Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week Ending 10-23-16

Another 80 mile week...only 2 left until the Marathon (and surgery after that).  I'm squeezing all of the enjoyment I can out of my 80 mile weeks.  Passed 3,000 miles for the year, got in a run at 9,000', another in/out of the Grand Canyon, and a 15 mile trail race.  Full week of fun!

Week = 80
Month = 264
Year = 3039
Life = 133,492

M - Lunch out/back 5 in 4001
      PM Weir hill 4 in 3432

T - Lunch out/back 5 in 3753
     PM Weir hill 4 in 3347

W - Lunch out/back 5 in 3650
      PM Weir hill 4 in 3140

Th - 330am Industrial park 5 in 4008
       8m on the Arizona trail up to 9,000' in 1:24:59

F - 7am Grand Canyon run with 4,000' climb and descent over 14 miles in 2:48:04
    3pm recovery run 4 miles in 3431

Sat - 6am in Phoenix 5 miles in 4139

Sun - Ghost Train 15 mile trail race, 1 warm-up, .5 more in flats, 14.7 race, 1 mile warm-down.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

25 years ago today

Baystate Marathon 10-20-1991

I decided to do the Baystate marathon as a training run to help pace Petey (Steve Peterson), it was 2 weeks before the marathon I was aiming for (Newport) so I wanted a good long run.  Mike Beeman joined us for the fun as he was aiming for 6:00 pace in the ½ marathon.  Mark Behan also ran with us for the first 15 at which point we slowed a bit and he continued on.  I stayed with Petey offering encouragement as we went from 6’s to 6:12, 6:16, 6:22 and 6:44.  By 20 the wheels had come off and we ran a 7:23, somewhere after 20 Petey called it a day.  I upped the tempo looking to get pack down to an overall pace of 6’s.  My last 5 miles were run in 27:40 which got me across the line in 2:38:23 for 4th place.

6:03      12:06
6:03      18:09
6:02      24:11
6:04      30:15
6:04      36:19
5:58      42:17
6:00      48:17
6:00      54:17
5:57      1:00:14
5:59      1:06:13
5:59      1:12:12
5:59      1:18:11
6:01      1:24:12
6:06      1:30:18
6:12      1:36:30
6:16      1:42:46
6:22      1:49:08
6:44      1:55:52
7:23      2:03:15
6:17      2:09:32
5:38      2:15:10
5:39      2:20:49
5:36      2:26:25
5:22      2:31:47
5:25      2:37:12
1:11      2:38:23

1 Brian Crane 2:28:14
2 Mark Behan 2:36:17
3 Eric Beeman 2:37:15
4 Dave Dunham 2:38:23
5 Bill Gaudere 2:39:28

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cider 5k

Cider House 5k

I looked at a lot of races for the third weekend of the month but nothing really jumped out at me.  I narrowed it down to a few races and then Petey (who only races once a year!) sent me the link to a trail race at Wachusett Mountain.  The entry fee ($20), start time (9:00am), and course which I’d run in parts during the Wachusett Mountain race all looked great so my choice was made.  Thanks Petey!

I got to Wachusett an hour before the race and picked up my number and checked in with the race director to make sure I had the correct course.  I gave myself plenty of time to check out the “Cider House 5k” course since it had 600’ of climb and drop and would involve a lot of dirt road and trail.  I’d checked out the 2015 results and 23:03 had won it so I was hoping to be a bit faster than that.  The first part of the course was not marked (they’d have volunteers on the course during the race) but by ¼ mile in we’d be on Balance rock road (rocky dirt road) and from that point on the course was very well marked.  Any time I can check out a course I do it, it is so much easier to race when you know where you are going and what the terrain will be.  It was a pretty steady climb and particularly steep on the “Old Indian Trail”.  Once at the top of the trail the course would be very fast.  In the warm-up I got to the top and checked my watch to get an idea of how long it would take me in the race.  I was cautious on the way down especially on the “Balance Rock Trail” which has some very nasty footing for the first 200 meters.  Based on my 29+ minute warm-up I figured I could run around 22 minutes, guessing it’d take me 13 minutes to the top and 9 minutes down.

