Carver Cranberry 5 Miler - USATF-NE Grand Prix
Saturday - July 28, 2012
First up was the Carver Cranberry 5 Miler (results) down in Carver, MA. This was race #5 in the USATF-New England Road Racing Grand Prix. Road racing (and road running for that matter) for me has become rather boring and mind numbing but now that the mountain series is over and done with, it's time for some more road stuff to keep the legs moving and get ready for some fall and winter seasons. The 5 miler in Carver is a race I did last year and I was a respectable 7th last year (thanks to not many BAA guys or other fast guys showing up). I also ran an 'OK' 25:36 last year, which is good for a first race coming down from the mountains. This year, even with the issues I've had leading up to this summer (and my high week), I was really looking to run a bit faster than last year. I didn't really accomplish that, but I am not complaining because it could have been a lot worse.
Before the race I stayed about 18 miles away in Pembroke, MA at my wife's parent's house (which saved me from having to do a 3+ hour drive in the morning). I stayed up a bit late watching the Olympic opening ceremony and then I got up early to watch the cycling road race (at least the start) before hitting the road. I didn't get much sleep but I was feeling OK. I headed down about 20 minutes and got to the race without much time in the car, which was nice.
I warmed up w/ a small crew of CMS runners and then got ready for some action. It was a little warm but not bad. We had a good squad ready to rock and the task at hand was to beat GBTC to stay ahead in the standings. As good as the Western Mass Distance Project (WMDP) is, and BAA, they both have incomplete scores from previous GPs, so we really have to focus on staying ahead of GBTC and that is really it. Team Run is a little behind us and may be out of reach. Whirlaway has been decimated with injuries this year and are basically all but out of contention.
As the gun went off, I found out really soon that I felt very flat and heavy. I was hoping that just by default, I'd be able to slug out a solid pace because my strength is good coming out of the mountain series and with all the long climbing and trail runs I've been doing. A big noticeable difference this year was the actual fact that there was a good amount of good runners in the race (as opposed to last year, where I was an astounding 7th place). WMDP had numbers, and there were a few BAA guys there too. I tried to settle in and by the 1 mile mark (which I came through in 4:53 (3 seconds slower than last year) I was just about where I'd finish in the race (with the exception of just a few places).
During the second mile, Justin Freeman pulled away from me (even though he's been hurt and has been hardly running during the last week) and the main field started to spread out. I put some distance on a few guys who had been lingering off my shoulder. A GBTC guy who had been running near the front, pulled out and took his singlet off around 2 miles or so. Shortly after that, I had a WMDP guy roll up on me and I stayed with him for a while, matching his pace before he pulled a way a little bit. Then, Brennan Bonner (GBTC) came up past me around 3 miles. I adjusted and ran with him for a bit, making that 3rd mile go by quicker than normal. I think this was what salvaged the race for me. We were able to pass by Jared Markowitz (BAA) (even though he put up a good fight) and I believe the same WMDP runner who had passed me before. Shortly thereafter, I lost Brennan as he began to pull away and I felt heavier and heavier.
During the 3rd mile, I started to reel in a group of runners including Justin Freeman, Dan Vassallo, and Adam Malek (among others). The back of that lead pack was really starting to thin and spread out. By 4 miles, I had rolled up behind Dan and soon after, passed him by. I knew he'd be coming back though, especially when I came up behind. I gave him a few words of wisdom (i.e. yelled at him to get his arse going and help me catch a few guys). I told him we had about 3 minutes left and every second counted. Needless to say, right near the end (in the last 300 yards or so), Dan smoked back past me as I knew he would. I wasn't expecting another WMDP guy to nip me at the line, but that also happened, which sucked. I need to really start working on RACING at the end of races. I should have been 15th, but ended up 16th behind said WMDP runner.
I ended up 4th for CMS with a time that was 1 second faster than last year. 25:35. That was a good sign for us as a team (considering I was the top CMS guy there last year and now I was barely scoring). Dan and Adam held off my last mile attack and Nate Jenkins manned-up up front for a 4th place OA finish. Scott Leslie came up huge, only 20 seconds behind me. Last year, our collective time was 2:09:48 for the team. This year we ran 2:07:04. That's a pretty solid improvement. I'd like to think I could have made up the 4 seconds at the end to dip us under 2:07 but I digress. That got us 3rd OA as a team, behind BAA and WMDP. Since those teams can't catch us in the overall GP series, beating GBTC (which we were tied with before this race) is huge. I know we may be understaffed at the 5k, so I have a feeling this overall series will come down to the marathon again. CMS has won the team title at the marathon the past 2 years. Looking to continue that streak! So if you are a CMS guy and you haven't decided yet if you want to run Cape, you got 12 weeks starting today to train for that sh*te!
