Exeter PTO 5k – I was looking for a 5k for this weekend to try and get my legs rolling. I’m feeling that I’m getting somewhere but with no measuring stick it is hard to tell. A 5k at least gives me an idea of where I’m at. My goal was to get under 17:20 and maybe if all went well sneak under 17:10.
It was incredibly humid on Saturday morning but temperatures were a comfortable upper 50’s. There were some downpours early in the morning but by the time I got to Exeter it was just drizzling. I headed out on the course for a warm-up and a chance to figure out the big looping route. I’d run the race 11 years ago and had little memory of it other than the “hill” at the end of the race. I didn’t see many others out warming up, probably due to the weather. I was dripping from the 100% humidity. The course looked to be very fast for the first mile with just two turns and a gentle downhill grade. The second mile was slightly uphill but nothing significant. The third mile was flat until ½ mile to go when there was a fast downhill followed by the toughest hill on the course xx feet of climb in the last ¼ mile.
I changed into my racing flats and was glad to be in lighter shoes. At the same time it started to lightly rain which was just perfect since you’d be soaked anyway from the humidity. I did a few strides adding on another ¾ mile of running while waiting for the start. When I lined up I saw Scott McGrath and another guy in Whirlaway racing gear, there was also a guy in a Loco singlet doing strides and he looked fast. Besides them there were a ton of high school kids who were ready to rock.
Almost 500 sprinted out and I was very nearly trampled. I found myself just inside the top 20 places in the first ¼ mile. By ½ mile I’d moved up to the top 15 and at the mile I was closing on 10th place. I was a bit surprised by the split (5:14), that seemed a bit fast even for the quickness of the mile but it was a certified course and the miles appeared to be in the correct location. I concentrated on the pack of high school runners in front of me and slowly reeled them in. Scott McGrath was long out of sight having opened with a 4:45 mile. His teammate Sam Fazioli broke away from the group he was in just after the mile. I kept my head up and focused on closing on anyone ahead of me who faltered. I hit 2 miles in 10:52 (5:38) and knew that if I could keep it together I’d get a decent time. I caught a couple of guys and got myself into 5th place with about ¼ mile to go. The uphill really hurt! Then zoom, the Loco guy went flying by me in the last 200 meters I couldn’t respond and finished two steps behind him.
The finish line clock didn’t seem right (17:00 as I crossed) and I got 17:11 on my watch. In the results I was given 17:05 and the guy right in front of me was 17:01. None of that made sense, so I’ll stick with the 17:11 as my current 50+ PR. I hope that I can drop that under 17 the next time I do a 5k which I’m hoping will be at the USATF New England Open & Masters Track championships at the end of June.
1 15:30 Scott McGrath 27 Andover, MA
2 16:30 Samuel Fazioli 22 Salem, MA
3 16:45 Quincy Tichenor 17 Glencoe, IL
4 16:49 Max Larnerd 16
5 17:01 Kyle Williams 22
6 17:05 Dave Dunham 50 Ward Hill, MA
7 17:07 Jip Miluno 15 Exeter, NH
8 17:23 Thomas Clark 18 Exeter, NH
9 17:36 Dj Ayotte 20 East Kingston, NH
10 17:57 Steven Ruhm 45