Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Week Races Part 1 - Derry Turkey Trot

I had my fair share of turkey trots this Thanksgiving, to choose from... but I chose to stay local over my planned Rochester, NH or Wakefield, MA runs and do the Derry Turkey Trot (results) instead.  Good thing I stayed away from Rochester, as I would have butted heads with Scotty Rowe...but going to Derry didn't do me any better, as I ran into a supposedly 'out of shape' John Mortimer, but it was all good...
I got a good effort in and was happy to come out of it relatively unscathed.

I shot 10 minutes up the road to Beaver Lake in Derry, NH to run the Greater Derry Track Club's 37th Annual Turkey Trot.  This year, they had over 1500 finishers, making it the largest Thanksgiving Day race in the state of New Hampshire.  As I warmed up over part of the course and along route 102, I noticed a ton of fast looking dudes who mostly looked to be college runners who were no doubt back in the area for the holiday and looking to burn off some cafeteria food.  I knew John Mortimer (whom I have interestingly enough only raced once ever, back in 1994 at Foot Locker Northeast Regionals in the Bronx, NY) was there and supposedly not really in tip top shape (according to sources).  I knew it didn't matter if he was in shape or whether he was 100 lbs overweight, he'd still find a way to squeak out a win on his home course (for which he holds one of his many CRs). Once I ran up and toed the line, I found myself about 2-3 guys back on the line, surrounded by a slew of guys who looked like they were ready to blast 15-something over this relatively hilly race around Beaver Lake.  After some technical difficulties w/ the National Anthem (a-la Baystate Marathon), we all sang in unison and then the race got underway.

I quickly found myself with a lead pack of maybe 8 guys as the race headed down 102.  As we turned onto N.Shore rd, John was up front with Andrew Sears (Keene State) and was just sitting and waiting.  I jockeyed for position for a bit and was going back and forth between 4th and 5th place when John took off (shortly before the mile).  I clicked through in a pedestrian 5:06 and was in 5th place or so. Right after the 1 mile mark, for anyone who has run this or the Foot Health 5k (same course), you know, the course goes straight up a pretty good hill for almost an entire mile.  I actually got passed here by one guy and passed another couple as I took the hill somewhat forcefully (but was still losing John who was just cruising).

As I reached the top of the hill and clicked through 2 miles in 10:30 (for a whoppping 5:24 uphill mile), I passed another guy and found myself working towards 2nd place, with only one guy between me and John (a guy who had passed me on the climb).  The last mile is downhill almost entirely, with maybe only two small uphills right before the last road.  I quickly caught the 2nd place guy and held 2nd for a brief while before Pete Najem (Keene State) flew by me for the first time.  Pete won this race last year and has wheels (he's an 800/1500 specialist).   On the first of 2 uphills in the last mile, I caught Pete again and was able to charge by.  At that point, I knew I could hang on if I could put a little bit of daylight on Pete before we both reached 'kicking distance' (at which point, he'd smoke me).

As I turned onto Pond Rd and was within earshot of the announcer and with the finish line in sight through some trees, I noticed I had gained quite a bit of ground on John who was either fading a bit over the last mile or was just mailing it in with the win.  In either case, I was excited to see that I had gained a lot of ground on him and was doing all I could to hold off Pete, who was only a few seconds behind. I kicked it in to a relatively mediocre 16:01, but in the end happy to have been in the hunt and actually competitive in a pretty good field of guys.  Most importantly, I was happy that I was able to race on my foot and ankle, which has not felt good at all this month.  There was only slight discomfort during the actual race (although it took me a while to actually warm it up).

Top 10 Overall:

Place Name Age City/State Time Pace
1 John Mortimer    34 GRANTHAM NH  15:53 5:08
2 Jim Johnson      33 SALEM NH  16:01 5:10
3 Peter Najem      24 DERRY NH  16:04 5:11
4 Andrew Sears     19 DERRY NH  16:08 5:13
5 Jake Hawkins     18 HAMPSTEAD NH  16:15 5:15
6 Ryan Busby       21 DERRY NH  16:21 5:17
7 Benjamin Dutton  17 SALEM NH  16:44 5:24
8 Todd Swenson     30 SOMERVILLE MA  16:48 5:26
9 Mike Giberti     18 DERRY NH  16:54 5:27
10 Jonathan Sears   20 CHESTER NH  17:01 5:30

1573 Total Finishers.

After a cooldown over the course again w/ Andrew Sears and Pete Najem, I collected my 2nd frozen turkey of November and headed home...

