October 1989 – 25 years ago: I had a solid month with 403 miles and no days off along with three road races. My first race of the month was the White Mountain Milers half-marathon. It was a perfect day to race with temperatures in the low 50s and no wind. I took advantage hitting 5 miles in 24:55 and the second 5 in another 24:55 (49:50). Somewhere around 7 miles I took control of the lead slowly pulling away from Fernando Braz. I thought I had a shot at sub-5 pace (1:05:30) but lost a few seconds on the final (and only) uphill in the race climbing up from the river to downtown Conway. My final time of 1:05:42 was and still is the course record and the New Hampshire state record. Braz took 2nd in 1:07:35. Teammate Steve Peterson ran 1:13:16 and future teammate Dan Verrington ran 1:14:52. Six days later I took to the streets of Londonderry (where I had moved earlier that year) for the Mack’s Apple Run. The race had a little bit of cash for prizes (along with bags of apples) so the field was pretty strong. I found myself locked in a back-and-forth struggle with Larry Sayers (CMS). With ¾ of a mile to go I started my kick and was able to drop Sayers. I went on to win in a course record 24:40. A week later I headed up to Saco Maine for the Great Pumpkin 10k race. This was another race with some cash and it always attracted some strong racers. I found myself in a group in the early going, then Bob Hodge (GLRR) and Greg Hale. Hodgie made a move at 3.5 and I tried to go with him. Hale locked on to me and I couldn’t go when he made his move at the 6 mile mark. Hodgie won in 29:52 and I took third in 29:59, longtime New England racer Paul Hammond took fourth in 30:18.
October 1994 – 20 years ago: 189 miles with 5 days off, during a terrible month when I was diagnosed with fatigue syndrome. I just couldn’t get going the entire month. I started the month out at a new race on Great Island. They had a little money for the 5k which essentially ran on EVERY street in the town. They got a huge crown of nearly 700 runners which caused a 15 minute delay to the start. Mike O’Brien took it out hard and I did my best to stay with him through miles of 4:45 and 4:56 (9:41) before losing contact. O’Brien ended up winning in 15:06 and I crossed the line 10 seconds later in second place. After that I took a couple of easy weeks and then entered the “Avia Scramble” in Stratton Vermont. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect as the race was billed as being “between 6 and 9 miles” with multiple ascents and descents on the slopes of Stratton Mountain. I got a bad start because you had to start barefoot and then put on your shoes! I ended up heading up the hill in 14th place. Eventually I caught Ken Sousa who was a “ringer” having won the other Scrambles that Avia had put on earlier that year. I ended up winning by a few minutes and picking up $818.18 for the victory. Avia was far ahead of the curve putting on this style of racing way before it became popular. You hear me O2X?