Monday, January 28, 2013

Curly's record run

After a late night Friday dealing with burst pipes and a flooded basement I had to skip the Sidehiller snowshoe race.  I was bummed as I was one of the six people who’d run all of the Sidehiller races.  I decided I’d head out to Pittsfield on Sunday and try my hand at the 5 mile Curly’s record run.  The course was much more suited to me with a 3+ mile climb of over 1,000’ and a great downhill run mostly on  packed snowmobile road.  It was very similar to the course used 2010 when I took third place (behind JJ and TiVO).

The 3 hour drive was kind of cool with the full moon setting in front of me as the sun rose behind me. 

I got to the race site right on time, signed up and headed out for a warm-up.  Tim Mahoney joined me for three miles up the road (that we’d be descending in the race).  It was cold (12 degrees) but sunny and there wasn’t any wind so it was reasonably comfortable.  After the 3 mile warm-up, a quick changed into snowshoes and off for another mile.  We got some pre-race instructions and off we went.  This was the strongest field so far in 2013.  Steve Dowsett had won at Turner trail, Tim Mahoney had won at Constitution hill, and I’d won at Prospect.  In addition Josh Ferenc was rounding into shape and he’d finished second last week at the Hoot, Toot and Whistle.

Josh and Steve went out pretty hard and I tucked in with Tim Mahoney.  About 5 minutes into the race all of us (including Tim Van Orden) went straight when we should have gone right (at a nearly 180 degree turn).  I got us at a little over 2 minutes before we got back to the course…so we added on 4 minutes (Josh a little more and TiVO a little less).  As Josh went by, I said something like “don’t worry, we’ve got a LONG climb ahead”.  I really figured we’d catch back up, it’d just be a matter of when.  We made our way through the entire field!  Luckily the snow was not deep and passing was very easy, some people even pulled off and let us through.  I gapped Dowsett as Ferenc pulled ahead.  I knew the I’d need to get some space on the climb, fast downhill running is not my strong point.  Near the top of the climb we caught Ken Clark and I asked him how many in front and he told me he thought 2 or 3.  A half mile later, just as Ferenc was catching the leaders (Teal, Dengate, and maybe Northan?) they all went straight at another very sharp right.  I missed the turn as well but only went a minute long.  I turned just as Josh and the others were heading back. 

I hit the course again just as Dowsett and Mahoney came up on the intersection.  I got around them and only saw one set of prints on the ground.  Soon after Ferenc caught me and I told him “only one more in front of us”.  We caught Ken Clark (again!) just as we started the long descent.  Ferenc was off like a shot and I just tried to keep him in sight.  We hit the road and about 1.5 miles of crazy fast running to go.  I took a look back and could see Dowsett in the distance.  With about 400 to go I looked again and he was almost on me (his garmin told him he ran a 5:14 mile!).  I was lucky we didn’t have far to go and I ended up holding on to second place.

Even with the mess up (over 6 minutes) the race pretty much finished in the order I think it would have had we not gone off course.  I think the course was very well marked, my only suggestion would be on sharp turns it’d be much easier to see if the WRONG trail was blocked with flags.  Oh well, another snowshoe race in the books.

1          Josh Ferenc        M          31         43:04    100
2          Dave Dunham     M          48         43:45    98.63
3          Steve Dowsett   M          24         43:50    97.26
4          Tim Vanorden     M          44         44:26    95.89
5          Tim Mahoney      M          33         44:32    94.52
6          Richard Teal        M          34         44:56    93.15
7          Jeff Dengate      M          35         45:15    91.78
8          Eddie Habeck      M          35         45:30    90.41
9          Ken Clark            M          50         45:52    89.04
10         Brian Northan      M          37         46:17    87.67

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