Friday, May 6, 2011

James Joyce Ramble 10K

Last Sunday I headed over with a good CMS contingent to compete in the second USATF-NE Grand Prix event for 2011.  This was the James Joyce Ramble 10K (results) in Dedham, MA.  I've never run this race or run in Dedham.  I think the only time I've ever been in Dedham was cutting through it on the highway. I have been sick since just after Easter and I was dreading having to race a grand prix race while badly congested and still feeling under the weather, but I had to go and try to help the team as best I could.

I still don't have a very good 30yrOld+ 10K PR, as fast 10K races are few and far between these days.  I think I was in 31-mid 10K shape (which would be a PR), but my cold has really hit me hard this week and the nature of this course (with a continuous rolling middle group of miles and some pretty good wind) made a fast 10K for me a tough task to perform.

A good group of CMS guys warmed up over the first mile + of the course and I was feeling 'OK' but not super ready to run fast.  We were going to be rocking the 'blank' new uniforms (they got screened this week) and everyone was pretty pumped to try to give BAA, Whirlaway, and GBTC a run for their money.  We had a full open and masters squad ready and we all went over to toe the line in what would be a great battle for the win.

At the outset of the race, I found myself tucked in behind 5 (FIVE) R.UN guys, a couple of BAA guys, and a couple of Adidas guys including Dan Vassallo and Nick Wheeler.  Bob Wiles pulled up along side me and Andy McCarron was slightly ahead of us at the start, putting me right at 3rd place for the team, within 200 meters of the race.  I knew Greg and Chris and a few others were most certainly right behind me, but I made it a point not to look.  I knew we'd all try our best to be where we were supposed to be and I just concentrated on not loosing too much ground on this lead group.

It seemed as though it was definitely a lighter field for a GP and slews of BAA yellow was noticeably absent from the front pack.  Through the mile, I was right with Andy and Bob had pulled away just a little bit on us.  A couple of the R.UN Kenyans had fallen back and I noticed a nice pack of Wheeler, Matt Ely, Justin Freeman, and Patrick Moulton all working well together. Brendan Bonner of GBTC was also running with Bob Wiles and I was just trying to hang with Andy. Somewhere around 2 miles or so, I pulled just ahead of Andy and started running in 'no man's land', which would essentially last until the end of the race.  I kept wondering where all these slews of guys were that usually screw by me in the middle miles of these races, but there really wasn't anyone coming past.

Up one of the hills around the back of a school, I caught and passed Joseph Koech (one of the last lingering R.UN guys) and kept plugging forward.  Initially I had gone out fast, but had settled into the 5-teens through the middle hillier miles.  I never looked back, but could hear people on the course yelling for me, then only a few seconds later, yelling for the next people. I knew they were there.  Kevin Gorman was biking along the course, taking videos, and was cheering us on loudly.  He was telling us where we were in relation to others and what the layout of the team competition was shaping up to be.  I knew that Andy wasn't too far behind and I was still in striking distance of Bob.  Near the 4-5 mile mark or so it almost looked like I could maybe sneak up on Bob and the Brendan, and Patrick Moulton seemed to be coming back a bit. I could also see the pack just in front of him, but it was too out of reach.

Just around 5 miles or so, Nicolai Naranjo (GBTC) went by me like he was late for something.  I couldn't believe how much he put on me in just a short amount of time.  He caught Bob and Brendan in no time, and I continued to try to keep my position. I knew I was riding 8th place for most of the race, and now I was 9th.  As I hit the main left turn onto the main street in town, KG whizzed by me on his bike and told me I had company right behind me.  It was two Whirlaway guys he said.  I glanced back as I took the turn and saw them right behind by only a few seconds.  I had about a mile to go and had almost no faith that I could hold them off.  I tried to pick it up a bit and figured if I could just pick it up slightly, I could match their charge and hold my ground... I remember going by Dave Kaz as we turned onto the last street towards the finish and he looked at me for a split second, kept quiet, then turned his attention right behind me and said something to his guys.  I knew it was go time. I worked the last stretch that had a slight climb up to the finish and would peek behind me from time to time.  Just as I hit the 6 mile mark, I looked back and noticed it was now just one immediate threat from Dan Princic and Brandon Newbould had fallen back just a little bit.  I strained over the last .2 to stay just in front of Dan who had been catching me for a while.  In the end, I was able to outlast his charge and finish just 3 seconds up on him and 11 seconds up on Brandon.  Bob Wiles almost caught Patrick and ended up 6th, 21 seconds ahead of me.

I knew we did pretty well with a 6th and 9th place finish, but turned to see where our next guy was and saw Andy finishing up, which gave us 3 to Whirlaway's 2 so far... with GBTC putting 2 in the top 10, I was a bit concerned.  Adidas only had 2 guys total, so I knew that even though they went 1,3, they were done scoring. BAA seemed to not have a full squad, and R.UN had fallen off the pace, except for a great run by Justin Freeman.  I knew it was us, Whirlaway, and GBTC/BAA.  To my dismay, I saw 3 more Whirlaway guys all come in together, right in front of Chris Mahoney who was hauling over the last .2 but was just outkicked by the pack of red and black.  I immediately thought that Whirlaway had pulled off a great win and actually started to congratulate their guys who were all standing together, obviously happy with the team performance.  Greg Ward and Greg Hammett came in a little ways back and I just had no thoughts at all that we had won the team event after seeing the tight Whirlaway finish.

We walked back over to our gear and most of us thought for sure we had come in 2nd. We were still happy with the race from a team perspective, but thought we let one slip away.  I was pleased with being able to still score for the team and run an OK time, but I was expecting most of the Spring to run under 32 here and it wasn't to be.