I switched into racing flats and for the first time saw someone warming up, right after that I saw CMS teammate Scott Leslie (who had run a 2:23 marathon 7 days before!).  We both laughed about both looking for an easy win.  Any pressure to win was gone for me; unless Scott went off course he should be able to beat me just doing an easy run.

Conditions were good for racing, 50’s and sunny but quite windy (but we wouldn’t have to worry too much about wind after ¼ mile it was all woods).  I went out in the lead but Scott went by 100 meters in and noted “I better push on the road part” or something to that affect.  He didn’t have anything to worry about but it was a compliment to me.  After that it’d be a lonely run for both of us.  At the top of the Bunny Slope he was 12 seconds ahead and moving fast.  I never looked back but based on a post-race perusal of Garmin I could see where the competition was.  I was 6 seconds ahead of third place and 9 up on fourth at the top of the Bunny Slope. 

We turned off of Balance rock road and headed up the Old Indian Trail.  I was 27 seconds behind Scott and he was out of sight.  John Kinnee was in third place 11 seconds behind me and Will Guerra (who narrowly missed winning the race in 2015) was another 21 seconds back.  I know I’m not a great descender so working the climb on the trail was important.  This rough trail had an average grade of 15% for ½ mile, but it felt a lot longer.  I hit the top in 12:09 which was nearly a minute faster than I had guessed, so that was a good sign.  Scott was way ahead (50 seconds) but Kinnee was only 21 seconds back with a lot of fast running left.  The downhill on North Road to Balance rock road is super-fast.  Erik MacNight has the fastest time for this descent (from the 2016 Wachusett Mountain race) where he averaged 4:07 pace!  I was a lot slower than that but “only” lost 17 more seconds to Scott over this section and put another 15 seconds on Kinnee.  I’d need every second I could get.

The final Balance rock trail section was pretty bad, my only goal was to get through and not get hurt.  It didn’t help that there were quite a few hikers on the trail not paying attention (and letting their dogs run free).  I ran the same split as Scott over that last part (he must have been VERY cautious), despite that he crushed the course record and finished 1:07 ahead of me.  Kinnee had fast closing split making up 12 seconds in the last ½ mile to finish in third place 24 seconds behind me.

After the race I headed out for a 2 mile run on the Mid-State trail, heading from the ski area to Redemption rock.  Redemption rock is a Trustees of the Reservations location, this was my 29th Reservation I’ve run in this year although I only got .2 in the actual location.  I stayed for the awards ceremony (a rarity for me) since I wanted to collect my loot.   For winning my age group I got a $10 COW card (good at Wachusett Mountain), a gallon of apple cider and a huge apple pie.  This race is a great deal at $20 (including a t-shirt, post-race cider, and donuts)!

                     Finish    Bunny Slope       Split      Indian   Split      Top       Split      Balance   Final Split

1 Scott Leslie     20:24                1:43      4:25      6:08      5:11      11:19    6:10      17:29    2:55

2 Dave Dunham  21:31                1:55      4:40      6:35      5:34      12:09    6:27      18:36    2:55

3 John Kinnee    21:55                2:01      4:45      6:46      5:44      12:30    6:42      19:12    2:43

4 Will Guerra      24:16                2:04      5:03      7:07      6:41      13:48    7:17      21:05    3:11


Monday, October 17, 2016

Week Ending 10-16-16

Week Ending 10-15-16
80 mile week with a long run, a “triple”, and a race.  3 weeks ‘til the marathon.
Week – 80
Month – 184
Year – 2959
Life – 133,412
M – 16 alone on the Windham/Derry Rail Trail – 2:02:09
T – 415 am o/b 6 on the Methuen Rail Trail – 50:24
      Lunch Shawsheen 7 – 53:10
      PM 4 on the Methuen rail trail – 31:40
W – Shawsheen lunch 7 – 51:32
       PM Weir hill 4 – 33:00
Th – Shawsheen lunch 7 – 51:34
        PM Weir hill 4 – 31:01
F – 8 with Tripp on the Ghost Train trail 62:54
Sat – 9 with Petey on the Freeman rail trail 1:18:33
Sun – 3.1 warm-up checking the course, 3.1 Cider House trail race, 2 warm-down

