|Miles Fartlek - the Wicked Running Club mascot|
We headed out for a warm-up, running out 1.5 miles on the course and then reversing to see the final 1.5 miles. This is always a good idea, that way there are no surprises in the final push to the finish line. I felt okay (it took a mile for my foot to loosen up) and changed into racing flats and headed out for another mile and a bunch of strides. Then about 700 of us headed over to the narrow start. I like the course but the first 200 meters is a little sketchy with a sharp right and a sharp left there are also some cobblestones to negotiate at the start and finish. All of that and a little bit of slickness on the road meant a reasonable start.
I found myself out in front at the start with Ben Strain right there (he told me he was aiming for 22 flat which was also my goal). After the first two turns the pace really increased and I found myself in 8th place. Last year I'd run 5:25 for the first mile and I was hoping to be right around 5:30 this year. I was off the back of the lead pack (which included Ben, Jim Pawlicki, and Dan) but still hit the mile in 5:16. Yikes! Now if I just ran even with last year I'd run under 22. I started working on reeling in Ben, Jim, and Dan who began to fall behind the three leaders.
By 2 miles (5:30 - 10:46) I passed Ben and was 2 seconds behind Jim and Dan. The only noticeable hill in the race is from about 2.5 to 2.75. I had reached Jim and Dan by that point and hung behind them on the climb. I decided the time to maybe catch them by surprise would be at the top of the hill when everyone eases up a bit to recover. I ran a very hard 1/4 mile to try and drop them but right before the 3 mile mark (5:37 - 16:23) they pulled up to me and just after 3 they went by.
I felt that if I coud keep Dan close I could get him with a kick at the end, as for Jim he isn't 40+ so I didn't really care (not that I wouldn't want to beat him!). Dan and I both checked our watches with about 1/2 mile to go, he still had a stride or two on me and Jim was right there along side Dan. We took the final turn and I went into my final kick. I misjudged how far there was to go and started to tie up with 100 to go, but a glance back and I could see I had Dan (Jim had really motored that last 100 and was well ahead). I hit the finish in 21:54 (5:31) knocking 13 seconds off my PR from last year.
|Dan, me, and Jim|
|Post-race whiskey shot with (sister) Denise|
Sunday, January 1, 2012 Start Time: 10 AM
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1 641 Eric Sofen 1/30 M2029 26 M SEATTLE WA 22:21 21:25 5:22
2 760 Nick Sousa 2/30 M2029 28 M Salem MA 21:31 21:31 5:23
3 437 Michael Nickerson 3/30 M2029 22 M Salem MA 21:33 21:33 5:24
4 746 James Pawlicki 1/65 M3039 37 M Lynn MA 21:51 21:51 5:28
5 12 Dave Dunham 1/88 M4049 47 M Bradford MA 21:54 21:54 5:29
6 535 Dan Verrington 2/88 M4049 49 M Bradford MA 21:58 21:59 5:30
7 717 Ben Strain 2/65 M3039 33 M Beverly MA 23:20 22:08 5:32
8 687 John Ayers 3/88 M4049 45 M Beverly MA 23:13 22:26 5:37
9 676 Jason McDonough-Hug 3/65 M3039 33 M Somerville MA 23:20 23:22 5:51
10 527 Kevin Delaney 4/88 M4049 43 M Arlington MA 23:26 23:26 5:52