Sunday, July 31, 2011

Semi-Pemi Loop Video and Photos

Late getting this posted because of a couple of issues with one of the video clips (you'll notice the last bit where we are in the river is much lower quality)... long story, but it took me a week to get this thing up on Youtube.

Semi-Pemi Loop with Kevin Tilton - 7/24/2011 - Lincoln, Franconia NH - Climbing up Bondcliff, Bond, West Bond, Guyot, South Twin, and Galehead.

Watch in HD!!!

iPhone photos on Smugmug CLICK HERE.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Training 07-25 - 07-31

Wrap Up: 74.1 miles on the week with a couple of good trail runs, a good track workout, a light spin,  and a solid race at Carver.  Moving in the right direction (or at least not going in the wrong one)...

07-31 - Sunday: 18 miles total:  am: 13.5 (roads and trails) - N.Salem, Derry, NH w/ Dave Quintal from his house.  Roads, through the woods around Gordon's Hill and back down to roads around Arlington Mills Reservoir and then up into Derry and back. Hot but nice easy miles.  Opted out of York Days 5k today and hence the Seacoast Series.  I won't be able to make Saunders due to travelling to the 50K, I won't be able to make Fox Point due to a wedding, and Great Bay 5k is the day before Cape basically doing York would have been all for not, as I can't do 6 total races in the series this year.  It's a shame too because I was (and still am officially) winning the series...but it looks like now I will be giving up the series to either Nick Crowell or Rob Levey, who tore up the York course today anyways.  I am going to save a little for Newburyport this Tuesday and I think it was the right decision.
pm: 4.5 miles (trails) w/ Kevin Alliette at Winni in Haverhill.

07-30 - Saturday: 11.5 miles (roads) - 3.5 w/up with strides w/ CMS crew before Carver 5 Miler in Carver, MA + 5 mile race (25:36) - 7th OA + 3 mile c/dwn with Newbould, Ortiz, Narcisi.

07-29 - Friday: 7.2 miles (roads) - easy run in Salem, Methuen, Haverhill.  Drizzled a bit and a little humid.  Just an easy day before a weekend full o' racing.  [47:56].  Past couple of road runs breaking in the Inov-8 155s which I will test drive this weekend/week on the roads of Carver, York, and Newburyport.

07-28 - Thursday: 10 miles (trails) - Winni trails in Haverhill with Kevin Alliette, Jose Ortiz, Danny Wang and about 6 other UML / Methuen guys.  Good crew again...kept the run under control.  [1:10:59].

Kevin and I then went for a spin back in Salem.  11 miles (more for him as he rode to my house) around Salem and a little bit of Methuen.  We went up Stanwood to the top of Spicket Hill...good views of the Wapack range just after sunset... got back just in time as it was just about completely dark when I pulled in my yard.  Kevin has one of the most explosive surges on flat roads I have ever seen.  He does have to work on his climbing though.

07-27 - Wednesday: 8.1 miles (roads) - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (solo).  Easy run late in the day.  Recovering from the last few days.  Feet are starting to bother me in the mornings again (like last year)...otherwise I  feel OK. [54:21].

07-26 - Tuesday: 9.25 miles (track workout) - 2 mile warmup then 2mile in 10:32 + 800m jog rest + 1mile in 4:47 + 400m jog rest + 800m in 2:28 + 400m jog rest + 800m in 2:24 + 2.25m cooldown.  This was Sully's workout and Dave Quintal and Chris Healey joined us.  Good crew.  Legs held up well.

07-25 - Monday: 10 miles (trails) - Maudslay trails in Newburyport w/ Kevin Alliette (WHIRL), Angus MacDonald (UML), Steven Fitzsimmons (UML), Tyler Sullivan (UML), Ben Pare (BC) and a few other guys (I think 10 total)...good crew.  Legs felt pretty stiff at first (hips).  Things got better as the run progressed.  Poured the entire time.  [1:12:24].

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Training 07-18 - 07-24

Wrap Up: 71.2 miles on 6 days. No racing, a couple of decent local trail runs, a good track workout, two well needed short/easy days (one off day), and an awesome long run including some peak bagging in the Whites.  Good times.