We all cooled down together around the streets of Dedham and after everything was said and done, most of us left the race thinking we had come in second. I hung around a while to see Steve Vaitones, who had the preliminary results of the team scoring and had us in first.  I was shocked at first, but then realized that they had missed Joe Navas' finish because he crumpled his bib into smithereens and it didn't register when he finished.  Joe finished right behind his teammates Kevin O'Neil and Patrick Ard, so they penciled him into the results with a 1 second back finish of Kevin, which was the right thing to do because he was right there with those guys at the end (I remember seeing him finish) and without an actual time registering in the results, it's actually a bonus that they still register you into the results afterwards. As we all stood around trying to figure out the times based on substituting out Whirlaway's previously registered 5th man with Joe's time.  Someone quickly did the math and came up with a 2 second Whirlaway win.  It was so convincing, that we all thought it was the official time, and I walked away bummed, but understood that we can't always win the close ones (we beat Whirlaway last year at the 10k by 2 seconds total!).  I told the guys from CMS who were left and we all headed home.  I got in my car, and Bob Wiles called me to talk about it.  I decided at the last minute to stop, go back, and wait for Steve to come back with official results from the timing company to see how close it actually was and get the definitive word.  I'm glad I did, because when I went back to the group of Whirlaway guys, Steve was back over there explaining to them that CMS actually won by 4 seconds and that we were doing the fuzzy math wrong before.  I was quietly thrilled and quickly left to call up some of the boys on the way home and let them know we pulled off another close one!  I was really proud of the team and everyone who showed up to compete (open and masters). We had some guys really step up on a somewhat tough day for a lot of runners on a lot of the teams.  I was glad to be a part of this one for sure.

Splits: 10K - 9th OA - 32:08 (5:11 pace)

Mile 1) 4:52
Mile 2) 5:07 (10:00)
Mile 3) 5:16 (15:16)
Mile 4) 5:13 (20:30)
Mile 5) 5:17 (25:47)
Mile 6) 5:16 (31:03)
last .2) 1:05 (32:08)

Top 10 Overall (Plus CMS in Blue):

Place Time Pace Name Age Town/State Team
1 31:02 5:00 Daniel Vassallo   26 Reading MA       ANE  
2 31:21 5:03 Matthew Ely       34 Natick MA        BAA  
3 31:25 5:04 Nicholas Wheeler  25 Rockland ME      ANE  
4 31:36 5:06 Justin Freeman    34 New Hampton NH   RUN  
5 31:44 5:07 Patrick Moulton   29 Providence RI    BAA  
6 31:47 5:07 Bob Wiles         33 Kittery ME       CMS  
7 31:49 5:08 Nicolai Naranjo   22                  GBTC 
8 31:51 5:08 Brennan Bonner    26                  GBTC 
9 32:08 5:11 Jim Johnson       34 Salem NH         CMS  
10 32:11 5:11 Daniel Princic    31 Reading MA       WHIRL
13 32:29 5:14 Andy McCarron     28 Keene NH         CMS  
18 32:45 5:17 Chris Mahoney     33 Haverhill MA     CMS  
27 33:26 5:23 Greg Ward         39 West Boylston MA CMS  
29 33:33 5:24 Greg Hammett      33 Chesterfield NH  CMS  
34 33:41 5:25 Scott Leslie      29 Rutland MA       CMS  
36 33:41 5:25 Greg Putnam       41 Wakefield MA     CMS  
39 33:55 5:28 Jeff Goupil       23 Keene NH         CMS  
47 34:11 5:30 Tom Brown         25 Beverly MA       CMS  
50 34:18 5:31 Dan Verrington    48 Bradford MA      CMS  
51 34:17 5:31 Jim Pawlicki      36 Beverly MA       CMS  
56 34:28 5:33 Dave Dunham       47 Bradford MA      CMS  
59 34:44 5:35 Ben Jenkins       23 Durham NH        CMS  
64 34:54 5:37 George Adams      40 Gilsum NH                 CMS  
67 35:25 5:42 Tim Mahoney       31 Northhampton MA  CMS  

2122 Total Finishers.

*** I was the 3rd 34 YEAR OLD!!!! Wow.

                           MALE OPEN TEAM RESULTS
   1.  CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
            31:47   32:08   32:29   32:45   33:26 (  33:33) (  33:41) = 2:42:35
         Bob Wiles, Jim Johnson, Andy McCarron, Chris Mahoney, Greg Ward, Greg
         Hammett, Scott Leslie
   2.  WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM                   
            32:11   32:19   32:42   32:43   32:44 (  33:32) (  33:38) = 2:42:39
         Daniel Princic, Brandon Newbould, Patrick Ard, Keven O'Neil, Joseph
         Navas, Mark Hudson, Craig Fram
            31:21   31:44   32:54   33:39   33:40 (  36:05) (  36:44) = 2:43:18
         Matthew Ely, Patrick Moulton, Matthew Carter, Ben Schmeckpeper, Wayne
         Levy, Matthew Herman, Ron Moreau
   4.  GREATER BOSTON TRACK CLUB               
            31:49   31:51   33:14   33:29   34:38 (  34:41) (  36:27) = 2:45:01
         Nicolai Naranjo, Brennan Bonner, Matthew Haringa, Edward Breen, Caleb
         Evander, Chris Lowe, Adam Greenspan
   5.  RETAILERS UNION                         
            31:36   32:50   32:59   33:36   34:14 (  34:19) = 2:45:15
         Justin Freeman, Joseph Koech, Jim St. Pierre, Ben Ndaya, Titus Mutinda,
         David Ndungu

17 Total Scoring Teams.

Photos by Krissy K.
Photos by Scott Mason.
Photos by Ted Tyler.

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