Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler

Tuesday night was my 3rd run over at the Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler (results) in Newburyport, MA. A couple of years ago, this was the USATF-NE Grand Prix 10 mile championship, but it has always gotten a large, competitive field (even in non-championship years).  This year, the field was pretty good, including a slew of Kenyan runners, Patrick Tarpy, and Kim Smith (NZL).

Kristin and I got to the race a bit early so I could register and avoid the insane post-registration scene.  I got to shoot
the breeze w/ a bunch of the usuals including my high school coach, John Dicomandrea (83 years young) who was one of only 4 people still alive that ran in the first Yankee Homecoming race 50 years ago!  38 souls were on the line that day and he was one of 4 they invited back to run in the 5th anniversary race this year, which saw 1934 runners run the 5k and 1396 run the 10 miler.  Coach 'Deek' was 1643 of 1934!  Not bad for 83 years young!  I went off for a warmup w/ Dan Verrington, Dan Navaroli, and Mike Quintal over the beginning of the course.  It was a warm night, but not quite as hot and humid as last year's race.

As the gun went off, I let everyone and their mother go.  I sat back and literally almost jogged the first mile (at least it felt that way)... Usually I go out at 5:06-5:07 in this race and that's all she wrote by 3 miles... This year, I promised myself I'd hang back and literally not even race until near half way.  By then, I'd still be going the same pace as I started out at (hopefully) but it would be faster than previous years, where I was way slower over the 2nd half because of a fast first mile..  I literally hung back next to Heidi Westover for the whole first mile +.  Looking up, the lead pack (Kenyans and Tarpy plus maybe one or two others) was way up there, with Kim Smith in tow...then a gap....then a pack of 12-15 GBTC, Whirlaway, CMS runners and some others.  I was going to have no part of that early pack running. I came through the first mile a bit slower than I wanted and actually panicked a little bit.  I wanted to do 5:20s and was close, but a bit slow.  But then I figured the pack up ahead was 10-15 seconds faster than that, and the leaders were well under 4:50.  

By two miles, I was probably the furthest back behind that big pack and couldn't even see the leaders anymore, but I felt very relaxed and very comfortable.  I passed some guys here and there and broke away from Heidi.  I noticed nobody was really coming with me and I was moving forward without any real help. I went through in 10:43, which was OK, but typically I'd be panicking by this point, that I was blowing the race...but because I felt nice and comfortable, I knew I could hopefully maintain the pace, which would lead to pickoffs later on in the race...

By 3 miles, I had caught up to Mike Quintal (CMS) and Dan Navaroli (CMS).  I think Dan and I went right through 3 together and Mike was just ahead.  My 4th mile was slow because of the hills and because you had weaved through a massive influx of back of the pack 5k runners. At one point, I had to yell up to get people to move out of the way, so we could squeeze through an area between an ambulance and parked cars, that was filled with 5k-ers.

By 4 miles I was passing Mike Slinskey (former multiple winner of this race), Chris Mahoney (WHIRL), and Ryan Aschbrenner (GBTC).  They were all in a pack and I rolled up past.  It took a while to go past that crew, who seemed to come along for the ride.  After that, I pulled on past Titus Mutinda (RUN) somewhere around 5 miles (maybe a bit after).  Titus had gone out in the lead and usually goes out very fast.  After Titus I eventually caught up to another very good masters Kenyan runner in Joseph Ekuom (RUN - NY) who had also gone out very fast and was having problems over the latter stages of the course.

After going past Joseph, I set my sights on a quasi-spread-out grouping of Patrick Rich (CMS), Mark Hudson (WHIRL), and Jose Ortiz (WHIRL), who had gone out way too hard (I warned him before the race!)... Through the stretch along the Maudsley entrance, I slowly crept up on Patrick and passed by.  I then caught up to Mark on an uphill and he hooked on to me.  This guy is really strong and was really the only one that was able to adjust his pace and race and come with me...  We came up past Jose who also picked up the pace a bit and rebounded.  As we took the turn onto the last main section that eventually turns into High Street, it was me, Mark, and Jose, with Patrick not too far behind.  

As we approached the section that goes up and over the highway, Mark and I broke away a bit and were now running side by side.  Jose wasn't too far back, but was fading a little bit.  Patrick was further back and seemingly out of contention (or so I thought!).  Mark and I clicked through mile 9 and I really figured it was going to be all him in the last mile.  I even told him to go after Brandon Newbould, who was in sight and seemingly catchable around 8.5/9 miles.  For the entire last mile on High Street, I kept looking back as I matched strides with Mark, and saw Patrick Rich gunning us down.  I mean he was coming up to us like we were standing still.  I kept looking at my watch trying to figure out how much race was left and if I had enough space to outlast his charge.  I knew, at the pace I was going at, the answer was no.  As Mark and I got closer and closer to the finish, he would creep up a step or two on me.  Then I'd come back up next to him.  When we hit the final turn that leads down the road for a few seconds before climbing up and back behind the school, Patrick had caught us.  I immediately put the sprint on and had deja vu of last year....Last year at the very same spot, I outkicked Patrick.  The exact same scenario (just a bit slower time and a couple places worse)...  I took off around the corner and Patrick came with me and passed Mark.  I forgot about that last uphill and panicked a little bit but hammered up and onto the grass for the last kick to the finish.  Patrick was right behind, but had no doubt used up all his energy catching Mark and I over the last mile.  He HAD to have run close to 5 minutes on that last mile, as I put in a 5:17 effort to just outrun him by only 2 seconds (last year I beat him by 3 seconds).  