Part 2 - Andover CC XC to come...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Training 11-22 to 11-28

Wrap Up: 61 Miles with a couple of short 5,6 days.  Not a bad week considering... I really like to get 70 at least, but not the way things have been going and not the way I only run singles... I've been pretty sick this week w/ a throat issue and some congestion... couple that with my foot issues that have kept me from racing,  and I've just felt disconnected.  It was good to get back out there and race this week (twice).  I lost to two great runners in the span of 4 days but was competitive in those races, even if the times weren't that fast.  Looking forward to 2011 and getting the early part of the winter out of the way...November/early December is always a time where I pop up with some sort of ailment, miss days, put on lbs, and almost turn back into my old self.  Am I the only one? ;)

Weekly Mileage: 61.2
Monthly Mileage: 228 (heading for a year-low for a monthly total)...
YTD Mileage: 3147.7

11-28 - Sunday: 10 Miles (roads and grass) - Andover, MA.  3 mile warmup w/ CMS contingent (roads) before the Andover Country Club XC race (~24:00) plus .5 strides and warming up before the race + 3.5M XC race (18:21) + 3 mile cooldown w/ CMS boys (roads) (~24:00).

11-27 - Saturday: 10 Miles (trails) - Andover, MA.  The rivah once again. This time I wasn't messing around.  32:50 out, 31:43 back. 1:04:33. I wonder how many more times I can run that trail before I go insane.  Not a bad run considering I got faced last night... feet felt better today than they have in months.  Good sign.  Leaves on the hills really slow things down...

11-26 - Friday: 5 Miles - roads in Salem, Methuen.  Solo.  Got in an easy run before heading off to my 15 year class reunion (Wakefield H.S.) 35:19.  November is going to end up being an official wash...rebuilding period....rest month...etc.

L-R: Mike Khachadoorian (Hurdles, Sprints), Brian Burns (soccer), JJ (distance, mid-distance, xc, hurdles), Matt Sullivan (distance, mid-distance, xc, eating my dust).

11-25 - Thursday: 10 Miles - ~ 4 mile warmup before Derry Turkey Trot + 5k race (16:01 / 2nd OA) + 5k cooldown.  Warmed up solo over some of the course + some other roads around the lake in Derry, NH.  Needed to loosen up the achillies and the foot a little bit more than usual to be able to race.  Haven't raced since the beginning of the month and I felt really flat and tight over a relatively slow course.  Race writeup to come.  Cooled down over the course w/ Pete Najem and another guy from BU.

11-24 - Wednesday: 6Miles at Winni in Haverhill (trails). 3 basin bangs solo + 3 w/ DD.  Was going to do another 5 w/ DV and DD but cut it short. Achillies wasn't feeling that great.

11-23 - Tuesday: 10Miles at Winni in Haverhill (trails).  2 basin bangs w/ DD + 5 loop with Verrington and DD + 3 solo basin bangs in the dark. Nice and easy (when isn't it nice and easy with these guys?)...1:13:50.

11-22 - Monday: 10 Miles in the river trail very very easy (1:18).  Slowest run in a while, but felt good as my quads were still a bit sore from Saturday's long run up in NH w/ Kevin Tilton.  Gonna continue to take it easy and will race 'somewhere' on Thursday (haven't raced in a couple weeks) for fun and then most likely this weekend just for something to do...I am stalled out at 60 races for the year and can still overtake my total from 2009 of 63 with a couple more this month and then some snowshoe action starting in December.  I will not be shelling out $30 for the usual Thanksgiving race I've been running, which is just too much for a VERY congested 5k/5M with no prize money...It's time for a change of pace...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Training 11-15 to 11-21

Wrap Up: 76.2 Miles in 6 days (w/ Sunday off as I was away all day).  Good week for me coming off of a wash of a week last week because of my feet.  I still have issues and will be addressing them as best I can while still trying to hold onto some fitness and enjoying myself.  Huge kudos to Danny V (the young DV) and another local guy, Dave Bedoya, who both killed it down in Philadelphia this weekend.  Proud of those guys.