07-24 - Sunday: 27 miles (trails and mountains) - Lincoln, Franconia, NH with Kevin Tilton.  From Lincoln Woods in what we called the 'Semi-Pemi Loop'.  Bagging 5 official 4000'ers [Bondcliff (4265 ft), Mt. Bond (4698 ft), West Bond (4540 ft), South Twin (4902 ft) and Galehead (4024 ft)].  We also run up and over Mt. Guyot (4580ft) but it is not an official 4000'er.   We started at Lincoln Woods and run up the Lincoln Woods Tr, Wilderness Tr, and Bondcliff Tr to get up to the Bonds and Guyot. Then we cut west on Twinway to South Twin and the Galehead Hut. Then we hopped on Frost Tr to get up to Galehead.  Then back down on the Franconia Brook Tr down past 13 Falls and down between Owl's Head and the Bonds to the intersection of the Lincoln Woods/Wilderness trails and back out. I had 5:35:36 on my watch of actual running time.  Kevin's Garmin elapsed 7:24:03 of actual time including the stop at the hut for food and refilling, natural breaks, and photos/video stops on the summits.  Kevin's Garmin cut us short at 25 miles due to the nature of most of the run being completely in the deep woods, but the actual distance is 27.  It felt like 28 ;).

Elevation Gain (approx): 5326 ft.
Shoes: Inov-8 Roclite 285.

07-23 - Saturday: Off.  Martha's Vineyard for the day.  Long day and literally hours in the ocean, which has never happened.

07-22 - Friday: 6 miles (roads) - Easy road run late in the day - Salem, Methuen, Haverhill (solo). [40:57]

07-21 - Thursday: 13 miles (trails) - Haverhill, MA (Winni trails) with Kevin Alliette, Jose Ortiz, and the same UML/Methuen crew + a bit with Chris Mahoney-Searles and another Stonehill guy.  I'm bad with names, but a good 8 or so guys again.  [1:30:00].  Good training lately with these guys.  Felt good despite the heat (90+ degrees with little comfort even in the shade).  Stopped halfway to watch the Sapienza race go by.  I wanted to race it but it was bloody hot and my hammies were tight this week so I decided to pass on it (even though it's the last year of the race).  Nate Jenkins looked in control and motored by all by himself in the lead (as he did last year).  He commented about all of us standing there watching and asked why we weren't running the race as he passed us.  We should have... I ran the race a couple times and it's a good time and for a good cause (and a good memorial to Mr. Tony Sapienza).  Dan Verrington motored by comfortably in second and looked like he was flying!  He looked like he was going faster than Nate when he passed us.  Heather Mahoney-Searles went by us in 7th OA and held her ground, winning the women's race by over a minute.  Kevin picked up a garden hose from a house on the course and started pelting runners in the grill as they ran was hilarious.

07-20 - Wednesday: 5 miles (roads) - Salem, Methuen. Solo.  Hamstrings were killing me all night and all day today.  Really sore and tight.  I almost bagged today and tried to get numerous folks to run with me to get me out the door... decided at about 7pm to go out and just do a shakeout.  I almost had to turn around less than a half mile in...but it got better and I just went very easy (almost a jog).  Glad I did it though...but still very sore from Sun-Tues.  [35:45].

07-19 - Tuesday: 9 miles (track) - Lawrence Voc. track.  Once again doing Sully's workout for the marathon.  3 mile warmup into 5 mile tempo run on the track then immediate mile cooldown on the track. Sully wanted to try to hit 5:35-5:40s.  We started out on pace (for the first lap ;) ) and got a bit faster.  After 5 laps, Jon and Chris Healey jumped in for the rest.  We all took turns leading for 2 laps at a time.

400 splits: 85/81/80/82/84/82/81/81/83/83/82/83/83/84/81/84/86/82/81/81 [27:39 / 5:31 pace]
Miles:  5:29 / 5:29 / 5:31 / 5:31 / 5:32 / 5:30

** the 86 was after I did 2 laps where I led an 81, dropped the rest of the guys back a bit, and slowed way up through the 84 to wait for Jon who was to lead the next two laps. The 86 was on my watch because I slowed up to let them pass as I crossed the line and waited, but the actual pace of the group was more even through those laps.

Goal was accomplished plus a little bit.  Sully was very happy to have been able to do this workout after last week, where he couldn't even finish the 5x1 mile at the same pace with a rest in between.  It was way hotter out on the track last week and that made all the difference.  I thought his goal of 5:35-5:40 was aggressive for him today, but he proved me wrong.  It helped having the Healey brothers jump in.  Both led solid laps.  I felt great on this workout and didn't feel like I was working at all.  Weird considering I wasn't too much faster at Stowe!  The hamstring (left) went haywire right after I finished.  I did a mile in 7:36 as a cooldown in the outside lane immediately after the workout and it was painful near the end.  Too much in the last 3 days.  I will be crawling tomorrow.

