Saturday - August 6, 2011
Dam Trail Race (Oxford, MA) (results)
My feet had been bothering me for most of the last week +, but I still went out to try to defend my title (narrowly edging out Ben Nephew in last year's race by just a couple seconds after he did all of the work over the duration of the race). This year it was pretty damn hot out and the field was pretty good as my teammates Ross Krause (who destroyed me at Loon this year for a very strong second place) and Jim Pawlicki were both in the house.
At the beginning of the race I shot out and led immediately, as Ben was not there this year. Usually I let Ben do the pacing, as it is by now certainly evident that he is a much better indicator of proper pacing early in a race. I shot out like it was a 5k and by a couple miles in, I had a large enough lead where I couldn't see anyone behind. I backed off a bit after remembering that this race was 10.5 miles long! The only thing that scared me just a little was the one small climb in the middle, but I hit that without much issue. I rolled for most of the race, taking it relatively easy after 3 or so miles and maintaining what I thought would be a similar pace that the rest of the field would run (essentially using my lead I built up over the first few miles, as the margin I wanted to hold). Easier said than done though, as I started to feel it later in the race and the last couple miles (without Ben there) was a little difficult for me.
In the end, I rolled in to a 1:04:31 for another win here, exactly 4 minutes in front of Jim Pawlicki and a surging Ross Krause, who finished 2-3, and only 1 second apart.
Top 10 overall (CMS in Blue):
|1||1:04:31||Jim Johnson||Salem, NH||CMS|
|2||1:08:31||James Pawlicki||Beverly, MA||CMS|
|3||1:08:32||Ross Krause||Easthampton, MA||CMS|
|4||1:12:53||Rob Hult||Harvard, MA||Puma|
|5||1:13:28||Mike Mazzotta||Marlboro, MA|
|6||1:15:14||Todd Walker||Amherst, MA|
|7||1:15:26||John Pajer||Leicester, MA||CMS|
|8||1:16:26||Scott Cote||Gales Ferry, CT|
|9||1:16:42||Ross Mungeam||Douglas, MA||TVFR|
|10||1:17:02||Todd Bennett||Columbia, ?|
81 total finishers (10.5 miler). There was also a 5 miler.
I won $50 for the win. It was $100 last year, but since we ran a mile shorter this year, it's understandable ;)....
Thursday - August 11, 2011
Cigna (Manchester, NH) (results)
This race is a big one on my calendar, but it didn't go as planned simply because my feet were giving me major problems. My plantar problems have been epic lately and leading up to Cigna, I could barely hobble without serious discomfort. I had run well the past 2 years here (15:12 in 2009 and 15:08 in 2010) and was kind of expecting a better showing this year but it wasn't to be. I got off the line alright but quickly felt my foot pain and just couldn't keep it going without much discomfort and awkwardness. I came through mile 1 in 4:54 (slower already than last year) and then struggled over the next (mostly downhill and flat) mile to the tune of 4:55 before the wheels blew off. I managed a 5:02 last mile and :33 or so last .1 before cruising in in 15:25 (4:58 pace) for 13th place. I could have picked up maybe 3 more spots had I at least equaled last year's time/effort, but it wasn't meant to be. It's really too bad because this race is a great place to drop the hammer and run a PR. The field is good but not crazy (definitely the top in NH though as far as sub 15/14's go). The course is a fantastic place to run fast. The only thing that can get in the way is the weather (August is usually pretty warm in Manchester) and time of day/week (6pm on a Thurs).
Top 30 (plus CMS Men's Racing Team in blue):
|1||14:01||4:31||Kumsa Megersa||25||Bronx NY|
|2||14:04||4:32||Linus Chumba||31||Nyack NY|
|3||14:13||4:35||Derese Denibob||28||Bronx NY|
|4||14:26||4:39||Teotaye Dube||27||Bronx NY|
|5||14:42||4:44||Andrea Sorgato||30||Medford MA|
|6||14:44||4:45||Justin Freeman||34||New Hampton NH|
|7||14:45||4:45||Fikadu Lemma||27||Bronx NY|
|8||14:48||4:46||Tufa Genna||28||Bronx NY|
|9||14:54||4:48||Nate Jenkins||30||Andover MA|
|10||15:08||4:53||Jonathan Gault||20||Bedford MA|
|11||15:14||4:55||Samuel Gagnon||18||Hooksett NH|
|12||15:19||4:56||Andrew Chalmers||21||Ashland NH|
|13||15:25||4:58||Jim Johnson||34||Salem NH|
|14||15:31||5:00||Alex Beaulieu||21||Durham NH|
|15||15:33||5:01||Peter Mallett||28||Manchester NH|
|16||15:37||5:02||Jason Dedonato||25||Nashua NH|
|17||15:40||5:03||Chris Brown||21||Chelmsford MA|
|18||15:44||5:04||Jose Oriiz||22||Methuen MA|
|19||15:48||5:06||Jack Collopy||17||Durham NH|
|20||15:51||5:07||Joe Jourdain||19||Hudson NH|
|21||15:57||5:08||Corey Duchemin||20||Manchester NH|
|22||16:01||5:10||Kevin Alliette||30||Methuen MA|
|23||16:02||5:10||Joseph Ekuom||41||New Paltz NY|
|24||16:04||5:11||Tyler Andrews||21||Concord MA|
|25||16:06||5:11||Mackenzie Kilpatrick||29||Belmont NH|
|26||16:03||5:10||Brenden Repack||21||Merrimack NH|
|27||16:09||5:12||Brandon Davis-O'donnel||17||Nashua NH|
|28||16:09||5:12||Nathan Huppe||31||Dover NH|
|29||16:09||5:12||Colton Ham||17||Webster NH|
|30||16:11||5:13||Chris Plankey||20||Bristol NH|
|32||16:20||5:16||Mike Quintal||33||North Andover MA|
|42||16:38||5:22||Scott Clark||45||Gilmanton NH|
|48||16:46||5:24||Sam Wood||25||Laconia NH|
5343 Total Finishers.
WMUR TV Coverage of Start
WMUR TV News Footage/Recap - CMS' Abby Gosling gets interviewed for being top NH female.