11-20- Saturday: 28 Miles - N.Conway, NH with Kevin Tilton. Green Hills run from Kevin's house to Hurricane Mt. Road via Rattlesnake Mtn (1575 ft.), Middle Mtn (1801 ft.), Peaked Mtn (1673 ft.), and Black Cap (2356 ft.) then back.  Very cool run through Redstone. We got to see all the old Quarry machinery and leftover buildings.  We parked my car on Hurricane Mtn. road and went back to Kevin's house to start from there.  It took us about 2:32 to get to my car, then 2:47 to get back (mostly because I was having a tough time on the climbs, especially the one back up Black Cap from Hurricane Mt. Rd.). Total time for the run was 5:19 and change (running time).  We were out for a total of about 6 hrs including the stop at the car and a few stops mainly on the summits for water and some quick pictues.   My hamstrings, ankles, plantar fascia, hips, lower back, and butt were all killing me at 14 miles and not too long after we turned around to head back, I started to bonk.  I kept it together on the way back better than I thought and had enough gels to get me through and rebound.  Water was a different story.  I ran out of water on the way out, but got to refill at my car.  On the way back, I was out before halfway.  I filled my bottle in a small stream because I was desperate.  Kevin told me I'd get beaver fever from drinking it. I took my chances.  Now I'm nervous as hell.  There were steady snow flurries and powerful wind gusts in the higher elevations and it was probably in the low 30s the whole time.  We got out of the trails and back onto the road (about 2.5 miles from Kevin's house) just as it got completely dark....timing it basically perfectly.  I'll post some photos/short vids tomorrow sometime.  I hope my stomach isn't killing me tomorrow...

11-19 - Friday: 7 Miles - Winni Trails - Haverhill.  2 bangs around the basin (solo) + 5 loop w/ DD.

11-18 - Thursday: 11.2 Miles - N.Andover/Andover roads from Merrimack w/ Birdy's brother and Team Healey. MQ pushed the pace the whole time, running like a crazy person with no headlamp.  PF on right foot was my only issue and it wasn't even that bad...better than usual actually. 1:12:01.

Splits from Mike's Garmin: 7:19, 6:47, 6:44, 6:37, 6:28, 6:12, 6:29, 6:24, 6:29, 6:48, 5:51.

11-17 - Wednesday: 10 Miles - Winni trails in Haverhill.  Turned out to be a really nice afternoon.  Glad I waited to run.  First 2 bangs around the basin with DD and Matt Simpson + the 5 loop with Dan Verrington, DD, and Matt + 3 additional basin loops solo.  1:10:48.

I voted (not sure why) for the GP races today at the USATF-NE site.

Five of the men's races were already picked:

Sunday, March 20    New Bedford Half Marathon        New Bedford, MA
Sunday, May 8         Medical Center 6K                        Nashua NH
Sunday, June 5         Rhody 5K (men only)                   Lincoln RI

Sunday, July 17        Stowe 8 Miler                               Stowe VT

Saturday, July 30      Carver Cranberry 5 Mile               Carver MA

I most likely won't be able to do the 5k or the 5M, so that stinks...

Essentially we are only voting on (besides the women's 5k):

10 km Championship

  • Sunday, May 1   -  James Joyce Ramble - Dedham, MA
  • Saturday, June 12  -  Newton 10K - Newton, MA

Marathon Championship

  • Sunday, October 16   -  Amica Marathon - Newport, RI
  • Sunday, October 30   -  Cape Cod Marathon - Falmouth, MA

I voted for the James Joyce Ramble for a few reasons.

Basically the Newton 10k is in the summer, which is fine, but it's the same day as one of my favorite races/days of the year (Market Square Day).  If Newton gets picked, I will not be in attendance.  James Joyce is 1 week before the 6k, yes, but Newton is 1 week after the 5k, so it's basically a wash in that respect.  They both butt right up against another race.  The James Joyce ramble may not get picked because it's 13 days after Boston, but I think that is enough time for me and it certainly isn't going to affect too too many people who want to rip a fast 10k…If it was a 30k or half marathon, the audience running both Boston and that race may be larger, but a 10k it is safe to say, will be a different type of audience for the most part.  James Joyce is an established race.  It was last held as a GP in 2001 and 2002.

In 2001, CMS placed 2nd behind Reebok Boston.

 2.    2:36:56   Central Mass Striders                
        (30:38) Eric Morse  (30:44) Dave Dunham  (31:44) Larry Sayers  (31:45) Kevin Beck  (32:05) Al Bernier

In 2002, CMS placed 3rd behind Reebok Boston and BAA.

