Friday, January 27, 2012

January long gone by...

January 1982 – 30 years ago
I raced a lot during my senior indoor track season at Billerica High School, including nine races in January.  I started the month with an MVS and Lowell fieldhouse record for 2 miles with a 9:33.  I was pushed by strong efforts from Scott Spence and Keith O’Brien as Chelmsford crushed us 56 to 30.  I ran the anchor leg of our 4x400 in 57.4.  three days later I ran 4:40 to win the mile as we lost to Methuen (at Methuen) 51-35.  Teammate Jim Sullivan took second in the mile.  Two days later I won the 2 mile race at Dartmouth with a school record 9:31.5 just out-leaning Pat Gilooly at the line.  The following week we had two dual meets at Lowell.  I did the mile/mile relay and 2 mile/mile relay as we won both meets in a close count (45-41 and 44-42).  None of the times were spectacular as I was working toward some fast times at the State Meet.  I closed out the month with a win at the State coaches meet with a PR and school record with a 9:25.1.  I took the victory over Sean Coughlin with a 65 second final quarter.

1987 – 25 years ago
I only raced twice in January of my final year of indoor track at U-Lowell.  I was on the 4x1 mile relay team with Jason Cakorous, Rick Dawe, and John Cotter.  Our time of 17:13 still stands as the school record.  I ran a PR of 4:10 for my leg.  At the end of the month I took a shot at the school record for 2 miles (8:48) but came up short running a PR of 8:52.1 on the fast Harvard track.  I took 5th place at the Harvard invitational.

1992 – 20 Years ago

The big change for me in 1992 was joining the Central Mass Striders, my first race of the year was a tie with new teammate Larry Sayers.  We ran a course record (still standing) time of 24:00 at the Freezer five.  Ten days later I headed to Fresh Pond for the weekly 2.5/5.0 races.  I was using these as tempo runs so that I wouldn’t have to run alone.  My goal pace for the marathon was 5:10’s so I was hoping to tempo at something in the range.  The first time out I did 8 miles in 40:56, passing through 5 miles in 25:29 for third place.  Two weeks later I ran a 5 mile tempo in 25:38 for first place in cold (15 degrees) and windy conditions.  In between the two workouts I went to Bermuda for the ADT 10k.  I won the trip for taking first in the TAC New England Grand Prix series.  I ended up taking 7th place in 31:10 on a hot and windy day on a fairly hilly course.

1997 – 15 years ago
This year started well but ended with me out with a stress fracture that I continued to run on until it broke.  I still have the screw in my foot.  I kicked off the new year with a win back at the Freezer Five running a 26:51 in snow and 15 degree temperatures.  A week later I was up at Dartmouth where I won the 5,000 in 15:06.  Two weeks after that I closed out the month with a win at the Boston Prep 16 mile in a course record 1:28:49.  Teammate and training partner Byrne Decker and I raced together through 13 miles where I was able to gap him and then hold on for the win.

2002 – 10 years ago
I had a reasonably successful January in 2002, with just one major disappointment.  I started the year finishing second to Dan Verrington at the Hangover 5k in Salisbury.  I ran 16:02 and Dan ran just fast enough to win (15:59).  Next up was a qualifying race for the US Snowshoe championships.  I headed up to Killington with Richard Bolt to secure a trip to nationals.  Richard took 2nd in 24:12 and I was third in 25:01 over a tough 5km course, some dude we’d never heard of won in 23:37 (I think he was a skier trying out snowshoe racing).  The following week we headed out to Colorado for the so called “North American Championships”.  The race was not the style of racing I was used to (you had to know the course to know when there would be fast running and when there would be very deep powder).  I ended up a very disappointing 17th place.  A week later I hosted a race at Beaver brook and topped a field of 22 running 2.7 miles doing multiple loops around a field with just a hint of snow.                                                                                                                                       

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