I haven’t raced since the USATF NE 5k championship back on September 30. For me 7 weeks without a race is a lifetime! My hamstring has finally healed enough that I felt it would be safe to race. I tested it out with a quick lunch run early in the week and a short speed workout on Thursday. I picked the “Doggy 5k” in
as the race to do mostly because Eric Morse and Murdoch were doing it, but also hoping it would be a low key reentry into racing. Boston
I did an easy 4 miles in the morning then met up with Eric and Murdoch and we carpooled into
. The location ( Boston ) turned out to be quite nice. There was plenty of parking and more than enough bathrooms (two key issues for me!). I headed out on the course alone, Eric and Murdoch don’t warm-up which makes the speed they can both race all the more impressive. The course was essentially dead flat with just one bump in the first ½ mile of the race. The temperature was around 50 and there was a little breeze, it looked to be a fine day to race. I did another mile with some strides and headed to the line. Pleasure Bay
More than half of the field of 330 runners were runners with dogs. There were a couple of guys who looked pretty good and although I didn’t recognize him at the time Robert Cipriano was running. Cipriano is one of the top 50+ runners in
New England. Amidst a lot of howling we were off, and Cipriano and his dog went flying! They ran at an all out sprint for the first ¼ mile and Eric and Murdoch were not too far behind. I tucked in with three dog-less guys and tried to stay in control. At about ¾ of a mile Cipriano stopped and Eric moved into the lead and soon after I moved around the guys I was with and hit the mile (short) in second place.
I slowly reeled in Eric and caught him around 1.5 miles, the pace felt very fast to me and I just worked to stay with those two from that point on. Soon we could hear the other two guys catching back up and right at two mile (10:46) we were a group of four. One of the guys made a big move and gapped us. I stuck with Eric and the other guy for as long as I could. With about ½ mile to go Eric pulled away and took the other guy with him. I had no kick left (I was kicking from the start) and just tried to minimize the damage. Eric closed on the winner finishing in 16:46 which was a full 30 seconds faster than he’d run on the same course last year. I was pleased with the effort and the result, fourth place in 16:53.
I ran the scenic course again for a warm-down and then we hung out with about 100 dogs waiting for awards (Eric won a pair of gloves). This was one of the rare times I enjoyed racing inside of route 128.
1 Paul Hand M20-29 16:36
2 Eric Morse M40-49 16:46 1st Dog
3 Mike Slowik M30-39 16:47
4 Dave Dunham M40-49 16:53
5 Robert Cipriano M50-59 17:50 2nd Dog
6 John O’Laughlin M30-39 17:53
7 Becky Hutchinson F 18:41 3rd Dog
8 Sean Quinn M00-19 19:20
9 Tony Cordani M 19:52 4th Dog
10 Ben Zavadoski M 20:33 5th Dog