Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Medical Center 6k

Now that I'm 3 race reports behind, here's a quick recap of the Medical Center 6k (results) in Nashua, NH from last weekend.  This was the 3rd race in the 2011 USATF-NE Grand Prix and we (CMS) had a loaded team ready for action.  After our 10k victory the previous week, we were back to try to defend our win and stay ahead in the overall GP standings.

I ran this race one time previously, back in 2008, when it was the Grand Prix 'wild card' race (as the 6k distance is quite unusual). Because it is (to my knowledge) one of, if not the only '6'k road race in the state of NH, I have the very unimpressive NH State Record for a 6k for a 31 year old NH runner (from that race in 2008).  My 31-year-old time is still safe for at least another year, as nobody from NH (who was 31) ran faster this year.  Both Justin Freeman and myself destroyed the previous record for a 34 year old, this year, but only he gets his name in lights :)  See all the NH state age group records here.  See the overall records for 6k (and other events) here.  Currently, I have the 4th fastest time ever for a NH resident in a 6k in NH.  I trail Casey Moulton, Wilson Perez, and Justin Freeman.  I am one place ahead of teammate Kevin Tilton. Great company to be in for sure.  All 5 of us and every other person on the performance list have run their 6k time at the Medical Center race.  It's a little funny because it is not particularly a fast course.  There are a few rolling spots and a decent climb during the second mile.

We had a great, large crew toe the line in our newly screened Asics singlets and I was rocking my new favorite road kicks (the Inov-8 bare-X lite 150s).  As the gun went off, the usual suspects darted out ahead and I focused very intensely on staying in front of the many good Whirlaway runners who were right with me.  I knew that Whirlaway was going to be the team we needed to outrun today, as BAA was again, non-existent in the team category.  Bob Wiles headed out with Justin Freeman, Matt Ely, a late surging Dan Vassallo, and some RUN guys.  I settled into 7th or so place and eventually was able to move into 6th (passing Ben Ndaya) and kept relatively close as the course moves up a couple of decent climbs over the first 1.5 miles.  I was very focused on trying to stay in front of the Whirlaway guys but knew Pat Ard, Brandon Newbould, and a few others would be right there.  I could see them out of the corner of my eye for much of the first mile and just tried to stay a step ahead.

As I crested the top of the last major climb, I was still riding 6th place until Kent Lemme and Brandon Newbould both went by me on the downhill.  I reacted well though and within a quarter mile (not even) I was back in front of Brandon and chasing down Kent Lemme, who is FIT.  After 2 miles, there is a slight uphill section and I was able to go by Kent again and this time, I thought I was going to lose them, but Kent jumped aboard and stayed right on my shoulder.  I could sense that Brandon was still there too but I just continued to push on down the nice downhill sections from 2-3 miles.  Kent was breathing hard but not dropping.  We started to put a little distance on Brandon and it became clear that Kent and I would be battling for the 6th and 7th spots.  

Before the 3 mile mark I noticed that we were catching Joseph Koech (RUN), who I had beaten last week in the 10k.  Kent started to pull along side me and once we were at the bottom of the descent, he went past me pretty quickly.  I knew he had more in the tank than I and I told him to 'go catch Joe'.  I knew it was going to be a good close call for those two guys and the master's win (Koech is 41 and Lemme is 44).  Kent was able to stretch out a few seconds on me and I settled in for 7th place as the last long stretch came and went and I didn't catch back up to him or Joe. 

The finish is uphill and I came up and through in a little slower of a time than I was expecting (18:59).  It was only 7 seconds faster than I ran back in 2008. I was happy with the top 10 finish at a Grand Prix however (my second top 10 finish in 2 weeks at a Grand Prix).  The field was definitely a little lighter than normal (as was the 10k) because the bulk of BAA's squad wasn't there.

The lack of BAA presence (they actually didn't have have a full team score) and a great performance by Bob Wiles (4th OA) and the rest of our team (Andy, Chris Mahoney-Searles, Greg Hammett, and Tivo all finishing in the top 15) gave us the victory...our second team title in 2 weeks and back to back Grand Prix events.  It was a blast having all the guys there, Al Bernier (team manager) there cheering us on and delivering some great gear from our sponsor (Native), and the highlight of the day for me was turning around at the finish line (knowing Bob was ahead of me) and seeing Andy, Chris, Greg, and Tim all coming in in a tight group, ahead of most of our competition, and  many of our other guys coming in soon after.  Everyone seemed to really step it up and again, I was very proud to be part of this team again for the second week in a row at a New England Championship.  We ended up ahead of RUN by 39 seconds, with Whirlaway in 3rd place and GBTC 4th.