  3.   2:38:50   Central Mass Striders
        (30:41) Paul Low  (31:11) Eric Morse  (32:09) Al Bernier  (32:13) Rod Viens  (32:36) Richard Bolt

I also voted for the Amica Marathon because 1) it's earlier in October and 2) Cape Cod isn't exactly fast and I hear it can be windy and tough in spots…I know nothing about Amica, but I went against my instinct above and voted against the established race (as Cape Cod has hosted the marathon championships for USATF-NE many times. Either way, I won't be disappointed.  I like Baystate, but I've run it 3 Octobers in a row.  It's time for a change and whatever wins, will be a change so I'm content with either of these two choices.

11-16 - Tuesday: 10 Miles - River trail from the hotel, Andover, MA. 1:05:43 (out in 33:35 and back in 32:08)... felt better on this one, but pushed it a bit more to see where I was at.  Interestingly enough, at the beginning things were worse than yesterday, but then everything warmed/loosened up.  Near the end, my LEFT foot started to cramp.  The issue last week was my right.  Never before have I had these cramps...all of the sudden, both feet.  Thoughts?  In either case, it felt good to crank out there again and I wish it was the summer again when running on those trails... too many leaves, especially on the downhills...very slick out there.

On a different note... Looking back 15 years ago this month (it is not often I get to do this, considering 5 or 10 years ago I wasn't even running...but 15 years ago I was!!)... to the left is yours truly, keeping pace (or trying to anyways) with Andy Bengston of Keene State.  Andy was a great guy and someone I keyed off of for a couple years in just about every race I ran...we were always pretty close together and sometimes I'd beat him but most of the time I seem to remember him just edging me out (he ended up running for CMS in the late 90s... but then again, doesn't everybody at some point run for CMS?).

This was up in Saratoga Springs, NY at the College of St. Rose for the 1995 East Regional Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships.  Back then, it wasn't the 'Northeast' or 'New England'.  It was the 'East'.  This meant NY, Ohio, PA, etc.  The region was much deeper.  Also, Keene and a couple other schools (like Albany, etc.) were in Div 2 at the time.  I ended up finishing 19th here in a pretty tight race.  It was probably my best regional race.  Interestingly enough I can't find any results for 3 of the 4 regionals I ran in College.  Maybe that's a good thing. Considering I never really ran that fast anyways...but I did have a decent Freshman year and Senior year (until Senior year regionals where I led for a couple miles and then tanked)... By the way...our uniforms were TERRIBLE back then....the first 2 years I was there were the worst 2 years of UML uniforms I've ever seen.....

11-15 - Monday: 10 Miles - River trail from the ritzy Wyndham hotel along side picturesque I-93 North in Andover, MA. 1:12:20.  Threw the inserts back in my shoes and really took it easy, but it felt great getting back out there and actually running.  Even though I had issues most of the way, I felt good.  4 days off last week and basically a wash of a week really derailed me mentally.  It was just really good to get out there again and feel normal again.  I wanted to get an early run in but I had to back out.  Those may have to wait a bit, as the morning is really bad on my feet.  I can barely walk and it takes me literally a few minutes of stretching and massaging my feet before I can put them on the ground and get out of bed... its loosens up as the day progresses, so my morning run routine (that I haven't really started yet anyways) will have to wait.  As far as my afternoon trek through the remote Andover trail system...tons of leaves on the trail made it very slow on the downhills.  Just really cruised and took my time.  I think I was out in 36:23 or so (quickly glanced at my watch) and back in 35:57.  Not a bad effort for thinking I have major problems with my feet (yes both feet).  My ankles are really sore and stiff (cracking now constantly) and my PF on both feet are killing me and my heel on my right foot hurts like hell if I even look at it wrong.  Couple all this with foot cramps now for some reason, on both feet.  Not good but they feel better after basically a week down and constant ice, advil, massage, epsom soaks, and some night splint usage...oh yeah, and stretching...don't forget stretching...

It was essentially back to basics here as I try to ease my way back into a full week of running (easy to say when it's still only Monday)... to fall inline with most of the other folks out here in the blogosphere, I will TRY to post my weekly exploits a-la one continuous post that is updated daily and only really interesting on it's last day...but on this daily basis I will try to do so with a more in-depth look at the horror-show that is currently me.

For those of you who are still eating, here are a couple snapshots of my feet (more specifically my toes) in their current condition.  For those counting at home, before the big one blew off of my left foot (right before I snapped this photo of it still hanging on), I had six toes that were rocking the purple toenails and only 4 left (2 per foot) that hadn't gone purple just yet (and I stress yet).