Throwback: Lynn Woods Relay Scholastic Champs - 1994
L-R: Sully, JJ, Al Nunnally, Matt Lyons.

07-18 - Monday: 11.2 miles (trails) in Maudslay from Coach Fuller's house in Newburyport, MA.  Ran w/ Alliette and 8 other UML and Methuen H.S. guys. My legs initially felt like trash.  Calves were tight, hips were tight, feet hurt...that's what I get for a slightly-slower-than-half-marathon-paced run on Sunday for 8 miles. Eveything loosened up after a while.  Kevin pushed the pace.  [1:13:38].

2011 USATF-NE Mountain Series

With the conclusion of last week's Ascutney Hillclimb, the USATF-New England Mountain Series wrapped up for 2011 and I was pleased to accomplish a goal I had set for myself over the past couple of years.  I wanted to first and foremost complete the series and get my second straight mountain goat award (completing all 6 races in the series).  I accomplished that even though I had to run Wachusett the day before Redhook (as I did last year) and even though I had to skip the Rhody 5k (USATF-NE Road GP) to run Pack Monadnock.  A couple of sacrifices is worth completing the series and guaranteeing a spot into Mount Washington next year though for sure.  I also accomplished a second tier (secret) goal of winning the mountain series this year.  It helps when guys like Eric Blake and Kevin Tilton don't run the series, but I don't want to get hung up on who showed and who didn't. Half the battle of these races is showing up and being healthy.  These races are a grind and they really do require you to be healthy, mentally prepared, and certainly motivated.  There is no faking it when it comes to running the last part of Pack, or grinding through Ascutney, or trying to keep a running pace up the Walking Boss at Loon.  These are not races you can just try to show up to and tough your way through.

Last year, Eric Blake cruised to an easy series win by winning 5 of the 6 races (he didn't run Cranmore).  I finished in second place in the series, just edging out Kevin Tilton who did 5 of 6 races as well.  I did all 6 and got my first mountain goat status and award.  This year, I really wanted to see if I could at least get a podium spot, but I wasn't sure who would be trying to do the entire series.  I had thought that my chance to actually win the series had come and gone in 2009, when I only ran 4 of 6 races (skipping the first two, Northfield and Wachusett).  Andy McCarron had won the series (and deservedly so) but I had actually beaten Andy in the 3 races I ran against him in (he only did 5, missing Cranmore because of a time mixup).  You need best 5 races to win the series, so I was not a factor in the scoring.  This year, Andy only ran Northfield and Ascutney, so he wasn't factored into the scoring.  The series came down to a battle between myself, Tim VanOrden, Todd Callaghan, and Ross Krause.  I think I technically had the series wrapped before Ascutney (using my first 5 races to score) but I wanted to get my Goat award and do all 6.

I was pleased to win two races I've never won before (Wachusett and Pack) and get a second win at Ascutney (my first win there was in 2009 when it was the alternate course).  That means I have won 4 of the 6 races in the series (2x Ascutney, 1xPack, 1xWachusett, and 1xLoon (believe it or not, back in 2009)).

Now, I enter the time of year where it's just a mixed bag of roads, trails, and wishing I was in the mountains or in the snow... I wish there were a couple more races in the series that would stretch it out a bit longer in the year but for now I will cherish the time we do have w/ these 6 great races (plus Mount Washington).  May to July is my favorite time of year for racing for sure.

Note to all those out there who want to try something new, different, or challenge themselves a little bit more (or at least in a different way) next year... Try some or all of these races.  Aside from Rhody, there is practically no conflict usually.  No excuses!  Oh yeah, and 235 days left until the 212 Mt. Wash Lotto.

