Thursday, February 23, 2012

Looking back (way back)

Looking back – February

30 years ago (1982) – I raced a record 10 times during my senior year of indoor track.  I started the month with my only 1,000 yard race I’ve ever done, a win in a dual meet against Wilmington (2:33.7).  A few days later I doubled at the State Relays, running a leg of the sprint medley (2:01 for ½ mile) and the anchor for the mile relay (55.3).  In keeping with the short races I doubled up in a dual meet against Central in the 600 yard (1:19.0) and the mile relay (56.0).  I was very nervous about the 600 so coach Joe Bradford had me run one all-out the day before (in 1:20) in the basement of the Marshall Middle School. He also told me during the meet that the only way we’d win in the mile relay would be if I got the baton in the lead.  When it came time for the relay we need to win the race to win the meet, and of course I got the baton in 2nd place.  I ended up running down the Central guy and just nipping him at the line (as I fell across).  I guess Joe was trying to motivate me (?).  J  Two days later I set a school record for a 2 mile on a 160 yard track running 9:25.8 to take 2nd at the Northern area championships (Foley won in 9:25.7).  A few days later I won the mile at the MVC league meet running 4:29.2.  Lemieux (Methuen) was 2nd and my buddies from Chelmsford took 5th (Keith O’Brien) and 6th (Scott Spence).  I also anchored the relay running a lackluster 57.0.  The final meet of my high school indoor track career was the State championships at Harvard’s 220 yard track.  I won in the two mile running a (still standing) school record of 9:15.6 off of splits of 4:34/4:41.  Rival Sean Coghlan took second in 9:16.5.  My final high school indoor track race was the mile relay where I ran a 56.0.

25 years ago (1987) – I only raced three times during February in my final year at U-Lowell.  I “felt awful” running a 4:18.0 leg of the 4x1 mile at the brown Invitational on the 1st day of the month.  Two weeks later I took 2nd place at the Eastern championships.  I noted in my log that I was “sick all week”.  The plan was to lead Teammates Rick Dawe and John Cotter for a little more than a mile then pick up the pace.  I was hoping to run in the 8:55 range.  I ended up leading the race for 14 of the 16 laps before John Cotter passed me for the win in 9:00.6, I was 3 seconds back and Dawe was 1 second behind me.  Two weeks later I went to Lewiston Maine fro the New England championships where I ran the 5,000 in 14:31.8 for third place (Cotter was on step back running 14:32 as we qualified for Nationals).

20 years ago (1992) – 1992 was probably my best year of racing.  I raced four times in February, and took two seconds and two firsts.  On the first of Feb. I battled Ed Sheehan at the Lynn Stew Chase and led over 400 runners to the finish with a 46:58. Ed was close behind (47:28) and we would have a bunch of back and forth races in ’92.  A week later I ran as easy as possible taking 2nd place (28:02) at a North Medford Club 5.3 mile race that was part of the Hockomock Swamp Rat Series.  Walt Murphy and I ran together and he took the win in 28:01.  The next week I did a workout at the Fresh Pond 5 mile, using the race as a tempo run I ran 25:41 to take 2nd place.  The final week of the month I ran the DH Jones 10 mile which was the New England championships.  Ed Sheehan and I traded the lead until the final ½ mile when I went on to pull away by 4 seconds taking the win in 50:36. 

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