Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Looking way back

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?            


1 comment:

Greg said...

Wow! Fast times! Greg Hale was a legend at URI. He still holds the school records for 5000 and 3mi.