2011 Top 10 Final Results (Men):

NameAgeClubNorthfieldWachusettPackCranmoreLoonAscutney# runTotal PtsBest 5
Jim Johnson33CMS99.50100.00100.0089.4798.03100.006587.00497.53
Tim Van Orden43CMS96.7195.4895.5486.1493.9495.516563.32477.18
Todd Callaghan41GCS94.7195.3893.6485.5898.1993.106560.60475.02
Ross Krause31CMS93.1593.2892.0184.9099.3595.566558.25473.35
Tim Mahoney31CMS92.0692.4392.2480.2185.7394.366537.03456.82
Tom Brown25CMS93.5890.3194.2078.8288.0689.556534.52455.70
Patrick Ard27Whirl93.3194.9183.9384.310.0092.775449.23449.23
Brian Ruhm46GCS88.5088.6189.1279.4189.6288.416523.67444.26
Michael Norton41FTC87.3588.5188.9977.6685.4785.576513.55435.89
Chris Taft3082.1684.8882.2772.3184.3585.446491.41419.10

USATF-New England Mountain Series Champions by Year:

2011 - Jim Johnson (CMS)
2010 - Eric Blake (BAA) +
2009 - Andy McCarron (CMS)
2008 - Justin Fyffe (GCS) *
2007 - Paul Low (CMS)
2006 - Paul Low (CMS)
2005 - Paul Low (CMS)
2004 - Josh Ferenc (BAA) **
2003 - Eric Morse (CMS)
2002 - Eric Morse (CMS)
2001 - Eric Morse (CMS)
2000 - Eric Morse (CMS)
1999 - Eric Morse (CMS)
1998 - Dave Dunham (CMS)
1997 - Eric Morse (CMS)
1996 - Dave Dunham (CMS)

+ - used to be CMS
* - became CMS 
** - secretly wants to be CMS

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) ;).

Training 07-11 - 07-17

Wrap Up: 64.2 miles for the week whilst missing a day due to a packed weekend schedule. I think I needed a little downtime and I don't think the one day affected anything.  Some good trail running, a little track work, and  1 'OK' race on Sunday.  It could have been a lot worse and we got 2nd as a team (behind BAA) which was about the best we could have expected to do so I'm happy as we still have a commanding lead in the overall GP standings with only 2 races left.  Really happy that my teammates stepped it up and ran solid races collectively.  This week I need to push up the miles a little bit.  It is supposed to be hot, so we'll see.

Special thanks this week to the Tilton's for putting up with me on Saturday night and then for Kevin specifically, for driving me to and from Stowe.  I was glad to finally get back home (believe it or not) on Sunday night after what seemed like days of driving.

07-17 - Sunday: 14 miles (roads) - Stowe, VT - warmup with large CMS group then race: Stowe 8 Miler - 15th OA [42:57] + cooldown with Ferenc, Boj, then solo after chilling in the river w/ the mates.  Race was HOT and potentially a bit long.  Slow times from top to bottom as most people ran slower than their actual half-marathon pace.  I was relatively pleased w/ the race (compared to last year) but still think I should have been 5 or so places better than I was.  Good news is that nobody except for Tim Pipp passed me after about 1.5 miles into the race.  I started out slow and just kept passing people until the end. I passed Tim at 6 miles and he got me back by 7 and we just rolled in after that.

07-16 - Saturday: Off - Had wedding in Booth Bay Harbor, ME and then up to N.Conway after.  5:30 hours of driving and the rest of the day sitting in the sun.

07-15 - Friday: 7 miles (trails/road) - Gordon's hill trails with DQ from his house in N.Salem/Windham, NH. [53:00].

07-14 - Thursday: 13 miles (trails/mountains) - with Kevin Tilton in Freedom, Madison, NH.  1500+ ft of elevation gain [1:45:49].

07-13 - Wednesday: 9 miles (roads) - easy does it.  Salem roads w/ DQ from Mobile station.  Up Spickett and down, around neighborhoods and into Haverhill and Methuen before looping back on 97. [1:05:15].  Heel was bothering me a bit early (as it was yesterday on the warmup and cooldown). Stowe in 4 days...then I can shave!

07-12 - Tuesday: 11 miles (trails and track) - 3 mile warmup with Sully on river trails from track.  Then 4x 1 mile with 400 jog in between each.  This was Sully's marathon workout and he wanted to go for goal marathon pace which is 5:40 for him.  It was brutally hot on the track and we started off fine, hitting 5:36 for the first mile (I led).  400 jog, then into the second mile which I dragged sully into another 5:36.  He was about 4 seconds back on each so he was sitting right at 5:40s.  The third one was catching up to him.  I went through in 5:30 and he was around 6:13 or so.  He had to dog the 400 jog and just drink water and catch his breath.  He hung with me on the first lap of the last mile but bailed at the 400 mark and I continued on to a 5:15 with a 65 last lap.  Went 5:36/5:36/5:30/5:15 in about 93 degree heat.  Not a bad workout for before Stowe (especially after being in the mountains for the last few weeks and not running 'fast' in a while).  Sully hung tough but it was just too damn hot.  Cooled down one lap + 3 more miles on the trails (solo).  11 total.  [1:09:54].

