This past weekend I headed back down to Dover, NH for the third time this year for the Children's Museum of NH 5k (results). It is the 7th time in the last 8 years I have run this race. The first year I did the race was the last year it was held in Portsmouth. Every year since, it has been in Dover. This year, like all the other years, it kicks off the Seacoast Road Race Series.
Once again the entire family joined me on the trip down to Dover, NH for the race. I was a bit nervous about the fact that I really hadn't done anything 'longish' as a run all week, but did have a decent shorter workout on Wednesday, which was enough to at least tell me that within the past week, I've run somewhat quick at some point.
I warmed up on the course w/ Leslie O'Dell who for some reason is doing the occasional road race this year...It could have something to do with her running VCM at the end of the month, so I'm guessing that after that, I won't see her ever again at a race. After warming up, I quickly changed and headed the short distance from the car to the starting line, only to see Derrick Hamel and Eric Couture standing there ready to go. There was the top 3, I was thinking... I wasn't sure what order it would be in, but I was pretty sure that was the podium.
I clicked through the mile (on my watch) in 5:02 (a couple ticks before the mile marker on the road). I peeked back a few times and saw Eric in 2nd and he didn't look too far back, but it was hard to tell. The second mile has some slight up, some slight down, another short but steep pitch up out of the neighborhood loop, and then some nice downhill through the 2 mile mark. I may have moved slightly ahead of Eric more during the 2nd mile and kept pushing up and out of the neighborhood loop.
My second mile split was 5:00 and I was through the 2 mile in 10:02-10:03. Again, a couple to a few ticks before the 2 mile mark on the road. This was in the middle of a steep downhill drop where you can really get things moving. I bottomed out and thought I may be looking at 15:30s if I could hold on. I felt really good and moved passed Nate Huppe who was standing on the side of the road shooting water at me with a water pistol. Not soon after that, I started a little push up the last uphill section past the boat docks and I saw Nate Jenkins standing there cheering me on. Two Nates in the last mile... He told me I had a decent lead on the next guy, so I knew he probably saw him back there....which made me a little nervous as Eric obviously has a lot more speed that I do... but it was so late in the race and my pace was hot enough where I thought it would take a lot for him to come back on me.
I went up and over the hill, down across the bridge, and down along the last stretch before the 3rd mile mark. My third mile split was 4:51 (which is in-line with how this course runs). I had another 56 seconds to the finish line however after my Garmin beeped. It beeped pretty far from the 3 mile mark (before it). It was a little deflating because I knew 15:30s would be out of the question at that point. I should really start focusing on the mile markers on the road instead of my watch. Especially on courses I'm familiar with and know are pretty accurate.
After that last 56 seconds, I came through the finish in 15:49 officially. That really wasn't too bad considering I've only ever run 15:46 as my fastest time on this course. So this was only 3 seconds off that. And back in 2011 when I ran that time (for the win), I was racing Nick Crowell until 2.5 miles. So to drop a 15:49 in a mostly solo effort (although the specter of Eric being back there certainly kept me moving) is pretty good for where I am right now. It's my second fastest time on this course (out of 6 runs on the current course) which is frankly amazing. It was nowhere near Eric's CR of 15:30 but it's still faster than I would have ever thought I'd be running on this course again.
|Photo in Fosters|
Top 10 Overall:
|1||15:49||5:06||Jim Johnson||38||Madison NH|
|2||16:42||5:23||Eric Couture||27||Boston MA|
|3||16:55||5:27||Derrick Hamel||31||Northwood NH|
|4||17:39||5:41||Justin Whittet||30||Portsmouth NH|
|5||18:00||5:48||Daniel Dion||29||Dover NH|
|6||18:20||5:54||David Chamberlain||39||Minneapolis MN|
|7||18:23||5:55||Justin Warner||25||Greenland NH|
|8||18:31||5:58||Tim Horan||33||Dover NH|
|9||18:37||6:00||Bartley Mullin||27||Rochester NH|
|10||18:46||6:03||Leslie O'Dell||39||Albany NH|
666 Total Finishters.
Fosters Article: http://www.fosters.com/article/20150502/SPORTS/150509856
Great Photo Album: http://m51photo.zenfolio.com/p680332158#h44b1ce19
My history at the Children's Museum of NH 5k / Footbridge 5k:
2015 - 1st - 15:49
2014 - 1st - 16:25
2012 - 3rd - 16:13 (Brandon Newbould/Colin Fishwick 1-2)
2011 - 1st - 15:46
2010 - 3rd - 15:53 (Bob Wiles/Mentzer 1-2)
2009 - 3rd - 16:13 (Chris Mahoney/John Mentzer 1-2 - Race in Dover for first time)
2008 - 2nd - 15:56 (Sam Wood 1st - Race in Portsmouth for last time)
I guess the year I don't get top 3 should be the year I hang em up...
I cooled down with Darin Brown, Eric, Derrick, and Leslie over the course again. Then it was back to the park to collect my 10 lobster dinners from the Weathervane that will probably never be cashed in (still have the 10 from last year). If we are ever running together somewhere and you want to know the back story of my experiences with cashing in these lobster dinner certificates, let me know and I'll give you the scoop. Funny story.