Monday, June 20, 2011

Mt Washington

Mt Washington

I came into this years Mt Washington feeling a bit ambivalent.  My training was going well but unlike past years, I’d stayed away from mountain racing so far this year.  Based on my road times and the mileage I’d been putting in I felt I was in shape to run close to my masters PR (1:09:08).  I checked out my handy pace predictor and plugged in the stretch goal time of 1:08:30. 

On race morning I headed out with a big CMS crew for a 3 mile warm-up on the Great Glen trails.  The race start was an hour earlier than in years past which was fine by me, that meant it’d be a bit cooler at the start.  The heavy rain came down during our warm-up then stopped just before the race started.  I changed into racing flats and headed for the line.  I was really surprised that no one seemed to want to get on the line.  The last couple of years I had to fight to get into the third row, this year I got on the line with no trouble.

The cannon fired and it seemed like people sprinted off the line!  Reality hit for many in the first ½ mile and I found myself in about 30th place.  I reached the mile with JJ and Kevin T in tow, within 4 seconds of my stretch goal pace (6:55) and was in 25th place.  JJ and Kevin floated away as they had planned an “easy” start and upped the tempo (they had done a 1:11 in training earlier this year).  I slowly moved through some fast starters and by 2 miles found myself right behind Craig Fram.

It was like stepping back in time to 10-15 years ago as I worked to stay with Craig.  My mantra was “stay with Craig ‘til the next mile” and I’d reach a mile and then think the same thing again.  We were consistently running 4 seconds behind my stretch goal pace so I knew I was going to be close to my 40+ PR.  My hope was that I wouldn’t blow up over the last half of the race.  I never quite drew even with Craig; typically I was a step or two behind.  It was fun having someone to race with, in most years I’m either passing or being passed there haven’t been many times I’ve been closely matched with someone.

Conditions were just about ideal with very little wind above treeline.  We’ve had a great stretch over the last bunch of years with great weather that is bound to end.  I hung with Craig through 5 then he started to gap me.  I had some trouble with a calf muscle that knotted up (not sure if it is a pull or a strain but I’m still limping) soon after he pulled away.  I looked back on the hairpin turn and didn’t see anyone behind me, but Ben Nephew and Mark Mayall were not too far back.  I worked as hard as I could but just couldn’t reel Craig back in.  At the 7 mile mark I knew I’d be very close to my 40+ PR and if I kept it together I’d break Andy Ames age 47 record (1:09:33).  I had a tough finish, my worst split of the day (7 seconds slower than projected) and was passed by Mayall in the final 50m.  I don’t think I’ve ever been passed at the top before.  I will take solace that I was the first person to go to the actual summit. 

I ended up finishing 17th and 3rd in the 40+ in 1:09:11, three seconds shy of my masters PR.  Craig Fram (1:08:50) is the only person older than me to EVER break 1:10.  He has now gone under 1:10 at age 49, 50, and 52…truly amazing.  I was surprised to later learn that I also scored (5th man) for the winning CMS open team.  Our 40+ team also won, demolishing the field and finishing fast enough that we would have been only behind CMS and Whirlaway in the OPEN division.  Nice job by the entire squad!

I finished out the day with a leisurely run down the mountain with TiVO and Brandon Newbould & Dan Princic (Whirlaway guys).  I still think the run down is the best part of the day!

   1   1/120  M2034 1:01:32 Rickey Gates              30 M   Woody Creek CO              3 SSR                                     
   2   1/76   M3539 1:01:42 Tommy Manning             35 M   Colorado Springs CO         6                                         
   3   2/76   M3539 1:03:31 Matthew Byrne             36 M   Scranton PA                 5                                         
   4   2/120  M2034 1:03:36 Glenn Randall             24 M   Mesa CO                     7                                         
   5   1/97   M4549 1:04:33 Simon Gutierrez           45 M   Alamosa CO                  4 FLEET FEET 

   6   3/120  M2034 1:04:45 Peter Maksimow            32 M   Maintou Springs CO         12 CMS                                     
  10   7/120  M2034 1:06:59 Kevin Tilton              29 M   North Conway NH            20 CMS                                      
  11   2/97   M4549 1:07:09 Francis Burdett           46 M   Worcester MA               21 CMS                                     
  12   8/120  M2034 1:07:22 Jim Johnson               34 M   Salem NH                   13 CMS                                      
  15   1/114  M5054 1:08:50 Craig Fram                52 M   Plaistow NH                52 WHIRL                                   
  17   3/97   M4549 1:09:11 Dave Dunham               47 M   Bradford MA                22 CMS                                      
  18   4/76   M3539 1:09:23 Ben Nephew                35 M   Mansfield MA               14 CMS                                     
  21  13/120  M2034 1:11:00 Ross Krause               31 M   Easthampton MA            694 CMS                                     
  22  14/120  M2034 1:11:14 Andy McCarron             28 M   Keene NH                   18 CMS                                     
  23   1/93   M4044 1:11:51 Tim Van Orden             43 M   Bennington VT             169 CMS                                     
  26  16/120  M2034 1:13:23 Tim Mahoney               31 M   Holyoke MA                 35 CMS                                     
  27  17/120  M2034 1:13:26 Matthew Clark             28 M   Amherst MA                 24 CMS                                     
  29   2/93   M4044 1:14:21 Joe Donnelly              43 M   Dracut MA                  29 WHIRL                                   
  30   3/93   M4044 1:14:34 Matthew Schomburg         40 M   Milan NH                  398                                         
  33   4/93   M4044 1:15:04 Todd Callaghan            41 M   Beverly MA                 28 GCS                                     
  37   4/97   M4549 1:16:01 Ernest Brake              49 M   North Sutton NH           459 CMS                                     
  40   5/97   M4549 1:16:41 Daniel Verrington         48 M   Bradford MA                30 CMS                                     
  47   6/97   M4549 1:17:52 David Quintal             48 M   Salem NH                   34 CMS                                     
  89   3/50   M6064 1:27:01 Judge Jones               60 M   Billerica MA              787 CMS                                     
117  17/97   M4549 1:29:37 Stephen Peterson          45 M   Chelmsford MA              23 CMS                                     

Note - the half-way mark was was about 8-12 seconds TOO FAR up the mountain.  My previous best split from 1/2 to 4 miles was 45 seconds when I ran 1:00:44, it was obviously not in the right place (unless I somehow picked it up to 7:10 pace!).  I was very consistent comapred to my projected pace.  My worst mile was 2-3, probably because Craig and I were keying off of each other and my finish was even worse...7 seconds under projections, but I was running out of gas.

CumulativeSplit TimesActualDifference

No comments: