Monday, July 18, 2011

Stowe 8 Miler

A whole lotta mustache goin' on... L-R (back) - Tim Mahoney, Chris Mahoney-Searles, Tim VanOrden, Tim Pipp, John Pajer, Kevin Tilton, Jim Pawlicki, Joe Shairs, Jim Johnson, Bob Wiles, Patrick Rich. L-R (front) - Greg Hammett, Jeff Goupil, Sam Wood.

Sunday - July 17, 2011

Stowe 8 Miler
Stowe, VT

8 miles (is a bit long)
Terrain: Road (paved and dirt)
Ascent: NA
Time: 42:57
15th place overall of 922

Mile 1) 5:40 (long)
Mile 2) 4:59 (short) (10:39)
Mile 3) 5:29 (16:09)
Mile 4) 5:05 (21:14)
Mile 5) 5:22 (26:36)
Mile 6) 5:30 (32:07)
Mile 7) 5:21 (37:28)
Mile 8) 5:28 (42:57)
Finish: 42:57

Race website: here

Results: here

Photo / Video Credits

Race Report:
This weekend's festivities brought me back up to Stowe, VT (and to VT for the second week in a row) for the Stowe 8 Miler (results) which once again served as a USATF-NE Grand Prix this year.  I dropped a major stinkbomb here last year and this year was better, but not great.  I was feeling pretty good going in and have been doing some OK training over the past few weeks.  My racing has been decent and I've actually been doing some small track workouts and staying healthy for the most part.  But Stowe is a strange animal.  It's kind of tough for me to figure out an 8 miler when it comes to pace.  Slower than a 10K...faster than a 10 mile (you'd like to think)'s just a little mysterious.  It's also not helpful when the temps are soaring and there is zero shade on the course...but all I will say about that is through a retelling of a great one-liner made by overall GP individual leader Dan Vassallo who proclaimed after the race (and after I mentioned how hot it was and that it was probably close to 90 degrees out):  'yeah?... what was it, 75 degrees for the 3 guys in front of me?'.  That about sums it up though.  It was a tough day for everyone out there.  The times were slow from the leader, all the way back.  5:09 pace shouldn't be winning an 8 mile race in a New England Championship...especially when it comes from a guy like Brian Harvey (BAA) who ran a 29:39 10K this past April.  I averaged a faster 5:18 pace for my half marathon in March after coming off of snowshoe nationals and the 50K in the preceding 2 weeks, than I did yesterday at Stowe.  That's just how these things go, but looking at the results and the depth of the field, I am not totally disappointed with the way things rolled out.

After taking a rest day on Saturday and spending the entire day either sitting in the sun (up in Booth Bay Harbor, ME at a wedding) or sitting behind the wheel driving for almost 6 total hours, I headed over to Stowe, VT from N.Conway, NH with Kevin Tilton behind the wheel.  I probably got about 4-5 hours of sleep, as we had to leave pretty early.  I was a bit tired but by the time we got there and warmed up with a large contingent of mustache-sporting CMS studs, I was ready to go.  The area up in Stowe is beautiful and the sun was shining bright.  The cross-country style start is pretty unique to Grand Prix road championships, but it makes the race pretty interesting right off the bat.  

I got a horrendous start.  I was about 2-3 row back in the box that CMS had.  I not only was in bad position immediately, but then I proceeded to crawl off the line.  I guarantee that by the time I hit the road (after the initial roll across the fields) I was in 100+ place easy.  I rolled along pretty easy and started to move up very slow and steady through many usual suspects and others I didn't recognize.  By just past the mile, I was around some of the usual guys I am around at the beginning of these GP races.  I ran along with some Whirlaway runners like Jose Ortiz, Brandon Newbould, and Dan Princic. Jose seemed to be throwing surges back and forth, while Brandon and Dan began rolling up away from me slowly.  Andy McCarron was with me for a bit and Bob Wiles was ahead of me but looking a bit out of his element.  The first mile was slow and obviously misplaced, as was the 2nd mile.  The splits were completely wrong and I could hear people's Garmin's beeping way before the first mile marker. I think the 2 mile MARK was correct, but the split again was obviously off because it was sub-5.  I still was surrounded by a slew of runners from GSH, GMAA, RUN, and other clubs.  I was hanging onto Bob Wiles (in his general area) and trying to move away from Jose and a couple other guys.  