If you think they are bad, check out this video of Mike Wardian after the Marathon de Sables this year.  This doesn't quite rival Mike Quintal's post Mt. Washington / Bridge of Flowers epic blister scene, where literally the bottom of his entire foot came off, but it's still pretty sweet....

Friday, November 12, 2010

VT Run with the Keenyans

Not much to write about as far as running goes right now...This past weekend, on Sunday I headed over to Justin Fyffe's humble abode in E.Dummerston, VT.  I met up with him, 1/2 of the Pisgah Twins, and Josh Ferenc (CMS wanna-be who insists the BAA still wants him).  The plan was to run from Josh's house somewhere on the VT/NH border, south to Justin's all on trails (with the exception of the last 4-5 miles, which were a combination of dirt and paved roads).   The run was great for the most part, as we started from Josh's house and made our way across some ridges, up a couple of peaks, and over some pretty challenging terrain.  The first 20 minutes or so of the run was the toughest.  Josh lives at the base of this ungodly hill.  I wiped out about 3 minutes into the run (the first of many wipeouts on the day for me).  The climbing was impressive and I was getting left in the dust early. Greg Hammett was pushing the pace pretty good, Fyffe was simply jogging, and Ferenc was running erratically, pushing boulders down cliffs, eating Twinkies, and provoking some witches we came across in the woods.  It was a very interesting day for sure.  Somewhere near 19-20 miles my foot just simply blew up. I'm not sure what happened, but as soon as I started to feel pretty decent, my right foot felt like it just broke in half.  I couldn't put any weight on it and it just kept getting worse.  I was basically screaming expletives at the top of my lungs and the boys got a good laugh at my expense.  I limped out of there and tried one last time to salvage some sort of a running stride down the dirt road, but it wasn't to be.  Justin called his wife to come pick us up and she was there in no time.  She drove us the last 4 and a half miles or so back to their house where we watched some of the Pats game and then the NYC marathon coverage.  It was a great time other than the fact I may have developed a stress fracture or something ... I will need to schedule an appointment for this week to see someone about this before it gets worse (I can't imagine it getting any worse than it is though).  I took 3 straight 0's for this week (first time that has happened since February when I had my wisdom teeth pulled).  I managed 3 very slow miles yesterday and 5 regular miles today (in my fancy new road trainers from Inov-8...test models).  My foot felt like it was going to snap and I had all sorts of tightness in my achillies, ankle, and sides of my feet.  My plantar fascia is horrible, and the heel of my foot is essentially a push-button at this point for making me cry.  Not in a happy place right now, but I will have a nice weekend off from racing and try to enjoy myself.  I may head up to see Bob 'Don't Call it a Comeback' Wiles RIP IT UP in the half marathon this weekend...if I can't race, I might as well live vicariously through the 2010 NH Runner of the Year (even though he lives in Maine!).

For fans of this blog, here is some hot new viral video from this weekend (right before my running career ended).

I DO have some additional video of a rant by the infamous Mr. Josh Ferenc, and a funny story by Justin Fyffe, both circling around their USA singlets when they represented the US at the World Championships (Justin at the 50k and Josh in the Mountain race).  I am still at odds on whether to post this one as it needs to be VERY heavily edited as to not offend various folks involved that will immediately realize who he is talking about in his rant.  It also may prevent Josh from getting future work in the VT or NH school systems and possibly get him permanently blacklisted from future USATF-MUT teams/activities...For now, here's just some clips of the scenery from the run....not much, but it's something to remember my last real run of my career...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Salem Turkey Trot 3-Miler

Saturday, I stayed VERY local and did the 9th Annual Barron School Turkey Trot here in Salem, NH.  The race was literally 3 streets down from my house here in Salem.  The race is VERY low key... in fact, it was probably the most low key event I've done, but it didn't quite have the smallest field I've ever run in (that honor goes to the Feelgood Farm Snowshoe Race in 2009 with 12 finishers).  There was no official timing/scoring company and the organizers just did (or attempted to do) the scoring / timing on their own, the old fashioned way.  That was fine, as I am not feeling quite in top form and it was so local, it didn't matter.  My parents were down visiting and wanted to see me do a race, so I decided at zero hour to go over.  I also convinced Kristin to come with me and 'race' it.  She was a good sport about it, even though she doesn't run and it was a little on the chilly side.

