Epsom Old Home Days 4 Miler – I hadn’t done the 4 mile in Epsom in five years but it timed out right to do it this year. The RD (Don Yeaton) gave me a free entry as a past winner which made it much easier to decide to do this race! The course was changed slightly from the past to make it less hilly. It was still a bit “rolling” but there were no points where you would say “that was a killer hill”. I scouted the course on Wednesday and felt I would be able to run under 6:00 pace. I thought a good run would be around 23:30 and if the weather was great and I was really “on” I might be closer to 23 flat.
I bumped into John Tuttle before warming up. He was at the end of a triple-header having run Cigna on Thursday and Alton Bay on Saturday. His son Dylan (18:03 & 17:55) and his buddy Shane McCartney (17:39 & 18:12) had also done the other two races. Their times put them around my level, but I was hoping my “fresh” legs might put me ahead of them. It was pretty warm and humid at the 8:30am start. I did a 2 mile warm-up then another mile with some strides. When I was heading back out to do the strides a woman who had seen me earlier warned “save something for the race”. All I could think of was if a 3 mile warm-up left me with nothing for the race then I was in big trouble.
As I’d expected Dylan Tuttle and Shane McCartney took it out at the start. It wasn’t super-fast so I went with them. I figured the first ½ mile would be pretty quick since we had a 20’ drop (and a 15’ climb). We couldn’t cut a couple of tangents in the first mile as Don had asked that we stay on left of the road for safety reasons (the course was certified so we’d lose out on “legal” cutting). I hit the ½ mile in 2:48 a step behind Dylan and Shane. Soon after we started to climb (30’ to the mile mark) and Shane really picked up the pace. I thought it was a bit early to get aggressive and found myself about 5 seconds back (and 2 or 3 behind Dylan) as I passed the mile in 5:47.
A right-hand turn at the mile had us on the quiet River Road (dead-end) which was rolling but generally downhill to the 2 mile turn-around (dropping 50’ and climbing 30’). Again none of the climbs or drops were big but they do tend to add up. I found that Dylan was running the up’s better than me but I was closing on him on the down’s. I caught him about a quarter-mile from the turn and we were also closing on Shane. We went around the cone at 2 miles in 11:33 (5:46 2nd mile) with Shane just a couple of seconds ahead.
Now we had a 50’ climb (and 30’ of drop) and I felt pretty good. By 2.5 miles we’d caught and passed Shane and I was starting to pull away. I heard Shane yell “Don’t let him go” as I gapped Dylan. The third mile was definitely the hardest, I ran a 5:59 and although I didn’t look at the turn I could no longer hear the pursuers.
With about ½ mile to go I ran by the little farm with a cute donkey and horse who were watching the race go by, the owners were also watching and ringing a cowbell. I passed by and counted…waiting to hear how much of a lead I had. I came up with about 15 seconds which isn’t much, especially if you don’t have a kick! I ended up holding on with a 5:47 last mile to win in 23:19. Dylan rolled in 26 seconds later with Shane another 46 seconds back. I was glad to be in the race for the win, it doesn’t happen very often now so I enjoy the times when I’m closely matched with the other top guys at a race. Running more than a minute a mile slower than my PR doesn’t damper my excitement at being in the lead pack. Great fun!
Since the course is brand new, I’ve also got the course record. That won’t last long!
Sunday August 13, 2017 8:30AM
Place Name Age S City, St Time Pace
===== =================== == = ==============
1 Dave Dunham 53 M Bradford, MA 23:19 5:50
2 Dylan Tuttle 20 M Aton, NH 23:45 5:57
3 Shane McCartney 20 M NEW DURHAM, NH 24:31 6:08
4 Mike Barry 61 M NH 25:35 6:24
5 Mike Goyette 45 M Epsom, NH 27:00 6:45
6 David Audet 52 M Concord, NH 27:01 6:46
7 John Tuttle 60 M Aton, NH 27:31 6:53
8 Larry Rau 50 M Dublin, NH 28:12 7:03
9 Brad Winn 32 M MILTON, NH 29:12 7:18
10 Fergus Leclerc 19 M NORTHWOOD, NH 29:16 7:19