Splits: 4:53 / 5:08 / 5:10 / 5:15 / 5:08
Top 20 Overall (plus CMS mens racing team in blue):
|12||JUSTIN FREEMAN||35||Team RUN||25:29.5||5:06|
|87||TIM VAN ORDEN||44||CMS||28:04.4||5:37|
583 Total Finishers.
Photos - Ted Tyler
Photos - Krissy K
York Days 5k - Seacoast Series Race #4
Sunday - July 29, 2012
(stiff competition directly to MY right)...
After a late afternoon shakeout on Saturday (post 5 mile race) I got some decent rest and it was up bright and early for a trip down to York, Maine for the York Days 5k. This race is always in the Seacoast Series and is an 8am start! That meant I had to get an extra early start down to the Maine seacoast for my 4th attempt at this race in 5 years (missing last year's race because of a conflict).
I arrived tired and sore at York high school on a rather dreary morning. I went in to pick up my bib and scanned the registrants list for usual suspect names but didn't see anyone on there except Chris Ritchie who has been running well this year and is always a solid 5k-10k guy. I knew there were a couple hundred spots left for day-of registration, so it was anyone's guess who would show up. I saw some fast looking dudes early on, and a couple of them just looked like they could motor. The adizero adios they were wearing gave it away. You can't find those shoes in the store and those are the top of the line as far as I'm concerned.... they had to be serious.
I warmed up over the course and felt like death. I had no clue how I was going to race hard and was just hoping that either those couple guys and Chris went out really hard and I was just blown away early, OR that I would somehow find something deep down and drop everyone early. I wasn't sure what was going to happen but figured if it came down to a kick, I'd be pulling muscles left and right.
The gun went off a little late but the good news is that it really wasn't raining (yet). One of those two guys I saw early, went out flying pretty good. I had a step on him by 200 meters in but he was right with me as we exited the school area and took a turn onto the main road for the first of only a couple climbs. I worked the first mile at a decent clip and started to not hear the footfalls any longer, which was a great sign. By the time I hit the mile, I felt 'OK' and cruised through in 5:07 (half of the mile is a really slight climb).
My second mile was about the same (with a good small hill and then some nice downhill). I put a lot of distance on the field here and by the time I hit the 2 mile mark, I glanced back and could hardly see anyone. The third mile heads out along the ocean for a few blocks and there were a lot of spectators there, all telling me 'you got this'. I took the final turn back onto the first main road (single loop course) and started to rig up a bit but kept moving. I ran hard on the last stretch into the school to salvage a decent 15:40 5k. The warmup and race put me over 100 miles for the week, with back to back races. I'm very surprised this didn't go horribly wrong. I ran 15:27 here in 2010 (for 2nd) but I'll gladly take the win at 15:40, believe me.
It was my second win here (with 2 other 2nd place finishes both to John Mentzer in 2009 and 2010). I won this race the first time back in 2008 and didn't run it last year. For the win, I got a medal and $100. More importantly, I keep my lead in the Seacoast Series. Now I really just have to show up to 2 more (out of the 4 remaining races) and keep my composure and I should have the series win.
Top 10 Overall:
|1||Jim Johnson||35||Madison NH||15:40||5:03|
|2||Colby Nixon||22||Eliot ME||16:22||5:16|
|3||Chris Ritchie||29||Hampton NH||16:26||5:18|
|4||Peter McNeil||28||Barrington NH||16:43||5:23|
|5||Matthew Weber||31||York Beach ME||16:53||5:26|
|6||Tucker Nixon||20||Eliot ME||16:58||5:28|
|7||Mitchell Finitz||18||York ME||17:21||5:36|
|8||Matthew Dynan||15||Reading MA||17:33||5:39|
|10||John Gagnon||45||Lewiston ME||17:40||5:42|
775 Total Finishers.
Cooled down w/ 10th place finisher John Gagnon from Maine, but doing the course in reverse. Saw one of the back of the pack runners get sideswiped by a car on the main ocean road. He was OK though. Then, a couple stops in the NH seacoast area at a couple stores before heading back home to the valley. A light shakeout on grass in the late afternoon/early evening put me at 110 miles for the week. Newburyport 10 Miler is a possibility on Tuesday night if my legs are cooperating. Will be a game day decision though.