07-11 - Monday: 10.1 miles (trails) - Maudslay trails in Newburyport, MA with Kevin Alliette and some Methuen/UML guys.  Kevin's Garmin data [1:10:12].  Legs feel good despite running down the mountain after Ascutney yesterday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mount Ascutney Hillclimb

Sunday - July 10, 2011

Ascutney Mountain Hill Climb
USATF New England Mountain Series Race #6 of 6
Windsor, VT

3.7 miles (ascent only)
Terrain: Mountain Auto Road
Ascent: 2300 ft
Time: 30:08
1st place overall of 192

Mile 1) 7:48
Mile 2) 8:33
Mile 3) 8:16
last .7) 5:29
Finish: 60:32

Race website: here
Results: here
2010 Race Report
2009 Race Report
2008 Race Report

Photo / Video Credits
 and Links
Kristin Johnson: Gallery
Ken Skier
Mr. Ard: 1st Video below

Race Report: 

Sunday I travelled up to Windsor, VT to wrap up the USATF-NE Mountain Series for 2011.  After a disappointing race up Loon last week, I was ready for another crack at a mountain win.  Ascutney is a grind, but after two strong runs up Mount Washington this year, I had a little more confidence in this type of race.  I knew that there was no fewer than 6 guys that could win this race, including Ross Krause (CMS) and Patrick Ard (WHIRL) who are both very strong climbers, but I also knew that Eric Blake wouldn't be back (due to injury) and Kevin Tilton wasn't running.  This gave me at least a chance to try to go for a win to wrap up the series.

The course is about as close to being half of Mount Washington as you can get.  It's about half the height, half the distance, and the same average grade slope.  Any way you slice it, it's a tough little race.  It would be great if it was before Mount Washington, as it gives people who were going to run Washington for the first time, an 'idea' of what to expect, but being a few weeks after, it's mostly attended by mountain goats looking to complete the series.  If you do all 6 races in the series, you are a 'Mountain Goat' and you get not only a spiffy mountain goat t-shirt, but you also get a bypass into the following year's Mount Washington Road Race.  This year there were 99 goats in total!

I warmed up with Tom Brown (CMS) and Patrick but it was cut short and rushed because the mountain goat team photo was being taken (as it is every year before Ascutney goes off) and  we had to wait in a massive line to get our shirts before the photo was needless to say I was a little flustered by the time it was ready to race.  I wore the trusty f-lite 230s, as I am still waiting on my 155s.  The 230s have been good to me and they are perfect for this type of race.

Tim VanOrden (who was duking it out with Todd Callaghan for the 2nd and 3rd spot in the overall series) told me that another good runner/climber was in the house (as he usually does this to me before races).  This time, it was Duncan Douglas who the day before, had come in 2nd up at Mt. Washington in the Newton's Revenge bicycle race (but he won the first of two heats and it was supposedly supposed to be the fast heat, so he wasn't pleased that a guy in the second wave rode faster and got the overall win).  Tivo wasn't the only person to tell me about Duncan before the needless to say I was a little nervous and figured if he was going to be out front, that was fine...there were a lot of other guys there I needed to worry about.  Ross, Tim Mahoney (CMS), Ryan, Tom, Todd, and a latecomer Andy McCarron, who had been noticeably absent the whole series (except for Northfield).  Andy was 2nd to me in 2009 when I won the race and he's certainly beaten me in enough races in the past to warrant much respect at Ascutney.  He got me a couple years ago at Mt. Washington and I didn't want to give him too much of a lead if any because I know how tough he is to beat.

