Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bay of Fundy Half-Marathon

Bay of Fundy ½ marathon
I had this race on the schedule since last fall. My sisters ran it last year and gave it rave reviews.  The uniqueness of the event (starts in Canada and ends in the USA) and the remote location offered a chance to relax for a few days after Mt Washington.
I scouted out the course on Friday while visiting the lighthouse on the very end of the island.  The 800’ of climb/descent doesn’t sound like much in a half-marathon.  Heck, that is about 1 mile in Mt Washington!  Looking at the 800’ was another story.  You would be either climbing or descending constantly.  Most of the hills were 30’ to 50’ but it just seemed endless.  My enthusiasm for the race was low and my focus has really been on the upcoming Mountain running national championships at Loon Mountain.  The logistics of the race also made it hard to get properly ready as you needed to board a bus nearly 2 hours before the start and then sit at the starting line with nothing but your race gear.  I understood this going in so it wasn’t a surprise just a bit more of a challenge.
I headed out for a 2 mile warm-up and felt tired already.  It was sunny and warm (upper 6’s at 730am) and although it’d be “cool” for a June day, it was warm for a half-marathon with little shade.  The race was marked in kilometers which made the math (for me) a bit easier.  Worst case I wanted to run 4:00 k’s or a bit over 1:24 for the 21.1 kilometers.  I thought 1:22 – 1:25 would be do-able but really had no idea.  My lack of long runs might catch up to me on this day.  I didn’t see many others warming up, which typically means there wouldn’t be a lot of competition.  I kind of hoped that would be the case.  My socks seemed to get a lot of attention.  I was wearing high socks, one with a USA flag and the other with the Canadian.
After a rendition of both countries National Anthem we were sent on our way.  I went to the front and about 200m in a guy went sprinting by.  He hammered the first downhill, but came back on the uphill.  For the first kilometer I stayed close as he buried me on any down and I caught back up on the climbs.  I checked my watch at the kilometer and was 3:58.  That was right in the ballpark of what I wanted.  The next few kilometers were very rolling and the guy (John Cullen, Rumford RI) slowly pulled away.  I felt like the pace was where I wanted it to be and figured if he could run that much faster there wasn’t anything I could do.
I hit the 5k turn in 20:10 and was 32 seconds behind the leader.  It was nice getting cheers from the pack as they headed out toward the turn.  My brother-in-law, John, gave me a cheer and we slapped “high 5’s” as we passed.  My sisters (Denise and Rose also decked out in matching Canada/USA socks) looked to be having fun, shooting selfies and taking video as they went.  I started feeling a lot better as a few more kilometers passed and then at 8k (5 miles) it looked like the leader was coming back.  I checked my watch and had cut his lead down to 15 seconds.  I kept my pace steady and by the 10k mark I had the lead!  I didn’t up the tempo, I just kept doing what I was doing (and hoped he’d fall back).  After a minute or two I didn’t hear him behind me.  Robert Ashby flew by on his way to the turn (and a win in the marathon) and he shouted across the road “Dave Dunham, what are you doing here?!”  I just gave him a wave and kept rolling along.
From that point on it was really just a matter of not blowing up.  I’d check each Kilometer split and tell myself “he has to run faster than that to catch me, I’m not going to slow”.  It got warm out there 75 degrees but they had plenty of water, 8 stops during the ½ marathon.  I took advantage and took a sip at every stop and doused my head.  I was pretty sure I could win the race but did worry about blowing up.  I’m certainly lacking in the long runs but 6 weeks at 80 miles should be enough to get through a half.  At least that’s what I kept telling myself.
With 1,500 meters to go the last climb over the bridge into the USA loomed.  I crossed the mat in Canada and got a shout of encouragement from the Canadian border guards, then climbed the bridge which seemed steeper than any hill on the course.  After that it was a short downhill to the U.S. border and a turn down the final stretch.  I was a bit surprised to see the clock still in the 1:22’s, I knew I was on sub 1:24 pace but had really picked it up from the first 5k on.  I ended up taking the win in 1:22:23 a full 1:22 ahead of 2nd place and 11 minutes up on third place.  John came in a little over 2 hours (which was his goal) and had to be the first finisher in cargo pants!  Denise and Rose came through looking none worse for the 13+ miles.  This was definitely a fun event, maybe the marathon next year?  J
    1   1:22:23 Dave Dunham     Bradford, MA         M   1/20   M5059 
    2   1:24:45 John Cullen         Rumford, RI          M   1/9    M2029 
    3   1:33:42 Sean Eaton-Robb Columbia, CT        M   1/2    M0119 
    4   1:34:57 Peter Williams      Lubec, ME           M   1/15   M3039
    5   1:36:11 Mike Greer          Quispamsis, NB     M  2/15   M3039
269 finishers, 20 50-59

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Who will be the top masters & seniors at Loon Mountain?

