Friday, November 25, 2011

Winners Circle XC race

On Thanksgiving I headed over to Newbury for the Winner’s Circle 5k 22nd annual XC race.  This was the first year that the race would be held on a new course.  I had checked out the course previously and found it to be an excellent (if tough) course.

I headed out 50 minutes before the start and ran over the course.  There were very few wet spots despite the rain from the previous day.  There was a little bit of ice and temperatures were right around freezing.  I felt pretty decent warming-up but was nervous about the start.  Mass start XC races tend to be very fast and I don’t like to (or I’m not able) to go out that fast.  I wanted to make sure I got out and didn’t get tripped up.  Fortunately the course was very wide and there would be plenty of room to pass.  I headed back to the car and changed into racing gear and my Inov-8 212 trail shoes.  The grip would come in handy for taking sharp turns and getting up/down the hills.  I did another mile of running with some strides and headed for the line.

Nearly 500 runners were gathered and after some brief instructions we were off.  I stayed on my feet in the first 100m and found myself in the top 10 by the first turn.  By 200m into the race I was in third place with youngster Dan McColley leading the way.  As I drew even with McColley (who wished us all good luck as we passed him) Tim Murtagh and Mark Coogan both pulled up along side me.  As we headed up the first hill we formed a lead group of three.  I stayed with them until just after the mile when Murtagh surged and I was all-out and could not follow.  Coogan settled into second place and not much would change the rest of the way.  I glanced back around two miles and saw that I was well up on the next runner so there really was no reason to hold back.  I ran as hard as I could but Murtagh and Coogan continued to pull away.  The last mile was tough with one steep short hill and another little incline just before the 3 mile mark.  I was happy with the effort and the result, a third place finish.  I immediately headed back out on the course and ran back to cheer on the DRC including mom who was looking strong when I saw here with less than a mile to go.  I added an extra mile in before heading over to the awards ceremony.  The Winner’s Circle had things moving along and 1 hour after the race started the results were posted and awards were being handed out.  I got a pleasant surprise winning $50 for my third place. 

Wild Turkey Cross Country 5K
Nov 24, 2011 Newbury, Massachusetts
=================== == = ===== ================== ========== =====
    1   1/43   M1829  Tim Murtagh         20 M   356 Rowley MA            16:48.78 
    2   1/52   M4049 Mark Coogan         45 M   522 Exeter NH            17:18.55 
    3   2/52   M4049 Dave Dunham        47 M   155 Bradford MA         17:37.05 
    4   1/37   M0117   Dan McColley        14 M   537 Brentwood NH       18:40.28 
    5   2/43   M1829  Ben Chase              19 M   517 Newmarket NH     18:45.05 
    6   1/53   M5059  Bill Solimine           51 M   554 W Newbury MA    18:53.81 
    7   3/52   M4049  Alexander Bruskin 43 M   118 New York NY        19:06.53 
    8   1/36   M3039  Curtis Moore          30 M   158 Gorham NH          19:24.05 
    9   2/37   M0117  Alex Chase              16 M   515 Newmarket NH    19:30.80 
   10   3/43   M1829  Matthew Valli         23 M    11 Newbury MA         19:35.05 

Next up: Sunday I’ll head to the Andover Country club for the 32nd annual Cross-Country race.
Finishing shot by Richie Blake

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