Saturday, August 18, 2012

Looking back

August long gone by

30 years ago
I began my training for college (U-Lowell) by putting in some 70-80 mile weeks over the summer of 1982.  I raced a couple of times in August.  Tom Mixon kicked my butt at the Billerica Crime Chase 10k where I took second place in 32:15.  The course started/finished near the Billerica “house of correction”, one of the many scenic locations to visit in “Brica”.  Later in the month I ran the Grab Bag 12km race in Lowell taking 7th place in 38:57.

25 years ago
I only raced once during August of 1987.  I ran the NEAC (now called USATF NE) 15km championship in Worcester.  This was my first “Grand Prix” race.  I went on to win the series an unmatched seven times.  As of July 28, 2012 I’ve raced in 91 USATF New England road race championships.  Greater Lowell Road Runners teammate Bob Hodge took the overall victory in 46:05 and I finished second crossing the line 3 seconds later.  5km Splits: 15:33 / 31:11 (15:38) / 46:08 (14:57)

20 years ago
I had hit or miss race results back in August of 1992.  I was preparing for my first trip to the World Mountain running championships and training fairly hard during the month.  I started off with two races within an hour in Oakham, MA.  There was a little bit of cash if I could break the course record.  I decided to take a crack at both records (5k & 5m).  I started with the 5k running a 14:43.  After a brief break I headed out and ran 26:12 on the 5 mile course running just hard enough to break the course record.  Two weeks later I had one of the worst races I’ve ever had.  I headed to Parkersburg WV for the USATF half-marathon championships.  I was hoping to run in the 1:05 range and could only muster a 1:08:02.  My training log says “felt awful the last 4 miles”.  I ended up finishing in a very disappointing 38th place. 
Outkicking Howard Nippert

The following week I was off to Europe for the first of many trips across the pond for the Mountain running championships.  We tuned up with a race up the Kitzbuhelerhorn in Kitzbuhel Austria.  The course is similar to Mt Washington in total climb but had a mostly flat first 3k and a very tough last kilometer.  I ended up finishing in third place (59:22) over the 8 mile course that climbed over 4,000’ and won $400, my first international prize money!  The following week we traveled to Susa, Italy and trained on part of the course.  The World Champs course was just over 9 miles and had over 5,000’ of climb and one big drop of about 400’.  I ended up just cracking the top 10 with a 9th place finish (1:13:08).  I was kind of disappointed as I’d worked my way up to 5th place on the first big climb but lost 7 spots on the downhill (I’m not good at downhill running).  I gained back a few spots on the final climb but vowed to come back the following year and get into the top 5.
In Italy (me, Tom Sobal, Lyndon Ellefson, Jay Johnson)

No comments: