I headed to Lynn on Feb. 3, because the lack of snow meant no snowshoe races. We are looking at another season of very little snow (at least so far). I’ve run Lynn before and it fit the schedule well as a reality check on where my form is leading into the USATF 10 miles (Feb. 24). Dan and I headed out early in order to put some miles in the bank prior to the race. We ran 4 miles, most of it on the nice trails of Lynn Woods. The roads were a little slick with the light snow that was falling, but the trails were fine. After the warm-up I changed into race gear and did another ¾ mile running over to the start line.
I was glad to see teammates Jim Pawlicki, Martin Tighe, and Jason Porter. After some quick instructions the field of nearly 300 headed out. Temps were around 25 degrees and there was an annoying 10-15 mph breeze. Daniel Croteau (New Bedford TC) took off at the start and gapped the chase pack right away. I settled in with Jim, Martin, Jason, and David Corbett (Mystic) and Ryan Kerrigan (SRR). The first mile felt pretty easy, when I hit the marker in 5:58 I realized why. I wanted to be at least 10 seconds faster than that! I upped the tempo and for most of the second mile led our group into the breeze. I was a bit surprised when we hit 2 miles in 11:52, DANG! That mile felt a lot harder and was still only 5:54.
The pack I was with stayed together, but at some time Martin went off the back. We headed into the industrial park and out of the wind…but now into the hilly part. The third mile was 5:45, much more in line with what I’d hoped four. As we began the hills Jason moved to the front of our group and started eating up ground on Croteau. I never saw the 4 mile mark, probably because I was fiddling around trying to get a couple of sports beans out of my pocket. Damn, we ran 12:18 from 3 to 5 and I was definitely working hard. Our group became strung out and Ryan and I worked the downhill together as we went by the early leader. We ran a 5:25 down the hill but Jason was really rolling. I had him at 17 seconds ahead at 6 miles.
I thought “if I can get just 5 seconds a mile on him, I can catch him”. The next mile was 5:48 and I found myself alone and trailing Jason by 13 seconds. I followed that with a 5:52 and was 11 seconds back as I went through 8 miles in 47:00. I still thought I had a chance and glanced back on a couple of turns to see where everyone else was should I blow up. Jim and Ryan seemed to be in a good battle and they were well within striking range. I gave all I had running 5:25 for the ninth mile and had closed to 5 seconds, but Jason was nowhere near out of gas. He buried me in the last .3 putting 3 seconds on me as I closed in 1:48 (5:29 pace). Jim came in a few seconds after me and Martin took 9th, giving CMS four of the top nine places.
I’m pleased with the result, I was entirely sure of how I’d do. I ended up breaking my masters PR by over 2 minutes (56:19 in 2004 at the Bow Lake 15k), so I can’t complain. I’m hoping to run faster at the 10 mile in a few weeks, last year I ran 57:15 and I think I’m in about the same shape.
1 Jason Porter 54:05 43 M CMS
2 Dave Dunham 54:13 48 M CMS
3 James Pawlick 54:27 38 M CMS
4 Ryan Kerrigan 54:29 32 M SRR
5 David Corbett 55:02 29 M MYSTIC
6 Daniel Croteau 55:23 23 M GNBTC
7 James Deluca 56:42 29 M WICKED RC
8 Michael Paulin 57:10 38 M WICKED RC
9 Martin Tighe 57:32 54 M CMS
10 Mike Girouard 57:57 43 M GLRR