right foot began to kill.  My PF issues on the right side have been getting worse and it flares up pretty good after racing (which is about once a week).

Top 10 of 162

116:365:22JIM JOHNSON      32SALEM NH
318:396:01CHRIS REILLY    23Keene NH
519:066:10STEVE WOLFE     45Merrimac NH
620:276:36NATHANAEL PIKE  16Nashua NH
821:006:47PETE HEBERT     52TEMPLE NH
921:216:53RICHARD KEATING 51Belchertown MA

Working on the writeup for Saturday's snowshoe race and will have the post up soon.  Happy New Year to all.  I am still on pace for 365 races this year ;).

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