Somewhere over the course of the 3rd and 4th miles, I started to pass by runners one by one.  Once the race spread out initially (which takes about 1.5-2 miles), I was no longer getting passed.  My sights were set on the runners up front and I kept passing folks despite thinking I was running pretty slow.  I started to catch up and reel in Bob Wiles and by 4 or so miles I was right next to Bob for a small period of time.  I indicated to Bob that Dan and Brandon (Whirlaway guys) were up front a bit and he immediately acknowledged.  He also told me that Tim Pipp was up front, which I didn't know and actually didn't believe was the case.  I was thinking that Bob was our top guy through 4 miles when I caught up to him, and everyone else was trailing behind.  I glanced up and saw a lot of white jerseys up the road but didn't pick out Tim.  I thought Bob might have been mistaken but didn't really challenge him on it.  I just figured I was now in the lead for the team as I pulled slightly away from Bob on the next slight uphill.  I now started to pass by various other runners and dueled back and forth a bit with a runner from GBTC and a couple others.  

Slowly but surely I continued to pass guys and catch up to others.  Somewhere around 5.5 or so I caught up to a group which did include Tim Pipp.  I was surprised that Tim had gone out that quick but happy that we had another guy up with me this deep into the race.  The course was now on the long dirt road section and I caught up to Tim and a couple guys in white and a BAA runner.  I think one of the guys in white was David Johnson (GSH) and the other was Pat McAllister (GSH). Somewhere around this point we also went by Jared Markowitz (BAA) who was fading back hard.  I caught up and ran next to Tim who seemed glad to see me hop onto the train and I told him to hang with me and keep up that same pace.  I told him that if we just kept it at that pace, we'd keep going by guys. Lastly I quickly told him that Dan Princic was once again in range (he had fallen back a bit).  Tim dropped back a few steps after that but less than a minute or so after I thought he had dropped back for good, he came back up and actually went past me.  He looked like he was on his way to running down Dan (so my pep talk worked ;) ).  We had gone by Justin Fyffe (BAA) also around this point.  Justin was gripping his side and had pulled up with an obvious side-stitch.  Justin offered us some encouragement and seemed genuinely happy to see us running strong in the later stages of the race.  He had nothing to worry about team-wise because the BAA was going to win anyways.

We clicked through 7 as I just tried to hang onto Tim and wasn't too far back.  I was hanging in there and waiting.  I felt strong and thought I could run down Dan and Tim near the end if needed.  Tim had passed Dan shortly after the bike path section in the 8th mile.  I glanced back and saw that the GSH runners and Fyffe had hung on and were not dropped.  I went from feeling pretty strong and confident that I could pick up a few more spots, to feeling like I wasn't going to hang onto the spot I currently had.  As I hit the last road stretch, I looked up again and saw that Princic had charged back and passed Tim.  I was now only a couple seconds back of Tim and right in front of Dan was Judson Cake who I didn't even notice was in the race until that point.  He seemed to be coming back too, but we were running out of race and I'm not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that the race ended when it did, because there were just a steady stream of us coming in all together.  I didn't have any kick left in the tank and settled in behind Tim for a close 1-2 finish for CMS.  Tim and I were 14th and 15th OA.  I knew that Whirlaway had put 2 guys in front of us (Dan Princic was only a couple seconds up, but Brandon Newbould had steadily climbed the ladder into a top 10 finish).  I knew that we'd have to have a really strong race from 3-5 and Whirlaway would have to falter somewhere with their top 5.  I figured that was a fat chance only because I knew that they had a very deep squad behind them.  They still had Jose, Kevin Alliette, Joe Navas, Joe Hegarty, Mark Hudson, etc. all behind.  I stood there and waited as a couple GSH guys came in, then some others, then Joe Navas (Whirl) right ahead of Patrick Rich (CMS) who was our 3rd guy.  We were still getting beat by Whirlaway as Joe and Patrick essentially cancelled each other out and Brandon's padding on Tim (and Dan's on me) were enough to look like they'd take 2nd place behind BAA (who won easily).  Since Whirlaway is the only team that really can catch us in the overall GP standings, that was the only team I was focused on.  I continued to stand there and watch the clock, count the runners, and try to figure out who was going to take 2nd place OA.  Bob Wiles was the next to come in, but not too far back was Jose Ortiz.  Both clubs now had their 4th runners in, but Whirlaway was no doubt still out in front time-wise.  Then the magic happened.  Kevin Tilton magically appeared out of nowhere for a strong 5th place finish for CMS, followed closely by Greg Hammett just 2 seconds behind him.  I was pumped for Kevin but still stressing out because now it was all hinging on Whirlaway's 5th guy.  The clock ticked by after Kevin and Greg finished and then suddenly we started to stream in guys left and right.  VanOrden, Shairs, McCarron, and Mahoney (Chris) all rolled in before Joe Donnelly (Whirl) came through to finish the scoring for Whirlaway.  Joe is a very good masters runner who typically doesn't have to be called on to score for the open team in the GP events but the race was a tough one for a lot of folks and he ended up as their 5th man.  That ended up being enough of a gap to give us another point on Whirlaway in the overall GP standings.  We now have an 8 point lead for the overall GP title, with only 2 events remaining (the 5 mile and the marathon).