The race went off and I was out like normal with not many other folks around.  There were no mile markers, but the course was a legitimate 3 miles (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4146287).  I overheard someone say before the race, that the course was 2.8 previously, so they had to lengthen it after remeasuring, to make it 3 miles for this year.  After I ran it before the race as a warmup, I knew it was an honest 3.

Because there were no mile markers, I really didn't have any idea how I was doing, but felt alright.  I was pushing it hard, but because there was nobody around me except for the lead police truck the whole time, I felt a tad flat.  It's hard to get going and keep momentum when there is nobody around you to push in that middle mile.  The first mile is flat for a bit, then drops down (as much as any place in Salem can drop).  The middle mile is flat, and then the last mile has the uphill bit to the finish. The course is all in nice neighborhoods that I never knew were even down there.   If anything, it was nice to be able to run in a section of town I've never seen.

As I was on the way back (it's an out and back), I saw Kristin right before the 1 mile mark (after looking at the map).  She was walking at that point, but still with a bunch of people.  I gave her a high five as I passed and kept pluggin.  I cruised up the hill and onto the last flat bit before the finish and kept thinking about sub 15.  My father had asked me before the race if I was going to break 15.  I laughed and said 'probably 16'.  Well, it was close and I kind of misjudged how much was left and was sure I was going to just nip 15...but as I got closer and closer to the finish, I knew that was no longer a possibility.  I came through in 15:09 (5:03 pace) and was satisfied with that, all things considered.

I immediately turned and went back to do one more pass on the course and then pick up Kristin.  I ran back down against the field of runners and walkers and saw her on my way out.  She was deflated and a little upset that she hadn't been able to keep up a run.  The cold air was killing her throat and because she usually doesn't run (especially in the fall and winter), she wasn't used to it.  She's got breathing issues anyways and this wasn't helping.  She was just walking at that point, as I went further out and ran the course.  I passed by her again on the way back and told her I was going to finish the cooldown and be back.  I ran back up, finished a third lap around the course, and turned one last time to go back and get her.  I ran back and walked in the last half mile or so with her.  She had taken her number off and put it in her pocket.  She had no interest in being scored or being in the results.  I made her go across the line, but unfortunately everyone that was doing official scoring and timing had already gone inside.  There were still a lot of people at the finish area, just nobody scoring.  I think if Kris had kept her number on her shirt, they would have known there was one more person out there to be scored (because they weren't scoring the walkers and the walkers didn't have numbers).

We made our way inside for the awards.  I got a handmade wooden dog paw medal (made by a Barron School student) and a turkey for the win.  There apparently was a mix up with the scoring and timing for everyone else as well and I was notified by email that they are unfortunately not going to be able to post results except for the winners.  They are planning a bigger event next year for the 10th annual, but I am not planning on being in the area by this time next year (fingers crossed) so I may not be around for it.  It was fun in any event, having my parents there and having Kristin in the race, even if it didn't exactly go well for her (or as well as she expected).  She keeps talking about the 'John Carson 2 Miler' in Chelmsford on the 4th.  She said she can do that one.  I think that's because it's ONLY 2 miles and it's in July :).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

double-d on the 1989 Boston Marathon

Impromptu interview w/ double-d-mountain-runner as we made our way out to Worcester, MA on Tuesday night... We discuss his very first marathon, which was the 1989 Boston Marathon where he finished 17th OA and was the second American at 2:22:03.  He'd go on to run 6 road marathons faster than that, and a whole slew of road and trail marathons and ultras (including some 50k, 50M, and 100ks).  See his list here.

Busa Bushwhack 10 Mile Trail Race

Sunday I headed out west to Framingham, MA for the Busa Bushwhack 10 Mile Trail Race (results) put on by the Greater Framingham Running Club.  This was the 2nd to last even in the WMAC Grand Tree series for 2010 (the last being Stonecat which is this coming weekend...but I'm not racing it, as registration closed out).   I was able to squeak out a win at Busa last year by sitting on Ben Nephew's shoulder for just over 9 miles before making a move on the last 3/4ths of a mile, which is paved.  This year, I chose a similar strategy that almost didn't work, but I was able to once again steal one, coming from behind...

The weather was perfect and the trail conditions were pretty good, other than the obvious fact that everything was covered with leaves.  Practically the entire race course was covered with leaves, making it impossible to see roots and rocks, and also making it very slippery on the ups and downs.  I went with the f-lite 230s mainly because of the road portion at the end of the race.