Top 10 plus CMS in blue:

Place Time Pace Name Age Town/State Team/Club
1 18:27 4:57 Dan Vassallo         26 Reading MA         ADIDA 
2 18:31 4:58 Justin Freeman       34 New Hampton NH     RUN   
3 18:37 5:00 Matthew Ely          35 Natick MA          BAA   
4 18:44 5:02 Bob Wiles            33 Kittery ME         CMS   
5 18:49 5:03 Joseph Koech         41 Chelmsford MA      RUN   
6 18:54 5:05 Kent Lemme           44 Williamstown MA    GSH   
7 18:59 5:06 Jim Johnson          34 Salem NH           CMS   
8 19:14 5:10 Brandon Newbould     29 Nottingham NH      WRT   
9 19:16 5:10 Andy McCarron        28 Keene NH           CMS   
10 19:24 5:13 Edward Breen         29 Somerville MA      GBTC
13 19:30 5:14 Chris Mahoney        33 Haverhill MA       CMS   
14 19:38 5:16 Greg Hammett         33 Chesterfield NH    CMS   
15 19:39 5:17 Tim Van Orden        43 Bennington VT      CMS   
19 19:47 5:19 Greg Ward            39 West Boylston MA   CMS   
25 19:57 5:21 Greg Putnam          41 Wakefield MA       CMS   
26 19:58 5:22 Matt Clark           28 Amherst MA         CMS   
29 20:09 5:25 Ben Jenkins          23 Durham NH          CMS   
32 20:16 5:26 Mike Quintal         33 North Andover MA   CMS   
33 20:17 5:27 Dave Dunham          47 Bradford MA        CMS   
35 20:19 5:27 Jeff Goupil          23 Keene NH           CMS   
38 20:28 5:30 Dan Verrington       48 Bradford MA        CMS   
40 20:31 5:30 Ben Strain           32 Beverly MA         CMS   
41 20:32 5:31 Jim Pawlicki         36 Beverly MA         CMS   
42 20:33 5:31 Rod Viens            43 Grantham NH        CMS   
43 20:37 5:32 Joe Shairs           42 Peabody MA         CMS   
55 20:54 5:37 Scott Clark          45 Gilmanton NH       CMS   
58 20:59 5:38 Scott McGrath        24 Amesbury MA        CMS  
68 21:24 5:45 Tim Mahoney          31 Holyoke MA         CMS   
96 22:28 6:02 John Pajer           48 Leicester MA       CMS   
104 22:46 6:07 Bryan Johnston       31 Keene NH           CMS 

714 Total Finishers.



   1.  CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS              
            18:44   18:59   19:16   19:30   19:38 (  19:39) (  19:47) = 1:36:07
         Bob Wiles, Jim Johnson, Andy McCarron, Chris Mahoney, Greg Hammett,
         Tim Van Orden, Greg Ward

   2.  TEAM RUN                           
            18:31   18:49   19:26   19:42   20:18 (  20:38) (  21:37) = 1:36:46
         Justin Freeman, Joseph Koech, Jim St. Pierre, Ben Ndaya, David Ndungu,
         Rex Radloff, Titus Mutinda

   3.  WHIRLAWAY RACING TEAM              
            19:14   19:29   19:46   19:48   19:51 (  19:59) (  20:26) = 1:38:08
         Brandon Newbould, Kevin Alliette, Joseph Navas, Patrick Ard, Craig
         Fram, Joe Donnelly, Jason Porter

            19:24   19:45   19:48   20:46   20:50 (  21:00) (  24:43) = 1:40:33
         Edward Breen, Xaviour Walker, Matthew Haringa, Eric Mendoza, Ryan
         Aschbrenner, Michael Guarascio, Tom Derderian

   5.  CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CLUB             
            19:52   20:12   20:48   21:19   21:30 (  23:34) = 1:43:41
         Chad Carr, Adam Daoud, Ryan Graf, Jason Salony, Marcus Alexander,
         Brian Burg

15 Total Teams Scoring.

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