USATF New England 5 mile championships
It has been a couple of months since the last USATF NE road championship race (collectively the series is called the ‘Grand Prix’). This weekend was the 5 mile championships at a new venue. The last few years it had been held in Carver in July, picture hot and humid (but scenic). Merrimack NH, and specifically the Brewery was anything but scenic but at least it wasn’t hot in humid. It was warm (70s) and there was a very strong wind to contend with. At least the head-wind would be during the first half of the race and then a tailwind for the last two miles.
D-La, Dan, and I carpooled and arrived extra early for the ½ mile hike from the parking area to the race site. We got together with a group of CMS guys and checked out the first (and last) 1.5 miles of the course. We’d driven the other part previously so there would be no surprises. The course was very flat except for the hill at the start/finish. Fast times could be run on this course but the 15 mph headwind may have really slowed things down.
I got on the line in the 7th row, right behind Dan and waited for the craziness to begin. Oddly it seemed that people didn’t go out super-fast at least until we got up the hill and on to the DW highway. Then a lot of people zipped on by while I tried to latch on to the back of a group to hide from the wind. It took me most of the first mile to catch the lead women’s pack and I hit the mile in 5:46. That was just about what I wanted considering the wind (my goal was 28:20 or 5:40 pace). Dan was 2 seconds ahead of me and I thought “keep him close”.
I slowly moved by people and after the first ½ mile of the race was only passed by one or two people. I hit 2 miles in 11:24, a surprising 5:38 split. Dan was now 3 seconds ahead and the lead woman was between us. From two to three miles we did a big loop and started running back through the people on the way out. A few yelled for me, which was nice but also alerted Dan to exactly where I was. I hit 3 in 17:08, which had to be in the wrong spot. It was probably about 5 seconds short of the correct location. Dan was 4 seconds ahead and I still thought I might have a shot at him over the last 2 miles.
Three to four miles was my slowest mile of the day at 5:52 (but if I’m correct on three being off by 5 seconds this would be a 5:47). I was not happy, since this mile was with the wind and I’d maintained pace on Dan. Just after the four mile I passed the lead woman but just couldn’t close on Dan. He extended his lead to six seconds with a strong last ¼ mile. I ran out of steam on the final downhill and only just barely held off the top woman.
Although the time was slower than hoped for (28:37 – Chip time of 28:34), looking at other guys times I placed just about where I should. I can’t complain about finishing third in the 50-54 in a New England championship!
Next up: Mt Washington
Top 5 50+1Robert Cipriano 54 28:12 Somerville Road Runners
2 Dan Verrington 51 28:31 Central Mass Striders
3 Dave Dunham 50 28:37 Central Mass Striders
4 Paul Hammond 54 28:49 Whirlaway Racing Team
5 Michael Cooney 52 28:57 Whirlaway Racing Team
Overall and CMS
1 JEFF VEIGA 23 LOWELL MA 24:19 RUN
2 BRIAN HARVEY 27 BOSTON MA 24:27 BAA
3 NATE JENKINS 33 N ANDOVER MA 24:37 CMS
4 ERIC ASHE 25 BOSTON MA 24:53 BAA
5 SEAN DUNCAN 24 ARLINGTON MA 25:02 WMDP
22 PATRICK RICH 37 S HAMILTON MA 25:55 CMS
23 SCOTT LESLIE 32 RUTLAND MA 25:58 CMS
32 MORGAN KENNEDY 26 GRAFTON MA 26:17 CMS
33 GREG PUTNAM 44 STONEHAM MA 26:18 CMS
53 COLBY CHRUSCIEL 21 TEMPLETON MA 27:09 CMS
63 JOE SHAIRS 46 PEABODY MA 27:42 CMS
64 MATTHEW VEIGA 27 LYNN MA 27:46 CMS
67 JAMES PAWLICKI 39 LYNN MA 27:55 CMS
68 ANDY MCCARRON 31 KEENE NH 27:58 CMS
81 DAN VERRINGTON 51 BRADFORD MA 28:31 CMS
86 DAVE DUNHAM 50 BRADFORD MA 28:37 CMS
90 JASON PORTER 44 BEDFORD NH 28:40 CMS
98 ARTHUR BESSE 41 TEMPLETON MA 28:51 CMS
126 NICK TAORMINA 41 GLOUCESTER MA 29:44 CMS
149 MARTIN TIGHE 56 PROVIDENCE RI 30:27 CMS
165 DAVE MINGORI 47 CHARLTON MA 31:20 CMS
168 SAM WOOD 27 LACONIA NH 31:26 CMS
318 DAVID LAPIERRE 50 CHELMSFORD MA 35:38 CMS
399 WILLIAM GONSORCIK 47 WORCESTER MA 37:33 CMS
426 STEPHEN LASKA 52 HOLDEN MA 37:57 CMS
498 FRANK RUGGIERO 55 LUNENBURG MA 39:37 CMS