Monday, October 20, 2008
Pics: top = me. bottom=Norm B
Yesterday was supposed to be my return to Baystate. I’ve run it five times, but hadn’t done it in 10 years. I’d been looking forward to going back since it was selected last November at the USATF selection meeting (which will be Nov. 10th this year). I had this plan of doing all of the seven Grand Prix races and getting the title “Iron runner” and the much sought after jacket that goes with it.
Alas, it was not to be. I’ve known since I got injured 7 weeks ago that I would not be able to race, heck I haven’t even been able to start running yet. That didn’t lessen the feeling of loss when I went to the race to support the team. With a week to go I’m feeling more anxious and more “down” than at any point during this injury. People say “It will get easier”, I can say they are wrong. I’m now just counting down the hours until I can have my life back.
Anyway, Dan and I headed to the race (after I biked for an hour in my basement with a DVD of the Cure’s greatest hits playing in the background) and I was surprised that Dan had very little knowledge of the race. He wasn’t sure of where the start or finish were, that is not a good sign. The next bad sign was that he was having trouble staying awake and I had to make sure he headed for the line with 15 minutes to go. I met up with the lovely Kristin and we prepared to bike out on the course and get video and pictures.
I had some trouble with Jim’s video camera, the display was not showing so I couldn’t tell if I was filming or not. I did some video, but then just figured it would be best to just be ready with Gu and Dan’s Fuelbelt. We biked out to the 4 mile mark and I was quite surprised to see Casey Moulton and Matt Pelletier hammering out the early miles at 2:20 pace. They both have the ability to do so; my surprise was that they chose Baystate which had a small prize purse and no other runners who could run around 2:20. Rumor had it that Casey was rabbit-ing Matt. Jim and the CMS guys all came through right around what they had intended. We took a bunch of pictures then biked back onto the course and over the Rourke bridge to catch them again at 11 miles.
We arrived just as Casey and Matt came through 11, still on course record pace. We again took a bunch of pictures and offered encouragement (along with Gu). Jim looked like he was pressing a bit and Dan had fallen back. The rest of the CMS guys looked good. Dave Q looked like he was running along easily. As soon as he passed I jumped on the bike and hammered back over the Rourke trying to get to 15 before the leaders. I noticed that Dan had slowed significantly in the 1.5 miles he had run. He would drop out near the 13 mile mark and jog back to the finish to watch everyone come in.
I hurried along to 15 but missed the top few runners. I took more pics and handed out Gu to anyone who wanted it. Jim looked BETTER than he had looked at 11 and it appeared that he was moving up in places. The other guys looked okay and I waited until 7 minute pace then figured Dan had bailed, so I headed off (back over the Rourke) to get to the 22 mile mark. On the way back from 15 to 22 I saw GoatSarah who was smiling as she coasted along to a 7 minute PR.
I was truly amazed at the number of people plugging away as they passed the 12 mile mark and were getting caught by the leaders who were 10 miles ahead of them! Matt came blazing through alone, so Casey dropped somewhere after half-way. He was still very close to record pace, but the wind had picked up. He ended up with an impressive 2:21:41. I think this version of the course is a bit harder than the one that the “course” record was run on. They probably should retire the old CR and call this the “current course record”. Just my opinion.
Jim kept it togehter despite slowing over the final part, I think most had a tough run in from the Tyngsborough bridge as the wind really picked up. Dave was not happy when I saw him at 22, but he assured me that he was going to finish and get the Iron-jacket no matter what. Gutsy finish as he cramped up a bunch of times and had to walk. I'm sure it would have been a lot easier to just bail.
Kudos to everyone who took on the half and the whole marathon and finished.