This weekend marked the ninth time I hit the track at the Dartmouth relays in the last 31 years. This was the first time for both of the events I tried (1,500 & 800). I’ve been very lucky at Dartmouth picking up six wins along the way (including three in one day). I also set and broke the Billerica High School record in consecutive years. The 4x1 mile relay win in 1987 still stands as the U-Lowell record.
This time out I decided to run a very unusual double (at least for me) the 1,500 & the 800 meters. I’ve only run the 1500 once (in college) and the 800 twice (once in High School and one a year and ½ ago). I really would have preferred to run a 5,000 but they didn’t have one for either masters or open runners. The longest event was the 3,000 which was the last event of the day. The 1,500 was the first event so my decision was pretty easy.
I was a bit nervous but most of that was worry about how my calf would react. So far I’ve had no problems with the race and speed work I’ve done so off I went. I met up with Eric and Murdoch and headed out for a 3 mile warm-up. After the warm-up I switched into racing flats (no spikes) and headed around the track for another mile and some strides. The field was very small so there wasn’t any jostling as we headed off on 7+ laps.
I took the lead at 200m and tried to run an even pace. My goal was to run in the 4:40’s, I thought a really good day would be a sub-5:00 mile equivalent and would be happy with anything equal to a five-O anything. I slowly pulled away from the chase and built up a 3+ second lead with a lap to go. I went into my kick but that was essentially the same speed as my running up ‘til that point. Mark Coogan yelled at me with 100m to go “you better kick, they are coming”. Unfortunately I was already full-out and was caught right at the line, missing out the win by 5/100ths of a second.
Eric grabbed Murdoch and we headed out for another 2 miles as sort of a warm-down, then I got back on the track for another 1.5 with a couple of strides. I was not really worried about this race but hoped to run even and maybe get a masters PR (2:29.9 in Amesbury in 2010). Another small group lined up for the 800 and we were off in a blur. By 200 I was alone in third place with the leaders 7-8 seconds ahead. It was a lot of fun and over before I could really get going! I came away with third place and a new PR by 3 seconds.
All results from the Dartmouth relays
Date Dist. Time PL
01/10/81 2 9:41.6 6 PR and School record - Old record by Kevin Curtin
01/09/82 2 9:31.5 1 Won on a kick 2. Pat Gillooly 9:31.63. New School Record
01/08/83 1 4:18.0 R 4x1 mile David Quintal 4:28, Art Demers 4:24, and Joe Regan 4:30 = 17:40
01/10/87 1 4:10.0 R 4x1 mile Jason Cak 4:28, Rick Dawe 4:20, and John Cotter 4:14 = 17:13.4 UL record
01/05/91 1 4:20.0 R 4x1 mile relay with Brad Hurst, Gary and Artie. 6th place relay 420/430/438/450
01/06/91 1 4:20.6 1 Lots of pushing around 67/212/318
01/05/96 .99 4:12.0 1 Dartmouth triple 1st race of the day
01/05/96 1 8:44.5 1 2nd race of day 30 starters! Barry Harwick 2nd in 8:44.8
01/05/96 3.11 15:39.0 1 3rd race of day. 505/1005/1504
01/10/97 3.11 15:06.0 1 Felt lousy K splits 300/600/901/1204
01/13/08 3.11 16:28.2 9 Slow first 200 then on pace, alone from 200m-3400m.
01/08/12 .93 4:44.65 2 Lost by .05
01/08/12 .49 2:26.92 3 Pretty even, only one gear J