I came into this years Mt
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. Washington
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
3 SSR Woody Creek CO
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
5 Scranton PA
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 12 CMS Maintou Springs CO
10 7/120 M2034 1:06:59 Kevin Tilton 29 M
20 CMS North Conway NH
11 2/97 M4549 1:07:09 Francis Burdett 46 M
21 CMS Worcester MA
12 8/120 M2034 1:07:22 Jim Johnson 34 M
13 CMS Salem NH
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
14 CMS Mansfield MA
21 13/120 M2034 1:11:00 Ross Krause 31 M
694 CMS Easthampton MA
22 14/120 M2034 1:11:14 Andy McCarron 28 M
18 CMS Keene NH
23 1/93 M4044 1:11:51 Tim Van Orden 43 M
169 CMS Bennington VT
26 16/120 M2034 1:13:23 Tim Mahoney 31 M
35 CMS Holyoke MA
27 17/120 M2034 1:13:26 Matthew Clark 28 M
24 CMS Amherst MA
29 2/93 M4044 1:14:21 Joe Donnelly 43 M
29 WHIRL Dracut MA
30 3/93 M4044 1:14:34 Matthew Schomburg 40 M
398 Milan NH
33 4/93 M4044 1:15:04 Todd Callaghan 41 M
MA 28 GCS Beverly
37 4/97 M4549 1:16:01 Ernest Brake 49 M North
459 CMS Sutton NH
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
34 CMS Salem NH
89 3/50 M6064 1:27:01 Judge Jones 60 M
MA 787 CMS Billerica
117 17/97 M4549 1:29:37 Stephen Peterson 45 M
23 CMS Chelmsford MA
Note - the half-way mark was mis-placed...it 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.