Friday, May 4, 2012

Pipestave Trail Race

think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like night races, but here I am writing about another night race (and planning a couple more)…go figure!

I was looking for a race to start off May on a good note and needed to race during the week as I’d be heading up to Vermont to watch some fast dog-racing (Eric Morse and Murdoch).  Dan had raced at Pipestave last year and we’d run over parts of the course when previewing the Thanksgiving race back in November.  It looked like a nice mix of single-track, rough footing, climbs, and some very fast running.  Although I’d dropped my mileage this week I did not go easy on race day.  I ran my normal four miles at lunch and another 6 miles with Dan after work.  After a quick stop at home I headed over to West Newbury.

I thought any outside shot of winning was out the window when I bumped into teammate Joe Shairs, then we saw a couple of other fast guys while we were out previewing the course.  I changed into my Inov-8 trail shoes and went out for another 1.5 miles with some strides.  Boy, I felt lousy.  Just before the start I turned to Joe and said “wow, that guy looks a lot like Dmitry Drozdov”.  Joe said “yeah, that’s because that IS Dmitry”.  It was starting to look like a top 5 finish would be a reasonable goal. 

Just under 100 huddled on the narrow start line with room for just a few people, but the course would go about 100 meters then open up.  I went out hard but at the first turn already in 5th or 6th.  We crested the first hill and I just rolled on downhill and by ½ mile into the race found myself leading.  My original plan had been to stalk the leaders and try to push on the second shorter loop of the two loop course.  Being in front is a good thing in a narrow trail race, I could set the pace and more importantly I could see ahead and plan out where I’d be planting my feet.  I stayed out in front but could hear a few guys right behind me.  About 1.5 miles in Dmitry stormed by on a technical downhill, then Steve Dowsett and Josh Korn (Salomon) both flew by as we hit the second loop.

I moved again at the same place as loop one and really worked the downhill, moving back into 2nd place and closing to within a couple of strides of Dmitry.  I wouldn’t get any closer.  I kept working but lost ground over the last mile, I did pull away from Dowsett and Korn and gave all I had until I crossed the line.  I ended up in second place 14 seconds behind Dmitry.  He crushed Dan’s course record (and master’s record) from last year by 1:20 (19:22) and in all the top 9 ran faster than last year.  I guess I like night races more than I thought!

Second Annual Pipestave Hill 5K Trail Race
Thursday, May 3, 2012 Start Time 6:30 PM
===== === =================== ======= ===== ======== ===== == = ============ == 
    1 485 Dimitry Drozdov       18:02  5:49   1/21   M4049 40 M LINCOLN      MA 
    2 483 Dave Dunham           18:16  5:54   2/21   M4049 48 M Bradford     MA 
    3 481 Josh Korn             18:25  5:57   1/13   M3039 31 M                 
    4 491 Steve Dowsett         18:35  6:00   1/5    M2029 24 M Newburyport  MA 
    5 457 Sean McDonough        18:39  6:01   2/5    M2029 29 M Somerville   MA 
    6 484 Christopher Smith     18:45  6:03   3/21   M4049 46 M Woburn       MA 
    7 490 Joe Shairs            18:49  6:05   4/21   M4049 43 M peabody      MA 
    8 497 Matt Curran           19:01  6:09   1/17   M5059 55 M Gloucester   MA 
    9 644 David Long            19:15  6:13   2/13   M3039 38 M Beverly      MA 
   10 441 Justin Jones          19:26  6:17   3/5    M2029 24 M Danvers      MA 


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