30 years ago – I was winding down my sophomore year of indoor track. Only two races that month, our final dual meet against Chelmsford (points towards earning a letter were DOUBLED in this meet) and the Merrimack valley conference League meet. I finished third in the mile against Chelmsford with my future U-Lowell teammate Tom Chamberas running wire to wire with John Dangora. My other race was a 5th place 10:28 2 mile in the league meet which was won by another future U-Lowell teammate Scott Rafferty.
1985 - Me, Pappi, Chambo, Peter, and Tony25 years ago – I only raced once during that month during my junior year at U-Lowell. I ran a personal best of 14:12.1 to take 5th in the New England championship. My teammate Dennis Simonaitis and I went back and forth with him taking the bragging rights with a 14:11 school record. I ran a pretty evenly paced race with miles of 4:32, 4:34, and 4:35.
20 years ago – I headed to Ohme Hochi Japan on what was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I was the U.S. representative to the race which is the sister race of the Boston marathon (I was the top NE finisher in 2:22:03 the year before). The trip was a lot of fun but the race did not go as well as I’d hoped, mostly because I went out a bit too hard. I did end up with a personal best of 1:37:21, but had almost run that fast on the brutally hilly Stu’s 30km course. I finished 17th which was the same place I’d finished at Boston. I ended up beating 10,974 people which is the most I’ve ever beaten in a race and is nearly twice the number I beat in Boston (back then Boston only had 5,000 finishers!). My splits were: 31:06, 32:34, 33:41. This was also the trip where I did two runs in the same day, more than 24 hours apart.
Getting interviewed for Japanese T.V.15 years ago – The first two weekends of the month Byrne Decker and I headed out to 5 mile races and did them as workout (tied in both). We ran 26:45 to take the Freeze your buns race and 25:17 for the CMS heart run in Worcester. Then in a classic blunder Byrne and I warmed up for the Border to Border 20m and hour earlier than we were supposed to. We didn’t realize that the start was at 11 (instead of 10) until 9:50. We sat around for a half-hour then warmed up again, great way to get ready for a 20 mile race! I wasn’t concerned as it was just a work-out for me, I ran through with Byrne who was preparing for the Boston marathon (I was training for the Marathon world cup which would be held in Athens). I ended up finishing 9th in 1:58:26 and then we finished out the month with another tie, this time a 15:28 5km at the Penacook winter challenge.
10 years ago – My ankle woes that had me sidelined during the summer just would not go away. I was pretty much unable to race in Feb. getting in just one snowshoe race (a win at Saratoga springs) and an 88th place work-out at the USATF XC nationals where I ran 44:43 and beat just four of the 92 finishers.
5 years ago – I tore my obturator externus (in the hip socket) and was out for 6 weeks starting in December. I only got back to running near the end of January. My only race was the Weir Hill snowshoe race where a field of three toed the line. Dan won and I took 2nd. This was the smallest field in a race that Dan and I both ran in. We’ve raced each other 218 times with me beating Dan 114 to 104 times. Of those 218 races I won 33 of them and Dan won 21 and of the 218 I won 11 of them when Dan was 2nd and Dan won 13 while I finished 2nd. I’m not sure what any of that means except that Dan and I raced each other a lot and if we showed up at a race there was a 25% chance that one of us would walk away as the winner.