Top 20 Plus CMS Men in Blue:

PlaceNameAgeCity/StateTeam / ClubTimePace
1BRIAN HARVEY                 24Allston MABAA41:05.15:09
2JUSTIN FREEMAN             34New Hampton NHTEAM RUN 41:25.05:11
3DAN SMITH                        33Cambridge MA            BAA41:42.05:13
4DAN VASSALLO                 26Reading MAADIDAS NE   41:44.95:14
5DAN RAMSEY                     22Essex Junction VT42:03.75:16
6JOSH FERENC                     29Westmoreland NH     BAA42:11.75:17
7ERIC NARCISI                     31Charlestown MARTK RACING  42:19.05:18
8BRANDON NEWBOULD  29Nottingham NH  WHIRLAWAY            42:23.65:18
9COLMAN HATTON            23Brighton MABAA42:25.25:19
10MATTHEW ELY                35Natick MABAA42:33.15:20
11KEVIN JOHNSON             23Ludlow MAGSH  42:47.75:21
12JUSDON CAKE                   33Bar Harbor MEACIDOTIC      42:50.15:22
13DANIEL PRINCIC             31Reading MAWHIRLAWAY            42:52.05:22
14TIM PIPP                            23Keene NHCMS42:55.15:22
15JIM JOHNSON                    34Salem NHCMS42:57.25:23
16DAVID JOHNSON             22Ludlow MAGSH43:04.05:23
17PAT MCALLISTER  22Framingham MA          GSH  43:08.35:24
18JUSTIN FYFFE                   31E Dummerston VTBAA43:13.05:25
19BOBBY ASHER                  26Scarsdale NYVAN CORTLAND TC43:23.75:26
20JOSEPH NAVAS                40North eastham MAWHIRLAWAY            43:27.55:26
21PATRICK RICH                 34South Hamilton MA   CMS43:29.55:27
28BOB WILES                        33Kittery MECMS44:11.95:32
33KEVIN TILTON                 28N. Conway NH            CMS44:31.95:34
34GREG HAMMETT             33Chesterfield NH   CMS44:33.55:35
36TIM VANORDEN              43Bennington VT  CMS44:40.25:36
38ANDY MCCARRON          28Keene NH CMS45:09.75:39
41JOE SHAIRS                       43Peabody MA CMS45:27.75:41
44CHRIS MAHONEY            33Haverhill MA CMS05:50.55:44
63DAN VERRINGTON         49Bradford MACMS47:12.85:55
68TIM MAHONEY           31Northampton MA      CMS47:27.15:56
74DERRICK HAMEL            28Northwood NH           CMS47:39.05:58
78JAMES PAWLICKI            36Beverly MA     CMS48:05.56:01
93JOHN PAJER                      48Leicester MA       CMS48:48.76:07
131SAM WOOD                      25Laconia NH       CMS51:46.56:29
185JOSEPH ALFANO            45Holden MA          CMS55:21.06:56
330PAUL GROGAN                57Boston MA     CMS1:02:29.27:49
878JOE O'CONNOR               52Sterling MA        CMS1:35:45.211:59

922 Total Finishers.

After the race we all headed down to the river for a nice dip and a relaxing soak.  The temps had soared by the end of the race and the best part of the day was being in that ice cold water for sure.  More clubs and runners caught on, and by the time we left, the spot had filled up with many folks just looking to cool off and reflect on how you should race 8 miles.  After that, and an easy cooldown, I headed over to the after party for some ice cream, a couple cups o' brew, and some good times with many of my mates who hung out after the awards.

Congrats to Tim Pipp for not only being the top CMS guy on the day, but also for winning the first ever 'Staches at Stowe' award.  Bob Wiles had gotten a sweet trophy to give out to the best mustache.  Tim had the honor of taking that home.  Also, thanks to CMS-Colorado's Pete Maksimow for riding along side us and giving us some encouragement as we raced along the rolling roads of Stowe, VT.

Kevin and I finally rolled out of there just past noon.  It was a long and exhausting trip back to N.Conway and then an even longer ride home for me afterwards from N.Conway to Salem.  I am wiped as I type, but glad Stowe has come and gone.  I've shaved the stache and am now back to looking like Kristin's husband (as she so graciously told me last night) ;).


  1. As always, nice report. Thanks for not elaborating on my "performance". It was like the whale you pork your freshman year of college. Just got to forget about it as quickly as possible and never speak of it again.

    It was nice to have Pete out on the course. I didn't know who he was at the time but he was encouraging everyone and helpful.