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Manchester City Marathon (USATF NE championships) preview

The 10th annual
"Manchester City Marathon, powered by SNHU” (  will serve as the USATF NE championship and the final race in the 7 race Grand Prix series.  The race starts and finishes at Veterans Park (889 Elm street, Manchester NH) at 8:50am on November 6.  The marathon distance has been contested in all of the Grand Prix series (1985-2015). This will be the third time that Manchester has been the championship.  Cape Cod (Falmouth MA) has hosted the championship twenty-two times.  Baystate (Lowell MA) hosted four times and Burlington (VT) once.  John Mortimer – Millennium Running owner notes “2016 marks the first time Millennium has been involved with the event and we are honored to host the USATF Grand Prix”!

The Central Mass Striders (CMS) hold the team record with an impressive 7:21:49 from 1996, that is an average time of 2:27:16 (5:37 pace). At the 1996 race CMS put four finishers in the top seven including a 1-2 finish by Craig Fram and Dave Dunham.  CMS has the most individual winners with six; GLRR and Whirlaway are tied with the second most individual champions with five.  Green Mountain Athletic Association (GMAA) took the team title in 2015.

Teams and individuals will be vying for $8400 in prize money.  Grand Prix titles will also be up for grabs.  On the men’s side the 50+, 60+ and 70+ GP titles have already been decided (with WRT, GLRR & NE65+ winning their respective categories).  BAA leads the way in the men’s open with four other teams capable of catching them.  CMS leads in the 40+ with BAA and WRT on 2 and 6 points back respectively.    On the women’s side only the 60+ team title has been decided with CMS winning.  The open is topped by Craft Concept Racing with four other teams with a possibility of catching the leader.  The 40+ and 50+ are both lead by WRT with CMS in second place, unlikely to make up the gap but anything can happen over the marathon distance.

Most of the Grand Prix individual titles are sewn up with the exceptions being Women’s open which is led by Rachel Sorna (HBK) with Heather Cappello (BAA) 9 points back.  Jan Holmquist (WRT) has a 10 point lead in the 70+, Anita Robboy (NSS) could tie with a win at the marathon.  Ken Goodin (GLRR) leads the 60-64 by 7 & 9 points respectively over Jamie Wilson (BAA) and Ken Snow (GCS).

Individual Grand Prix titles already settled:
Men’s open= Louis Serafini             HBK
M40-44 = Dave Dechellis               WRT        
M45-49 = Gregory Putnam            CMS       
M50-54 = Mike Cooney                 WRT
M55-59 = Robert Cipriano             SRR
M65-69 = Gordon MacFarland        CSU
M70+ = John Hackney                 GMAA

F40-44 = Diana Bowser                 CCR
F45-49 = Christin Doneski              WRT
F50-54 = Maria Servin                   WRT
F55-59 = Nancy Corsaro               WRT
F60-64 = Elizabeth Cooney            SRR
F65-69 = Mary Sharkey                 CMS

In addition there are 78 runners who have completed the first 6 races in the Grand Prix series.  If they complete the marathon they will earn the “Ironrunner” status and a highly sought after jacket that goes with it.

Keep in mind this is a “city” marathon.  Although there are plenty of parking locations there will be no parking on Elm Street.  Also be cognizant of where the marathon may block your path out of city post-race.  Elm St. will be closed from Bridge St. south to Granite St at all times.  Additionally, the Notre Dame Bridge (Bridge St. Bridge) is completely closed the entire time.

I previewed the course in two parts and have written up a breakdown of the course below.  I found the first half to be much more challenging than the second half.  That seemed strange since the amount of climb/descent was pretty even between both halves.  I suspect that the number of up/downs and the steepness of a couple of the downs made the first half more difficult.  The 6 mile stretch from 17.5 to 23.5 may be the best part of the course with a large portion on the rail trail and all of it featuring a steady downhill.