Excitement is high as the USA Mountain running championships return to New England.  The championships were last held in New Hampshire at Loon Mountain in 2014.  The challenging 6 mile course with nearly 3,000’ of climb will be used again this year.  The race will not only be used to select the U.S. team for the world mountain running championships but will also determine the US champions for both teams and individuals in a number of age groups.  As a senior runner (age 50-59) I’m most interested in my age group.  As a member of the Central Mass Striders I’m also interested in the masters category (age 40-49) as we have a number of runners who may have a shot at taking home medals.  CMS has done well at the Mountain running champs scoring Gold in the Open, Masters, and Seniors in 2014 and Gold in the masters in 2013.  It is not an easy task to handicap a mountain race as road race times may not indicate an ability at Mountain Running.  Loon is especially hard to predict as top runners need to be strong climbers but also have to be able to run fast (2 miles of “cross country”) and have to be good at descending (about 700’ of drop).  I’ve only researched USATF entrants as of 06-27-16.
I think the best chances for medals in the masters would be Tim Van Orden, Todd Callaghan, Chris Grauch, Ethan Nedeau, and Ivan Marsh.  All have solid road times and/or track along with trail running.  Van Orden has won all of the USATF NE mountain series races this year.  Callaghan has been very close to Van Orden in all of the mountain series and recently set a personal best at Mt Washington.  Grauch is the returning Mountain champion and also was the USA masters trail marathon champion in 2015.  Marsh has solid ½ marathon and 10k times and also has Tower Climbing credentials.
The senior competition is pretty wide open with most of the top guys from the USATF NE mountain series in contention.  The series has had four different senior winners in the first four races.  All of the races have been very close.  There is potential for a lot of back and forth during the race as the stronger XC runners do well early and the stronger climbers making up ground late.  Dave Dunham, Erik Vandendries, Jeff Hunt, Ed Sheldon, and Dan Verrington all represent the CMS club and any could end up on the podium.  Christopher Smith (SRR) and Jeff Walker (Dirigo) also are in the medal hunt.
Potential Top masters and seniors (alpha order) for the USA Mountain running championships @ Loon Mountain 07-03-16
Unless otherwise noted times are from 2016 and places are for MASTERS.
Jim Boule (acidotic Racing): 4th at Wachusett Mountain, 6th @ 2015 Loon Mountain, 10th @ 2014 Loon Mountain
Steve Brightman: 3rd @ Ascutney, 3rd @ 2015 Loon Mountain, 8th @ 2014 Loon Mountain, 2:54 Boston Marathon, 1:18 ½ marathon
Peter Burke (Dirigo): 2:56 Boston marathon, 17:28 5k, 60:54 10 mile
Todd Callaghan (CMS) : PR 1:11:24 @ Mt Washington,  2nd @ Sleepy Hollow, 2nd @ Wachusett, 2nd @ Pack, 2nd @ Ascutney, 1st @ 2015 Loon, 4th @ 2014 Loon.
Chad Carr (CRC) : 1:14:53 @ Mt Washington, 1:04:40 USATF NE trail champs, 16:09 5k
Chris Grauch (Boulder, CO): 3rd 2014 Loon, 1st 2015 USATF trail marathon, 1st 2016 Boulder Mountain 10m ascent, 1st 2015 USA Mountain championships (Bend OR), 34:30 10k at Altitude
Ivan Marsh (LRC Racing): 1:15 ½ marathon, 34:21 10k, 1st o’all Omaha Tower Climb, 1:13 ½ marathon in 2015
Ethan Nedeau (Acidotic Racing): 2nd 2015 Loon, 6th 2014 Loon, 9:26 3,000 meters & 4:43 1,500 meters 2016, 5th o’all & 1st 40+ at Pineland Farms 25k trail, 1st 40-44 2015 OCR world championships
James Pawlicki (CMS): 5th @ Wachusett, 4th @ 2015 Loon , 7th @ 2014 Loon (was age 39 would have been 7th master), 16:20 5k & 2:52 marathon, 1:17 ½ marathon
Tim Van Orden (CMS): 1st @ Sleepy Hollow, Wachusett, Pack, and Ascutney, 2nd @ USATF NE trail championships, 2nd @ 2013 USA Mountain Champs (Cranmore NH), 16:31 5k, 34:02 10k.
Unless otherwise noted times are from 2016 and places are for SENIORS.
Dave Dunham (CMS): 3rd Mt Washington 1:12:05, 2nd @ Sleepy Hollow, 2nd @ Wachusett, 2nd @ Pack, 1st @ Ascutney, 1st 2015 Loon, 1st 2014 Loon, 1st 2013 US Mountain running champs (45-49)
E J Hrynowski (GLRR): 1:26 Mt Washington, 2:59 Boston Marathon, 1:20 ½ marathon, 17:23 5k in 2015, 5th 2015 Loon, 5th 2014 Loon
Jeff Hunt (CMS): 3rd @ Wachusett, 1:15:51 Mt Washington, 3rd 2015 Loon, 1st 2014 USA Trail Marathon championships
Ed Sheldon (CMS):  1st @ Pack, 2nd @ Ascutney, 6th @ Sleepy Hollow, 7th @ Wachusett, 1:19 ½ marathon, 17:37 5k, 2:58 marathon in 2015, 2:52 marathon in 2014
Christopher Smith (SRR): 1:18:05 Mt Washington, 17:30 5k, 36:58 10k, 4th @ Sleepy Hollow, 4th @ Wachusett, 3rd @ Pack
Erik Vandendries (CMS): 2nd Mt Washington 1:11:51, 1st @ Wachusett, 3rd @ Sleepy Hollow, 2nd 2015 Loon, 2nd 2014 Loon. 
Dan Verrington (CMS): 16:59 5k, 35:27 10k, 1:19 Mt Washington, 1st @ USATF NE trail championships, 2:48 marathon in 2015, 4th 2015 Loon, 3rd 2014 Loon
Jeff Walker (Dirigo): 1st @ Sleepy Hollow, 6th @ Wachusett, 3rd @ Ascutney, 37:52 10k, 2nd @ USATF NE trail championships

