Tuesday, June 26, 2012


For the eighth time in the last 16 years I headed up to Mt Cranmore for this classic race (now in its 25th year).  I think I’ve only run the same course twice as devious Race Director Paul Kirsch keeps it fresh every year.  I headed up on Saturday with a brief stop at Lincoln woods for a six mile run on the old rail trail there.  I went very easy on the way out (7:35 pace) and then motored back in 6:15 pace with people telling me “you are flying”, which made me smile a bit.  It felt good to do a little up-tempo in a week of mostly slow running due to the heat and big mile week (106 miles).  I stayed at Paul Kirsch’s house and had some fun with Paul and Italian Mountain Ace (6-time World Champion) Marco De Gasperi discussing Mountain running and watching some of the Olympic Trials on T.V.

 It rained overnight so the course would be a bit wet but only enough that your feet got wet, nothing crazy (although there were a couple of muddy spots).  We got a big group together and headed out for a warm-up.  I added a little bit on after and switched into my Inov-8 racing flats, then headed out for a mile plus of running with some strides.  I felt okay but my head really wasn’t into this race.  I’m not very good at Up/Down races and usually need a little time after Mt Washington to get myself back into the mountain running mindset.  I always try to have a race goal and a stretch goal (a goal that might be just beyond my reach), for this race my goal was to not get injured and my stretch goal was the same.  I really hoped that wouldn’t be beyond my reach!

CMS looked to have a strong team with Jim Johnson, Ross Krause and Kevin Tilton all in contention for second place.  Marco is strong at descending and was coming off a debut 1:01 at Mt Washington, it’d be highly unlikely that anyone could run with him.  We had a flat 100 meters before the climb started and it seemed to me like a sprint.  As we started to climb I found myself in about 15th place.  It felt fast enough to me and I knew there would be plenty of tough climbing ahead.  I slowly worked my way through the pack and by the top of the first loop (about ¾ of the way up the mountain) I was in 8th place trailing Matt Veiga and Matthew Zanchi.  I’d beaten Veiga at Sleepy Hollow but he beat me at Wachusett, I was hoping to get around him on the second loop.  Both of them pulled away on the first descent as I tried to be cautious and not get hurt.  I hit the end of loop one in 19:21, pretty close behind them with no one else in sight.

I felt better as the race went along and the second loop had a lot of long steady steep climb, my element.  About 5 minutes into the climb I passed both of the guys and began to see top master Todd Callaghan in the distance.  Todd had mentioned before the race that he was sick and he was definitely feeling it during the race.  He looked back about half-way up to see where I was and I timed him at 40 seconds ahead.  As we neared the summit I reeled him in and closed the gap to 15 seconds (the climb took 16:07).  I tried to air it out on the descent which was for the most part quite run-able.  Todd seemed to be coming back and hadn’t looked to see if I was gaining.  We ran by Joe Viger who was taking pictures and I said “shhh” as I went by (I didn’t want Todd to know I was closing).  It didn’t matter, we took a sharp turn and Todd knew I was right there.  He upped his tempo and it was over.  I pushed hard to the finish but ended up six seconds behind him in sixth place overall.

The CMS gang did well; we won the team competition taking 4 of the top 6 spots and 5 in the top 12.  We headed out for an easy warm-down (JJ insisted that it is a cool-down but I disagree) and then got back in time to see the final finishers come in and feast on some excellent bagels.  The mountain series has two races left, next up will be Loon Mountain on July 8th and then Ascutney on the 22nd.

Pl Time              Name                Age       St         Team
1   38:46           Marco De Gasperi 35         Italy      GS Forestale
2   41:44           Jim Johnson        35         NH        CMS
3   42:18           Ross Krause        32         MA        CMS
4   44:41           Kevin Tilton        30         NH        CMS
5   44:57           Todd Callaghan   42         MA        SRR
6   45:03           Dave Dunham     48         MA        CMS
7   46:46           Matt Veiga         25         MA       
8   47:31           Matthew Zanchi  22         MA        Redmen Runners
9   49:42           Gabriel Flanders   36         NH        Acidotic
10  49:52           Stanislv Trufanov 33         MA       
11  50:30           Darrin Rees         40         CT       
12  50:37           Martin Tighe       54         RI         CMS
59  1:03:38        David Lapierre     48         MA        CMS
102 1:15:46       Walt Kuklinski      63         MA        CMS

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