The race began about a quarter mile or so from the trailhead and I took my time and got out behind a pack of 10 mile and 5.3 mile racers including Chad Carr (CRC) and obviously Ben, who was out quick and running his own pace.  Right before the trailhead, I surged up and got behind Ben as we headed into the woods.  Last year, Ben and I were joined by Greg Hammett (CMS) for most of the race.  This year, we had another guy on our tails but we weren't sure who he was.  I turned around a few times over the first mile to see that I had a guy in white behind me and running strong.  I was going with the same plan as last year and I was content with letting Ben pace us.  Ben is great at running a solid pace on the trails no matter what the pace.  As Ben continued to press on, I dealt with this third runner running right on my heels and pulling up to my side a couple times.  There were a few times where I was sure that this guy was probably running the 5.3 miler (which is the same as the 10 mile course for the first couple miles).  I kept telling myself that he had to be running the short course.

He eventually passed me and I found myself running in third, although we were all pretty much together.  When we got to the first major climb, he uttered something about the hill and pushed up and remained in front of me.  I was just taking my time and making sure I stayed within striking distance.  Not too long after we popped into the woods again, the course split for the two races and he remained behind Ben and took the 10 mile route.  I was shocked and thought for sure now that we'd really have a great race ahead of us.

We continued on for the next major portion of the race with Ben in the lead for most of it and myself riding 3rd.  A few points in the course, I let the two in front of me get away just a little bit as I felt rather flat here and there...but after a couple of moments of lackluster running, I would catch back up and regain my composure.  Somewhere around 8 miles or so, the guy in second went around Ben and took the lead.  He looked like he wanted to go around him the entire race but felt content to just sit and wait... When he went around Ben, I started to watch close to see if and when he started to build any sort of lead and try to make a break.  At around 8.5 or so, he came to an intersection and got momentarily confused on where to go.  I yelled 'left' and he quickly darted to the left and headed down the trail section was the last section just before the trail heads up a sharp righthand turn to the road.  I went around Ben and tried to pump him up by saying 'lets go get this guy', and sprinted up to catch him just as he was climbing up the last hill before getting to the road.  At the top of the climb, I caught up and started to go around him to beat him to the road section, where I knew it was probably going to turn into a track meet.  As I went around, he gave me the thumbs up and said 'nice job man' and seemed to be content to let me continue on my way.  I said to him 'one mile to go, c'mon lets go'...and he quickly indicated it was even less than a mile to go.

I hit the road and maintained enough distance on second place over the last 3/4 of a mile to be safe.  I kept looking behind me, but knew I could probably find one more gear if I needed to.  During the entire race, I was trying to size up this unknown runner and was trying to figure out if I'd be able to outduel him on the last road section.  Since I had no information on him and he looked to have been running so strong and within himself, I wasn't sure until that moment I hit the road, that I'd be able to hold anyone off.  In the end, I was able to put only 17 seconds on him and only 24 on Ben, who finished strong, only 6 seconds back of 2nd.

During the race I noticed that the 2nd place dude had something about 'Albuquerque' on the back of his shirt.  After talking to him after the race (his name is Eli Torgeson) and inside after the awards, I found out that he just moved here to Mass from New Mexico and is predominantly a mountain bike racer, but does like trail racing, marathons, etc.  I looked him up and he's got a ton of good trail/snowshoe/road results.  He's a really nice guy and said he'd be at more trail races in the future...He's got wheels and I give him a ton of credit...he ran his race and made a big move and went for it early...It definitely made the race more exciting from beginning to end.

Top 10 Plus CMS in Blue

1Jim Johnson     Salem, NH   331:00:546:05:00Inov-8/CMS
2Eli Torgeson      Lincoln, MA391:01:116:07:00
3Ben Nephew   Mansfield, MA351:01:176:08:00Inov-8/CMS  
4Chad CarrCambridge, MA 341:03:256:21:00Cambridge RC  
5Tim CondonDurham, CT  241:04:226:26:00
6Christopher SmithWoburn, MA 441:08:446:52:00NETT  
7Brad BirkelRoslindale, MA321:09:166:56:00
8Scott PatnodeMarlborough, MA291:09:486:59:00
9Austin WhitmanArlington, MA331:10:117:01:00Boston Tri Team
10Ian Sanders-FlemingBoston, MA 231:10:407:04:00Block Is Sport

169 Total Finishers.