Wow, what a great day to race. The weather was perfect for the second race in the Grand Prix series. Dan picked me up at 8 and after a quick stop for a Dunkin's coffee and "old fashioned" we met the Quintal brothers and double-j at the River. The ride was fun with topics all over the board. We got to New Bedford and found our traditional parking spot (Dan drove a little way the wrong way down a one way street).
After getting numbers we hit we prepared for the race and did an easy 2 mile warm-up. I had to stop 100m into the run as my left hamstring was a mess. I'd been having trouble with a minor strain in the middle of the hamstring and it seems to get worse when I run a choppy stride (snowshoe) and I guess the 22 miles of snowshoe running over two days had tweaked it. It loosened up as we went and I pushed it to the back of my mind.
With 10 minutes to go we headed to the line and as in years past, there is no good way to get to the line. We crawled under the staging and jogged to the line. With nearly 2,000 runners you'd think they would have a better set-up (you'd be wrong). Soon enough we were off.
The first downhill mile was quick, even a couple of seconds quicker than my split predictor said it should be. I felt good and tried to keep the effort even. After the rolling miles we hit the turn around four miles and the splits we back to being fast (normal fast). I got into a good group for a little more than a mile. The group was big and included two of the top 50+ runners. They had both beaten me at the 10 mile so I wanted to stay with them. Around 6 miles Dave Oliver and the group moved ahead as Reno Stirrat and I slipped back. From that point on it was a fairly lonely run. Just me and a guy in a green long-sleeve the rest of the way. Only two guys passed us in the second half of the race (Matt Germain who was doing a "workout" and Larry Sayers who stomped past us at 12 miles). I felt good the entire way but never great, when the group pulled away at 6 it felt just a couple of steps faster than I could handle. I was definitely worried about running out of gas during the last three miles. I ended up running well (faster than the projections) for the last 3 miles. Probably because I was catching Terry McNatt and really wanted to get him and Scott Anderson. All in all it was a good day, I wish I had 7 more seconds in me as we lost to WRT by that margin. On to the 12 km in Beford.....
536/556/600/605/541/543/546/547/614/550/553/600/640 (1.1m) = 1:17:11
40+ PR for me.