In the end, I finished 9th overall...which is very good for this race (and a guy like me).  Top 10 here is usually a good showing for sure.  I am happy that I ran a very even race, placed as high as I did, and won my age group (the very weak 30-34 age group) again for the 2nd year in a row.  Only one runner beat me that was older than me (Joseph Koech - 41).

Splits (10 Miles):

Mile 01) 5:23
Mile 02) 5:20 (10:43)
Mile 03) 5:25 (16:08)
Mile 04) 5:34 (21:42)
Mile 05) 5:25 (27:08)
Mile 06) 5:34 (32:43)
Mile 07) 5:20 (38:03)
Mile 08) 5:31 (43:34)
Mile 09) 5:26 (49:01)
Mile 10) 5:17 (54:18)

5 Mile Splits: 27:08 / 27:10

Top 20 (Plus CMS Men in Blue)

1 Denboba Derese    28BRONX           NY   49:194:56RETAILERS UNION          
2 Patrick Tarpy     28YARMOUTH        ME   51:195:08                         
3 Tim Richard       22ATTLEBORO       MA   53:105:19                         
4 Kimberly Smith    28PROVIDENCE      RI   53:105:19                         
5 Peter Mallet      27HOOKSETT        NH   53:205:20CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS    
6 Matthew Haringa   26BRIGHTON        MA   53:225:21GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB
7 Joseph Koech      41CHELMSFORD      MA   53:265:21RETAILERS UNION          
8 Brandon Newbould  28NOTTINGHAM      NH   53:595:24WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM    
9 Jim Johnson       33SALEM           NH   54:185:26CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS
10 Patrick Rich     33 S HAMILTON      MA  54:20  5:26 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
11 Mark Hudson            READING         MA  54:23  5:27 WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM   
12 Jose Ortiz       21 METHUEN         MA  54:54  5:30 WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM   
13 Chris Mahoney    32 HAVERHILL       MA  55:13  5:32 WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM   
14 Mike Quintal     32 NORTH ANDOVER   MA  55:26  5:33 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
15 Ryan Aschbrenner 33 WALTHAM         MA  55:31  5:34 GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB
16 Joseph Ekuom     40 NEW PALTZ       NY  55:40  5:34 RETAILERS UNION         
17 Daniel Navaroli  28 AUBURN          MA  55:44  5:35 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
18 Titus Mutinda    45 LOWELL          MA  55:50  5:35 RETAILERS UNION         
19 Mike Slinskey    41 HOPEWELL JCT.   NY  56:32  5:40                          
20 Greg Krathwohl   19 IPSWICH         MA  56:41  5:41
30 Dan Verrington   48 HAVERHILL       MA  58:57  5:54 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
44 Larry Sayers     50 BELLOWS FALLS   VT 1:01:346:10CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
164 Kevin Fallon    42W BOYLSTON      MA 1:11:207:08CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
283 Joseph Alfano   44HOLDEN          MA 1:15:457:35CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
284 Jim Grady       48AUBURN          MA 1:15:467:35CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
374 Joe Hall        55NEWPORT         RI 1:18:467:53CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
487 Peter McCarron  58LUNENBURG       MA 1:22:208:14CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   
710 David Sorrells  51HARVARD         MA 1:27:448:47CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS   

I'm also thrilled that we won the USATF Team Title here against 13 other full squads including a very good Whirlaway and GBTC team.

  Male Open Team Results:
53:20 54:18 54:20 55:26 55:44 = 4:33:08
3643 Peter Mallett 27, 3066 Jim Johnson 33, 672 Patrick Rich 33,
3062 Mike Quintal 32, 3242 Daniel Navaroli 28

53:59 54:23 54:54 55:13 58:04 = 4:36:33
3012 Brandon Newbould 28, 3273 Mark Hudson , 2983 Jose Ortiz 21,
3194 Chris Mahoney 32, 2269 Mark Gibson 43
53:22 55:31 58:22 59:50 1:00:34 = 4:47:39
3279 Matthew Haringa 26, 3555 Ryan Aschbrenner 33, 3060 Ian Lambe
27, 3440 Mike Piek 35, 3086 Chris Smith 36
57:25 1:00:29 1:01:45 1:02:53 1:13:09 = 5:15:41
3109 Wayne Levy 45, 3324 Anthony Crudale 33, 1959 Michael McGrane
40, 1184 Michael Correia 29, 883 David Rein 61
57:09 58:15 1:00:47 1:09:11 1:10:35 = 5:15:57
1668 Joe O'Leary 42, 2206 Jeff Morse 31, 3529 Jason
McDonough-Hughes 32, 1598 Matthew Grymek 31, 1267 Andrew Schneider 34

14 Total Teams Scored.

Special thanks to Bob Wiles (CMS) and his family for a great post-race tent gathering that included sandwiches, fruit, snacks, drinks, and good times...  Very much appreciated!!!  I'd also like to thank Bob for NOT running in the race this year, so I could finish in the single digits.

One last thing...Pete Mallet (CMS) ran his arse off in his first 10 miler... That kid emptied the tank and when I finished, he was on the ground, surrounded by EMT's.  That's the way to race!  Way to go kid....

Next up is probably the York 5k in York, ME this Sunday, as part of the Seacoast Road Race Series.  I am just trying to hang on to 3rd place in the series (or work my way up to finish 3rd that is) behind John Mentzer and Bob 'Don't call it a comeback' Wiles.  I was 2nd last year (to Mentzer who just toyed with me for 1.5 before showing me who was boss) and won it in 2008 (before people knew about the race) :)....