No money this year. I won $300 beans at this race last year for 4th place, but then again, all the Ethiopians missed the bus! ;)
Saturday - August 13, 2011
Crisman Memorial 5k (Amherst, NH) (results)
Coming off of a very disappointing Cigna, I immediately wanted to redeem myself and looked for a 5k to do just a couple days later.
I picked the 9th Annual Crisman 5k in Amherst because it looked super low-key. I figured nobody would show up other than the usual locals and headed over the 45 minute ride with the plan of being able to run maybe around 16 minutes for a win (to help with my confidence). I got to the race and there was hardly anyone there. I walked over to register and noticed, as I was filling out my race app, a fast looking dude across from me at the table, filling out his app. I looked up to see that it was my CMS teammate Tim Pipp. I immediately just had to smile because he was there with obviously the same intentions as me. Now, it was looking to be a potentially fast race after all.
We warmed up together over the course and joked about how there'd most likely be the fastest two times ever run at this race, today. When we got back, it was feeling pretty hot out and we changed and headed over to the track for some last minute strides and loosening up. As soon as I got over to the track, I noticed Jason Dedonato (R.UN) and couldn't believe it. Now there were 3 possible fastest times ever. Jason had been right behind me at Cigna just two days prior (and he is also a UML Alumn). We went over and talked to him for a bit and found that he too had thought this would be an 'easy win'. It is funny how that happens, but worlds had definitely collided with us 3 now toeing the line in one of the lowest-key races on the schedule.
The race began (and finished) on the track. Tim jolted out ahead and Jason and I got right behind him as the first 300 meters is on the track before going through the fence and out into the parking lot of the school. The lot is quite long and by the time it dumped out onto the road, the three of us had a pretty large lead. From there, Tim and I changed the lead a couple times. I rolled up past him maybe a half mile or so in, and when we hit a slight climb for the first time, he rolled up past me and looked to be making a big move. I reacted and stayed behind, while Jason seemed to fall back just a bit.
The first mile was a blazing 4:41 but since the course was run in reverse this year (at the request of the Amherst Police), I seem to think that may have been placed slightly off. Just after the mile, I rolled past Tim and took the lead for good (although I certainly didn't think that would be the case). Jason fell back even more and it became spread out pretty good by a mile and a half. The course takes a couple of left hand turns and I kept up the pace as much as I could with my feet giving me problems. Fitness-wise I felt OK and kept up the pace, but looked back every once in a while to see Tim not too far behind.
I clicked through the 2 mile mark in 4:58 and continued to push around this big loop course. I was surprised to see a sub 5 again, but I think that is where my fitness is right now and I may be a little faster had my feet and calf issues been a non-factor. The last mile is very deceiving as you dump back out onto the main road you started on but then you can see the school almost immediately. Looking at my watch I was only about 2 minutes or so into the last mile, when you can see the school (almost like the end of Redhook, when you can see the brewery from a mile away). I thought for sure I'd run a smoking time, but had no idea how long the last half mile would be. It is a slight incline up through a very long school parking lot. Longer than I was expecting. As I ran this stretch, I got an idea of how far back Tim was and knew for the first time that I'd be able to hold him off. I hit the track and went through the 3 mile mark in 14:48. I was 31 for my last .1 (like usual) on the track, and came through in 15:20, which was 5 seconds faster than my 5k at Cigna two days prior. It was also a course record (USATF # NH08015RF).
Myself, Tim, and Jason ran the 1st, 2nd, and 4th fastest times in the 9 years of the race...
Top 10 Overall (CMS in blue)
|1||15:20||4:57||JIM JOHNSON||34||SALEM NH|
|2||15:38||5:02||TIMOTHY PIPP||23||KEENE NH|
|3||15:58||5:09||JASON DEDONATO||25||NASHUA NH|
|4||17:15||5:33||JASON PORTER||41||BEDFORD NH|
|5||17:26||5:37||CHRISTIOPHE BUSBY||17||MERRIMACK NH|
|6||17:44||5:43||JASON BENDER||17||AMHERST NH|
|7||18:32||5:58||PATRICK LYNCH||15||AMHERST NH|
|8||18:48||6:03||ELI MASKOWITZ||14||AMHERST NH|
|9||19:01||6:08||RAELYN CROWELL-CAOT||40||AMHERST NH|
|10||19:11||6:11||RYAN LYNCH||15||AMHERST NH|
185 Total Finishers.
I won $50 beans and a $100 gift cert to Runner's Alley in Nashua. I stopped in on the way home and visited with my old UML teammate BJ Bottomley and bought $100 worth of Injinji socks ;)...sorry BJ!