Friday, December 18, 2009
Ancient (and not so ancient) history
Five years ago
I raced twice in December of 2004 a road relay and a trail Ultra. I have always enjoyed the Mill City Relays and running for a mixed team was a hoot, there were tons of people to pass (bogies). I was only bogified by one person.
The HUFF 50km was a major disappointment. I found out after I had booked my flight that they were no longer the US championship. That was really the only reason I wanted to race it. The course was a couple of miles longer than a 50km but was mostly flat and mostly had good footing. I was happy enough with my 5th place but had some serious hip pain for the last five miles. I had to leave right after finishing and I couldn’t bend my leg when I got to the airport. I ended up passing out in the airport (it was pretty embarrassing having the fire department and medical staff all around me). I partially tore my obturator externus (shown above) and was on the injured reserve for quite a while after this including 6 weeks on crutches. Maybe I should have dropped out when it really started to hurt during the race…..nah!
25 years ago
This was during my sophomore year at the University of Lowell; it does not feel like 25 years ago. The first race was weird in that it was an “away” meet, but it was kind of a “home” meet as well. We did all of our track workouts at Tufts University (it would be another year or two before we started sneaking into Harvard and BU). We won the quad meet and had a strong showing in the two mile. Dennis Simoniaitis (who is one of the top masters competitors in the country) and I tied. Tom Chamberas ran 9:09 and Dave Quintal ran 9:10, I believe it was a PR for both.
My final race in December of 1984 was another quad meet, this time it was at BU against UMASS, S. Conn, and Bentley. We (me, Dave Q, and Chambo) took turns leading in the early going and somehow I managed to get to the finish line first (just ahead of Dennis who I don’t recall helping with the early pacing). Soon after this race I ended up with plantar fascia problems that were bad enough that I was sidelined for three weeks. I worked-out hard in the pool and on the bike and was rewarded with a 14:12 and a fifth place finish at the national championships later that season.
30 years ago
I raced four times in December of 1979. This was my sophomore year at Billerica Memorial High School (Go Indians! Crush Chelmsford!). As I recall the big goal of that year was to run a 2-mile faster than the fastest girl at BMHS. Sandi Cullinane ran 10:30, so it was a pretty lofty goal (which I did eventually meet). The DQ indoors was from “impeding the progress” of another runner. I kept accelerating whenever this guy tried to pass me and forced him to stay in the second lane. I’m still not sure exactly what I did wrong. I’m pretty sure we didn’t protest the DQ because we won the meet anyway. I only have one other DQ and I’d dispute that one as well….I won an XC meet at Andover HS but must have gone off course. The course was very poorly (if at all) marked. Mike Busnach and I were so far ahead of the first Andover runner that we just ran what we thought was the correct course.