Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Week Races Part 2 - Andover CC XC

The second race of the long weekend (and my 62nd of the 2010 calendar year) brought me back to Andover, MA and the Andover Country Club for the Andover Country Club XC race (results), hosted by the Andover Striders (the first breakaway-MVSers, preceding even the Goon Squad)... The race is a mix of grass (golf course), paved cart path, road, and dirt.

Even though I was having obvious problems with my right foot (going on a month and a half now) and I was coming down with what is now a really bad cold, I decided to head over the Andover Country Club to give this one a go.  I ran this two years ago and came in second to Ryan Carrara (NBB).  This year, I wasn't even thinking of placing in the top 3 or 4 considering how I've been feeling.  I showed up to see the brothers Quintal in the house, Jim Pawlicki, DD, and Bob Wiles.  I knew MQ and Bob would probably be in front of me and couple that with Nate Jenkins (Saucony) giving this one a go, and I was looking at maybe a top 5.  I went on the warmup w/ the lads and felt pretty terrible.  At this point, I just wanted to get in another race to try to beat my total of 63 from last year (although I talked with Bob Strout before the race and he has something like 140-something already, so I look like a total chump compared to that guy).

The race began with a slightly different start than they used 2 years ago (so the race was a tad longer) and I got a horrible jump off the line.  I was way back early and had to weasel my way up through some folks to get up to where I should be.  I still have zero confidence when it comes to running with Bob Wiles for some reason, so I assume he should just automatically be way out in front of me.  I got up next to Mike Quintal and ran side by side with him for the first mile +.  He would surge ahead of me on almost all the uphills and drop me.  I would then catch back up on the downs and pass him on the flats.  It went back and forth like that for a while before I finally was able to sneak a little padding of distance and take in 3rd place for my own for a while. MQ was never too far back and I wasn't really gaining much on Bob Wiles, who continued to go out with Nate Jenkins.

With no mile markers, it's hard to describe where exactly stuff happened, but essentially MQ stayed a few seconds behind me for the last part of the race and was maybe gaining a bit near the end.  I was able to begin to run down Bob Wiles who was feeling it after trying to go out with Nate and from not having run any mileage since Wednesday.  I was able catch up to Bob rather quickly over the span of the last half mile or so and went by him on the very last uphill that cuts up between two condos on the edge of the golf course.  MQ was right behind and it was basically a 3 man kick down that last hill to the finish.  In the end, I was able to hold off my mates and finish 2nd overall for my 2nd time in 2 attempts at this race.  Bob was able to hold off Mike and in the end, CMS took 2,3,4,7,8,9 with Jim Pawlicki, Dave Quintal, and Dave Dunham all coming in together.  We took the team title and a nice plaque, which I immediately stuck in my bag and will hand up in the CMS North clubhouse (when I finally move there).

After the race, they have a nice spread (if you can put up with waiting in a 30 minute line to get pasta).  They have free beer though, and it was fun hanging w/ my CMS mates and Matty Sullivan, who was there running in his triathlon gear and lookin' pretty sharp.  For my 'age group win' I got another nice pint glass and a year's subscription to New England Runner.

Top 10 + CMS in Blue

Place Name Age City/State Team Time Pace
1 NATE JENKINS    30 Andover MA       Saucony 17:30.8 5:01
2 JIM JOHNSON     33 Salem NH         CMS  18:21.7 5:15
3 BOB WILES       33 Kittery ME       CMS  18:25.1 5:16
4 MIKE QUINTAL    32 North Andover MA CMS  18:30.0 5:18
5 JOE DONNELLY    42 Dracut MA        WRT  19:04.8 5:28
6 RYAN KELLY      29 Concord MA       Acidotic   19:21.6 5:32
7 JAMES PAWLICKI  36 Beverly MA       CMS  19:32.8 5:36
8 DAVID QUINTAL   47 Salem NH         CMS  19:33.3 5:36
9 DAVE DUNHAM     46 Ward Hill MA     CMS  19:36.4 5:37
10 JEFFERSON WELCH 23 Haverhill MA     MC (alumn) 19:59.2 5:43
264 THOMAS PARADIS 49 Worcester MA     CMS 32:07.6 9:11

358 Total Finishers.

Photos by Jamie Doucett and race images above courtesy of....  Thanks Jamie!

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