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week Ending 06-26-16

Another 80 mile week and a decent recovery from Mt Washington.  Only one week to go until "the" race (USA Mountain championships at Loon).

Week - 80
Month - 296
Year - 1706
Life - 132,159

M - Lunch 5 4054
      Afternoon rail trail 6 5048

T - Lunch 5 3911
      PM rail trail 6 4904

W - Lunch 5 3843
       PM rail trail 6 4738

Th - Morning 8 at Winn 6305
       Welshpool (Canada) out/back 5 4050

F - 6 at Quoddy light park 5541
     Later 7 in Roosevelt park 5715

Sat - Run up Littles Mtn 350
         Crane & Bells Mtn 3301
         Commissary and Dennison point 3257

Sun - 2 warm-up 1618
          Bay of Fundy 1/2 marathon 1:22:25


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sub 1:15 after the age of 40 (now that is hard to do!)

Rank Ind Rank # by  Time Name Year Place State Age
1 1 1 1:01:34 Simon Gutierrez 2008 5 CO 42
2 2 1 1:02:12 Matt Carpenter 2005 4 CO 40
3 2 1:02:24 Simon Gutierrez 2012 9 CO 46
4 3 1 1:03:27 Craig  Fram 2003 2 NH 44
5 3 1:04:02 Simon Gutierrez 2015 6 CO 49
6 4 1:04:03 Simon Gutierrez 2007 3 CO 41
7 5 1:04:06 Simon Gutierrez 2006 4 CO 40
8 6 1:04:16 Simon Gutierrez 2009 5 CO 43
9 2 1:04:29 Craig Fram 2001 3 NH 42
10 7 1:04:33 Simon Gutierrez 2011 5 CO 45
11 4 1 1:04:38 Eric Morse 2006 5 VT 41
12 8 1:04:44 Simon Gutierrez 2013 4 CO 47
13 5 1 1:04:57 Fred Norris 1962 1

Sub 1:15 at Mt Washington

How hard is it to break 1:15?

Through 2016
Finishers     34,075
Times under 1:15      1,256

Who has done it the most:

Rank Number First Last PR Sx St City Rank last time
1 25 Dave Dunham 1:00:37 M MA Bradford 1t 2016
2 22 Keith Woodward 1:03:06 M VT Craftsbury Com 1t
 3t  18 Mike Casner 1:05:48 M NH Keene 3t
3t 18 Stephen Peterson 1:08:01 M MA Lowell 3t 2006
5 17 Bob Hodge 1:01:14 M MA Clinton 5
6 16 Daniel Verington 1:05:43 M MA Bradford 6 2008
7t 15 Simon Gutierrez 1:00:54 M CO Colorado Springs 9t 2016
7t 15 Eric Morse 1:01:09 M VT Berlin 7 2009
9t 12 Francis Burdett 1:06:39 M MA Worcester 2015
9t 12 Sean Livingston 1:04:56 M NH Conway 8 2012
11t 11 Eric Blake 0:59:49 M CT W Hartford 2016
11t 11 Sumner Brown 1:10:53 M MA Belmont 9t
11t 11 Kevin Tilton 1:03:42 M NH Conway 2015