The race went off and I immediately darted out to the front but backed off quite a bit as the climb started to set in.  Ascutney goes into a grinding climb immediately (after a short 30 yard turn onto the main auto road from a side road).  I was gradually easing into the hill and I was surprised that nobody went out harder.  Last year, Eric Blake and Kevin Tilton shot out immediately and I was pulled along for the ride. This year, I was the one doing the pulling.  After a short while, I heard breathing and footfalls behind me.  I turned quick and thought it was Tim Mahoney, who has started out in this race fast in the past.  After a little while of having him on my shoulder, I turned again and noticed it was Pat Ard.   Patrick is a very strong climber but his recent injuries have made his training suffer quite a bit and his fitness level isn't where it needed to be to maintain the pace.  I didn't know this at first of course, and shortly before the mile we had gone back and forth with taking small leads on each other.  He'd go up on me for a few steps, then I'd catch up and pull ahead.  It was a little back and forth like that for a bit as we crossed through the first mile in 7:48 (1 second slower than I was last year). We opened up a decent gap on what looked to be 3 or 4 guys with Andy McCarron out front of the change pack.

Shortly after the mile, I pulled ahead and quickly lost earshot of Pat's breathing and footsteps.  I chugged onward but felt terrible as the climbing is just relentless (see here for a cool video of a car going up the course in the auto race).  Even though I clicked through the 2nd mile in 8:33 (13 seconds faster than last year's split), I felt awful and kept looking back to see how far back Andy and the chase pack were.  I had zero confidence and thought I'd be caught the entire time.  I was passing bikers who were training for the bike race that happens here in a week or two and I was passing the occasional hiker and I wished I could just stop and walk as I passed by them, but I kept going and kept thinking that I could maybe grind it out if I can just make it to the couple of 'flat' sections that were in the later miles.  There are actually about 3 sections where the course levels off for a small bit before kicking you in the ass again.

Somewhere deep into the third mile, I started to not see anyone behind me on most of the sections. A couple of the switchbacks allowed me to peer through and see people, but I was able to somehow open a gap and by 3 miles I was comfortably ahead.  I looked back on some of the longer sections and didn't see anyone.  I started to feel more and more confident and I clicked through 3 miles with an 8:16 split (14 seconds faster than last year).  I knew I was now looking at a potential sub-30 run and I needed to try to hit about a 5:22 or so last .7.  Last year I ran 5:36 for my last .7, but I was also racing 2 people (one up front and one behind).  This year I was solo and the effort just wasn't there over the last .7.  I knew at 3 miles that I couldn't be caught on this course (as the ascent makes it very difficult to 'catch' people once a gap forms, unless someone starts walking).

I hit the last couple of climbs to the summit and every corner I came around I thought it was the end (or should I say I 'hoped' it was the end) but it felt like it kept going.  Finally I started to see people on the side of the road taking pictures and cheering and I knew I was just about done.  In the end I came through in a 5:29 split (7 seconds ahead of last year's pace for that final .7) and just missed going under 30 with a 30:08 final time (I had ahem, 30:07 on my watch after stopping it well after the line).  That's a 29 second PR on the course so I'll take it!  There was a great race behind as Ross just outkicked Tivo to the line and Andy, and Tim Mahoney were not too far back.  It was a clean sweep for CMS with the top 5 spots.

Top 10 Overall

PlaceTimePaceName AgeCity/StateTeam
130:088:09Jim Johnson       34Salem NH       CMS
231:328:32Ross Krause       31Easthampton MA CMS
331:338:32Tim Van Orden     43Bennington VT  CMS
431:498:36Andy McCaron      28Keene NH       CMS
531:568:38Tim Mahoney       31Holyoke MA     CMS
632:228:45Todd Callaghan    41Beverly MA     GCS
732:298:47Patrick Ard       27Raymond NH     WHIRL
832:348:49Ray Webster       36Hinesburg VT   
932:468:52Ryan Aschbrenner  34Nashua NH      GBTC
1033:229:01Duncan Douglas    45Honoye NY      

After the race, a large group of us ran up to the summit tower for a group photo and to take in the view as we've done each year at this race.  A great way to wrap up the day before heading down to the bottom.  The hike up to the tower from the finish line (which is in the parking lot at the summit) is about .7 of a mile.  We ran back down, then headed down the mountain for a cooldown, which trashes your quads and legs in general, but it's a must after this race.  It's easier than running down Mt. Washington because it's only half the distance, but the grade is about the same and by the time you reach the bottom, you are glad to be running for the day.

After the race, and cooldown, we all headed over to the river for a dip and a drink (or two).  It's a great way to cap off the series for sure.  Lots of folks just wading in the river, tossing back a few beverages, eating lunch, and (ahem) there may have been a whisper or two about snowshoeing as well! ;).  It was sad to see the mountain series once again come to an end, but I am psyched to have won my first overall title for the mountain series (after being 2nd last year behind Blake).