Tuesday, July 1, 2014

USATF NE 5,000 meter championship

I haven’t raced 5,000 meters on outdoor track very often (only a dozen times in the last 31 years), but chose to run one this weekend.  The new “All Terrain” series was my major motivation.  This new series features a trail race, mountain race, outdoor track race, road race, and cross-country race.  I enjoy doing all types of racing so I was all-in for the series.  The 5,000 could be run at any outdoor track meet but the USATF New England open and master’s championship fit the schedule the best.  The major issue for me was my lack of training due to my injury and my fear that I’d make the injury worse by doing this.  After missing a week due to the bone bruise and ligament issues in my right foot, I’d started back running tentatively.  I wasn’t sure how I’d hold up, but I was willing to give it a go.

 I carpooled to the race with Dan Verrington and Dave Lapierre.  We were all interested in the All-terrain series and would make up 60% of the seniors in the field.  I wasn’t sure what I could run but was aiming for 17:40 which would give me about 80 points (based on Nate Jenkins leading time of 14:41).  It was pretty warm when we arrived and there is no shade on the track.  We met up with teammates Greg Putnam, Jim Pawlicki, and Francis Burdett and headed out for a 20 minute warm-up.  My foot felt “okay” but I was dragging.  My fastest mile in the past two weeks was just under 8 minutes; this was going to be tough.  I switched into my racing flats and grabbed a water bottle and headed to the track.  I got in another mile while watching the women’s 5,000 finish up.  I had hoped to do some strides but after the second one my foot started to hurt so I backed off and just jogged around to stay loose.

They broke us up into two heats and Dan and I were in the first heat with 20 other guys.  It was kind of funny as they lined us up and gave us the choice of being on the line or moving up in the second row.  Dan and I both took the second row in the middle of the track.  That seemed like the perfect spot to stay out of trouble. 

Pictures by Krissy
I found myself in last place right away and tried to relax.  Jim, Todd, and Dan were a little ahead and the first quarter was slow (83+).  I moved around two guys and focused on the small pack in front of me.  I focused a bit too much and ran a too fast quarter (79+).  After that I felt like I settled in.  Dan’s group slowly pulled away and I found myself alone after Joe O’Leary went by just after the mile.  My foot started to hurt a lot around half-way and my calf (probably from favoring) was twinging.  At 2 miles Dan was 12+ seconds ahead, but I was running my own race and kept trying to not completely fall apart.  I went back around Joe O’Leary and saw that Dan had fallen off of his group.

After 2 miles I started checking how far Dan was ahead, although I didn’t think I could catch him I wasn’t giving up on trying.  With 3 laps to go he was 12 seconds up, with 2 laps left it was down to 9 seconds, and at the gun lap it was 5 or 6 seconds.  I was running even splits (slow) and he was coming back so I kept rolling along.  With 200 to go he was still 4 or 5 seconds ahead but I found another gear and caught him in the last 100 meters.  At the end I got him by just over 1 second.  I hit the track hard, wheezing and trying to breathe.  Man that hurt!

 My ankle and calf were both pretty bad, but after D-la ran his heat we ran an easy 2m before calling it a day.  CMS had a good day, putting 6 in the top 15.  Greg Putnam took gold in the 40-44 and Todd Callaghan took bronze.  Francis got gold in the 45-49, and Dan and I took silver and gold respectively in the 50-54.

 Results (33 finishers):
Top 5 and CMS finishers
1  15:06.71 Sean Duncan          24            WMDP
2  15:17.79 Eric Couture            26            Unatt
3  15:58.95 Alex Hall                 27            BAA
4 16:01.48 Greg Putnam        44           CMS
5  16:12.60 Jeffrey Ragazzini      24            GBTC
8  16:35.94 Francis Burdett        49            GSH (sometimes CMS)
9  16:49.27 Todd Callaghan       44            CMS
11 16:53.17 James Pawlicki       39            CMS
14 17:21.74 Dave Dunham        50            CMS
15 17:22.99 Daniel Verrington    52            CMS
27 20:59.24 David Lapierre        50            CMS
Men 50+
1  17:21.74 Dave Dunham      50           CMS
2  17:22.99 Daniel Verrington               52           CMS
3  19:55.92 Michael Quinn         50            SRR
4  20:11.80 Andrew Merlino Jr    50            Shamrock  
5  20:59.24 David Lapierre     50           CMS
5:35.6 (11:02.4)
5:40.5 (16:42.9)
38.8 = 17:21.74
My history at 5,000 meters on the outdoor track – ten finishes before this weekend
Date        City, St                   Time        PL            Fin           Info        
03/26/83  Gainseville, FL           14:27.7     1              15            Florida  Relays          
04/21/83  Newton, MA              14:19.8     7              20            BC relays  
05/07/83  Springfield, MA          15:13.6     5              20            Easterns  
05/26/83  Cape Giradeau, MO    14:58.0     12            13            NCAA Championships
04/07/84  Fitchburg, MA            14:32.8     1              15            Fitchburg State relays
06/15/85  Reading, MA             15:03.0     1              20            Bay state games      
05/08/87  Newton, MA              14:11.6     4              20            BC invitational          
04/11/09  Lowell, MA                16:35.9     6              10            George Davis Invitational          
04/23/11  Medford, MA             16:47.1     8              10            Tufts Invitational      
08/02/12  Lisle, IL                    16:53.8     3              10            USATF Masters Nationals     

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