Monday, August 13, 2012

Epsom Old Home Day race (NH grand prix )

Epsom Old Home day 4 mile

There were a lot of choices for racing opportunities this weekend and I decided that the Epsom Old Home days four mile was the best option.  I like early races and the 8:30 am start suited me, not to mention the very reasonable $12 pre-entry fee. 

I arrived a bit early figuring I’d need a few extra minutes to run the course as a warm-up.  It is always a good idea to check out the course and get a good mental picture of how the race would unfold.  The course was an out & back with a little parking lot loop at the turn which made the turn better than doing a 180 around a cone.  I felt sluggish warming up and I was drenched from the near 100% humidity.  At least the thick cloud cover meant the temperatures would be moderate.  The course looked fairly tough to me, slightly downhill for the first ½ mile then a tough little uphill right at the mile mark.  From the mile to the turn it was “rolling” but generally rolling UP.  That mile would be tough during the race!

After the 4 mile course preview I changed into my racing flats and headed out for another mile.  I got a few minutes to chat with Richie Blake (GCS) before finishing up with some strides before the start.  I bumped into Joe Morasse at the start, he was decked out in a USA singlet and I had very nearly put on my USA singlet as well.  I went with a “British Athletics” singlet instead in honor of the Olympics.  Don Yeaton gave us a quick briefing and the race was on.

I took it out pretty hard and a younger guy (Ryan Bender) took it out even harder.  Joe and I tucked in behind him as we rolled through the first half mile.  I pulled even with Ryan and he threw in a surge, he looked smooth but he sounded like he was working pretty hard.  We hit the mile in 5:26 and then took on the first uphill.  I pulled even with and went around Ryan as we both put a little distance on Joe.  I sensed he was struggling a bit so I pushed the pace as much as I felt was prudent.

The second mile was definitely the toughest of the race, I ran 5:44 (11:10 @ 2m) and put a little space on the chasers.  The third mile was a blur of people on there way out (many offering me encouragement and telling me how much I was ahead which is always helpful) and the inner voice telling me alternately that I was pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough.  I hit three miles in 16:41 (5:31) and knew I wasn’t going to run a personal best (no surprise due to the toughness of the course) but also knew that I couldn’t ease up.  I pushed right to the line and crossed in 22:16 (5:34) for the win and a new course record.

I headed back to the car and quickly changed into my “heavy trainers” and headed back out for an easy 4 mile warm-down.  I got to cheer on a lot of people and was even lucky enough to run in with some folks as they were wrapping up their warm-down.  I’d highly recommend this race, it is a reasonably quite course and the entry fee is excellent.

   1   Dave Dunham           M 48 Bradford MA        GCS     22:16
   2   Jason Bender          M 18 Amherst NH         GCS     23:01
   3   Joe Morasse           M 32 Nashua NH          GCS     23:08
   4   Justin Soucy          M 31 Hudson NH          GCS     23:19
   5   Geoff Dunbar          M 41 Hanover NH         UVRC    23:42
   6   Mike Giberti          M 20 Bridgewater MA     GDTC    23:58
   7   Michael Fraysse       M 40 Derry NH           GDTC    24:00
   8   Tyler Brannen         M 40 Nashua NH          GCS     24:15
   9   Tom Varick            M 48 Litchfield NH      GDTC    24:21
  10   Charlie Bemis         M 49 Derry NH           GDTC    24:31

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