10 Years ago – January 2004I was coming back from a hamstring injury during this month and managed 304 miles (just under 10 miles per day) while racing four times. I started off the year with a small trail race at the Merrimack River. It was supposed to be a snowshoe race but we didn’t have snow. The trail was in good enough shape for non-snowshoe running so 20 of us did so. I ran tentatively, deciding just before the start to run, and placed 7th. Teammate Richard Bolt took the victory. Two weeks later I headed out to Adams for the Greylock Glen snowshoe race. I got buried, finishing 7th in 27:29 for the 5k loop. A week later I headed up to Essex Junction Vermont for the USSSA qualifier. It was brutally cold and the course was a dead flat loop with a lot of ice. I ran 44:43 for the 5.8 mile course and placed 8th out of 38 finishers…but I did qualify for nationals. The next day I went out to Pittsfield and was running in 5th place with about a mile to go when I went off course. I got back but not before I lost a dozen places. I made up some of those, rolling into the finish in 13th place.
5 Years ago – January 2009I only logged 288 miles during this month but raced eight times. My goal was to do a lot of snowshoe races and the weather cooperated. I kicked off the year at the Hangover classic, running the JV race (5k) where I took 2nd place on a brutal day. It was 15 degrees the roads were covered with snow, and the wind was howling at over 30 mph. I nearly drowned doing the ocean plunge! Two days later I headed to Tewksbury since it was an “open” weekend (no snowshoe races). Conditions were good but I ended up alone in 2nd place right from the start. Jim Johnson took the win in 16:23 and I rolled in 1:37 later. The next weekend I made the LONG drive to Pittsfield for the Turner trail snowshoe race. This is a great course with a tough climb and a fast descent. I hit the top in 2nd but got my doors blown off during the descent and ended up finishing in 5th place 15 seconds behind teammate and top 40+ finisher Tim Van Orden.
A week later I completed my first double-race weekend of the year. Jim Johnson and I headed west and stayed out there for the weekend. I felt pretty lousy at both races finishing in 5th place at Greylock Glen and 4th place at the Brave the Blizzard. The following weekend I doubled again, this time in Readsboro VT and back to Pittsfield. At Readsboro I took third place just barely holding off long-time WMAC series ace Ken Clark. On Sunday I had a decent run at the Curly’s record run. I love the climb at this race and decided near the top that I wanted to see if I could be the “king of the mountain”, I somehow got around Ben Nephew just before the top and sprinted ahead. Soon after I lost the lead and ended up in finishing in third place 58 seconds behind Ben.
My final race of the month was one I directed at Northfield Mountain. A decent field of 77 showed up and I was surprised when partway through I recognized Leigh Schmitt who hadn’t run a WMAC race in years. He buried me on the descent and I ended up in fourth place just over two minutes behind Josh Ferenc.