Manchester preview
 First half                                                                         
Second half

Start to mile 5

The first mile is flat as you head down Elm Street (enjoy the flat and no turns, it won’t last).  1 to 2 has 3 turns and a 70’ climb on Calef/Mitchel.  2-3 has 1 turn and a 150’ drop in ½ mile as you head down to the Merrimack River.  This downhill is jarring!  3-4 is almost all on the bike path along the River and is flat until the very end when you climb 40’ as you exit the bike path.  4-5 has 4 turns and a 50’ climb in the first ½ mile as you head up from the river and back on to Elm Street, this is followed by a 20’ drop to the 5 mile mark on Canal Street.

5 to 10 miles

5-6 miles is a straight shot that features a steady 50’ climb.  6-7 has 2 turns and continues to climb another 100’.  7-8 has 4 turns and starts with a steep 80’ climb in ½ of a mile then a 110’ drop to the entrance to Livingston Park.  8-9 has 4 turns and continues the drop with another 30’ of downhill over 4/10ths of a mile on dirt trail (Dorrs Pond Nature Trail), followed by a 70’ climb over the final ½ mile.  9-10 is straight on Belmont with a 50’ drop, there are also a couple of small “bumps” over this mile.

10 to 15 miles

10-11 has 4 turns with a 100’ climb in the first ¾ mile as you pass through Derryfield Park, followed by a 20’ drop as you exit the park.  11-12 has 1 turn, the first ½ mile has a 50’ drop on Mammoth road, and the next ¼ is flat followed by a 40’ climb in 1/10th of a mile (ouch).  12-13 has 1 turn, straight on Hanover then right on Elm street, there is a steady drop of 130’. At this point the half-marathon race turns left on Elm as the marathon turns right.  13-14 has 4 turns and drops 30’ as you head down West Bridge Street and cross the Merrimack River.  After crossing the River you climb 80’ from 13.5 to 14 miles.  14-15 has 2 turns in quiet neighborhoods as the climb continues with another 30’ from 14 to 14.3, after that it stays flat and then drops 40’ in the last half mile to the 15 mile mark.

15 to 20 miles (add 13 to the mileage on the graph to come up with the actual mileage)

15-16 miles features 7 turns.  There is a 40’ climb in the first 1/4m then a 120’ drop to the Piscataguog River.  16-17 has 3 turns and a tough little 50’ climb as you get onto the rail trail.  17-18 has 2 turns and a 50’ climb over ½ mile as you exit the rail trail.  18-19 is a straight shot of flat running.  19-20 has 2 turns and 40’ of steady drop on the dirt rail trail. 

 20 miles to the finish

20-21 continues on the dirt rail trail dropping 30’.  21-22 transitions to the paved rail trail dropping another 40’.  22-23 continues on the paved rail trail dropping 20’.  23-24 is flat with one turn (onto the Riverwalk).  24-25 has 3 turns and a 70’ climb in the first ¾ mile (the climb to Elm street will be tough).  25-finish has 2 turns (one may be a 180 or at best a very tight turn on the west side of the Merrimack River) 30’ of drop crossing the River then 30’ coming back over.  That final hill will hurt at just shy of 26 miles.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

10 years ago today - USA trail Marathon championships

Ten years ago today (10/15/2006) I joined my CMS teammates Dan Verrington and Ben Nephew at the USATF trail marathon championships in Dupont Forest (NC).  We picked up the team gold with Ben taking the overall victory.  Dan won gold in the masters and I picked up silver.  The course was a nice mix of single-track and dirt roads but was somewhat short of the official marathon distance (back then we didn’t have  GPS devices).           
1 Ben Nephew 31 Foxboro MA Central Mass Striders            2:39:17
2 Loic Laforet 29 Hendersonville NC                                  2:40:33
3 Chad Newton 36 Pisgah Forest NC                                  2:41:19
4 Dan Verrington 44 Bradford MA Central Mass Striders        2:44:02
5 Alex Barth 34 Wayne PA Rosemont Racing                       2:48:44
6 David Workman 35 Hendersonville NC                             2:53:41
7 Dave Dunham 42 Bradford MA Central Mass Striders         2:56:05
8 Bob Nuggent 45 Binghamton, NY NY                               3:20:12
9 Daniel Gleason 49 Statesville NC                                    3:26:16
10 Al Barker 61 Fayetteville NC                                         3:56:00