Monday, April 11, 2011

Helping Children Hear in NH 5k

Last weekend (in keeping with my LATE race writeups) I ran a rather small 5k up in Dover, NH.  It was the Helping Children Hear in NH 5k (results).  Last year was the 1st annual and Jasmin Lepir of Portsmouth, NH had the record at 17:20.  This was my first 5k of the year (road) and all I had done so far this year was longer road racing (16 mile, 50k, half marathon, 20 mile).  I didn't know what kind of '5k' shape I was in and it seemed like this course had some decent little hills, so I wasn't really expecting much.

I pulled into the parking lot and was one of the first to arrive on the scene.  I believe I was the first to register (as I got #100 and there was nobody else around) 'day of'.  When I headed back out the door from registration, I noticed Craig Fram had pulled up.  He was thinking the same thing I was....keep it low key and get a good effort in.  I had been a little sick the week of the race and also wanted to test out some new (pre-production) minimal road flats I got from a certain trail shoe company...I figured that my first 5k back, while recovering from being sick, and testing out new shoes, should be low key.  This race ended up only having 117 people in it, so it fit the bill...

Craig and I went out for a warmup and screwed up.  We took a wrong turn before the 1 mile mark and ended up going in the wrong direction for a couple miles.  When we figured it out, it was too late.  We finally made our way back to the start, but we had to literally tempo it back, to get back in time.  We actually were discussing missing the start and having to run from behind to catch everyone after the race began.  We literally had a couple of minutes to spare by the time we got changed and quickly ran over to the line.  Craig had no time to stretch.

The gun went off and I was off and out on my own, just trying to settle back in and get used to 5k pace... but it was going to be easier said than done.  The first mile of this course is slow.  There is a pretty good climb which heads directly into the wind.  Then, as you begin to descend, the mile marker, which seemingly should be there, is not.  I looked at my watch and saw 5 minutes come and go.  I was shocked and was almost sure I had missed the marker.  I felt like I was hammering.  You then take a really sharp left on a steep downhill and then up ahead, I saw the one mile mark.  I was borderline devastated.  I came through in something like 5:15 or 5:17 and figured the race was blown.  All sorts of weird things ran through my head.  I thought 'what if I'm really not in good shape'... 'what if I have finally reached that point where I just get slower and slower'.... I wasn't sure...but I was just hoping the mile was either very challenging or just marked wrong.

I had a very large lead early and knew Craig would most likely get an easy 2nd, even if he was doing just a tempo, as was his plan.  The course winds through a nice neighborhood in the middle and then back out onto a main street.  The second mile has got a little bit of an uphill climb and some slight down, but was flat for the most part.  I completely missed the 2nd mile mark.  I started looking at my watch and saw 5:15, then 5:20, then 5:30, then eventually 6 minutes and knew I had to have passed it.  I felt like I was hammering but had zero confidence that the effort was actually solid, without having seen what I went through the 2 mile mark in. The last mile has got a pretty good last little hill as you come back up to the entrance to the school and I again, missed the 3 mile mark, but I knew I was actually running quick because I could now see the finish and was looking at about 15 minutes on my watch.  I was pretty much toast, as I turned down and crossed the line in 15:39 (technically a new CR).

I had read online that the course was actually 3.21 and then got an email from an 'inside source' claiming that the course was a bit long. I'd like to think so....I'd also like to think that that 1 mile mark is placed a bit long, but I talked to the actual guy who marked the miles after the race and he said by his Garmin last year, and car this year, that it was right.  On the map, it is actually showing as needing to be before where it was.  I think that it may have been a bit long, as I don't think I was 5:15 at the mile and Craig actually said he went through in 6:00 and was shocked at the time.

Top 10 Overall.

Place Time Pace Name Age Town/State
1 15:39 5:02 Jim Johnson         33 Salem NH      
2 17:28 5:38 Craig Fram          52 Plaistow NH   
3 18:16 5:53 Jasmin Lepir        35 Portsmouth NH 
4 19:13 6:12 Daniel Dion         25 Dover NH      
5 20:17 6:32 Tyler Dover         29 Dover NH      
6 20:21 6:33 Zachary Whitehouse  23 Exeter NH     
7 20:30 6:36 Summer Cook         33 Madbury NH    
8 21:25 6:54 Steve Benoit        58 Southbury CT  
9 21:39 6:58 Adam Beck           49 Chester NH    
10 21:55 7:04 Jessica Goldman     38 Rochester NH  

117 Total Finishers.

Craig and I cooled down over the course again and I collected a cool mug and $25 gift card to Runner's Alley.

Side note, for some reason I love the logo of this race....Kristin thinks it's kind of odd, but I am really diggin' the runnin' ears!  Makes for a sweet t-shirt..



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