20 years ago:
I only raced three times in October of 1989 but they were all pretty decent performances. I was getting ready for the New England XC championships and doing a lot of XC type workouts.
10/15/89 White Mountain milers half-marathon in North Conway NH. I topped a field of 200 and set a course and NH record (I lived in Londonderry) of 1:05:42. Over the years I’ve set 146 course records, most of those were either broken or the race is no longer held. I still have 17 course records and this is the oldest.
10/21/89 Mack’s apple run in Londonderry NH. This was a tough five mile race; I beat a field of 124 with a 24:40 course record. I wrote in my log that this was a ‘hard workout, ran just hard enough to win’. I beat long-time CMS member Larry Sayers over the last ¾ of a mile. The race later changed to a 5k and then maybe to an XC race. I don’t see Larry as much as the old days but did talk to him earlier last week….he recently turned 50.
10/29/89 Pumpkin race 10km in Saco ME. This race was a lot of fun, I ran it a couple of times. I think mostly I would go because they had a little $$$. As I remember the course was pretty flat and there were some very fast times run. In ’89 I took third place in 29:59 in a field of 450. Bob Hodge took the lead just after 5km and won in 29:52. I ran with Greg Hale until the final .2 when he had an extra gear and took it to me. I wonder where Hale is now?
25 years ago:
Three races in October 1984, my Junior year at ULowell. The team was looking to qualify for Nationals early in November, we had finished third at Nationals the previous Fall.
10/06/84 Boston MA Codfish bowl five mile. This was a pretty big win for me, beating a field of about 150 finishers in 24:43. The course at Franklin park had changed from previous years but was still held on the golf course. I beat Keene state rival Tom Anderson in the last 400m. Tom and I would battle back and forth all of this year and beyond.
10/13/84 Boston MA Quad meet versus Northeastern, UMass, and Keene. It was another week at Franklin Park and a very similar time (24:42). This time it was only good enough for second place.
10/20/84 Smithfield RI Eastern championships at Bryant College over a 5.2 mile course. I somehow forgot my racing flats and ended up running in trainers. One of the assistant coaches volunteered to drive back to Lowell and get my shoes but I figured it wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I ended up with a win in 25:55.
30 years ago:
This was my first cross-country season at Billerica High. I ran on the junior varsity squad earlier in the season and had my debut on varsity in October. It did not go well.
10/05/79 Billerica MA duel meet versus Tewksbury. This was my first race on the varsity XC squad (I was the top JV runner at the time). I went through 2 miles in 11 flat then sprained an ankle and was unable to finish. This was my first DNF and unfortunately not my last. It certainly was an auspicious start to my varsity XC running.
10/09/79 Wilmington MA duel meet against Wilmington. Apparently my ankle sprain wasn’t bad enough for me to miss this race, but I was back on the JV squad. I ended up winning in 10:20 over the 1.75 mile course.
10/13/79 Boston MA for the Catholic Memorial meet. I was running well through the mile when I sprained my ankle (again) on a downhill. I was unable to finish and ended up on crutches for two weeks. My season was over and I had two DNF’s in the span of eight days. As of today I’ve got five DNF’s (and I hope to never add to that total). The two above, then one in College and the final two were consecutive years at the World 100km challenge. The second time was my last time on the 100km team and most likely the last time I’ll ever attempt anything over 50 km.