USATF NE XC championships – It had been a couple of years since I last ran the New England cross-country championships so I was excited to be heading back. XC has been my focus for the last month leading up to this race and I ended up taking it very easy this week in anticipation of the race (and to give my ankle tendonitis a break). The race was not only the New England championship but also served as the final race in the All-terrain series. There would be some cash and bragging rights up for grabs!
My goal was to run faster than I’d raced at the Mayor’s cup two weeks before (29:03) and my stretch goal was to run around 28:30-40. Teammates Dave La, and Dan V met me early and we set up a tent so all of the CMS crew would have a place to drop their gear before the race. A big group headed out to preview the course which has multiple variations that bring you back through the start finish pretty much every mile. After the warm-up I switched into my Inov-8 trail shoes and headed out for another mile with some strides. I cut it pretty close and reached the line as they announced “less than one minute to go”. Good, no time to really let the nerves get to me.
Off we went and right away I found myself well back. I wanted to be a little bit more conservative the first two miles and hopefully make up ground in the last three. I found a good rhythm in the early going and passed the mile in 5:31, right where I wanted to be. During the second mile I was still moving well and passed a bunch of guys. I had my focus on Dan who was 8-10 seconds ahead at 2 miles (5:46/11:17). I was still feeling pretty good and happy with the time which was just 1 second slower than the Mayor’s cup. I felt I worked the third mile well and closed a bit on Dan, maybe getting to within 5 seconds coming off of Bear Cage Hill. I passed 3 miles in 17:12 (5:55 split) which had me a couple of seconds ahead of Mayor’s cup.
From that point on I felt like I was struggling, although I caught a few guys I never really closed on Dan. My fourth mile split was an unimpressive 6:03 which was the same as my split at Mayor’s. I held out hope that I could rally then final time up Bear Cage but it was not to be. I staggered up the hill and rolled my corpse down letting gravity do most of the work. I kept the hammer down but just didn’t have anything left. I crossed the line in 29:06 for 30th place and 6th in the 50+. Needless to say I was more than a bit disappointed, I guess the taper just didn’t work for me.
I was very happy to find that CMS took the win in the 50+ team with 34 points. Since 2000 CMS has only fielded a 50+ team twice taking 1st in 2000 and 3rd in 2009. I can only hope that we continue to field a team since it is much more funny working as a team. It was great to see some of the guys bounce back from doing the marathon last weekend and go for it at XC. That is tough!
I’ve got 5 weeks until the USA cross-country championships and I will NOT taper for that race.
50+ pl O’all Time Name Age Team
1 14 27:44.9 Chris Chisholm 52 CT
2 16 27:53.4 Spyros Barres 51 CT
3 18 28:01.0 Christ Lawrence 50 BAA
4 21 28:12.9 Mark Reeder 55 GLRR
5 27 28:56.1 Daniel Verrington 52 CMS
6 30 29:05.8 Dave Dunham 50 CMS
9 48 29:54.1 Martin Tighe 56 CMS
18 64 30:56.1 John Gillis 50 CMS
2 75 32:18.8 Paul Bazanchuk 60 CMS (2nd place in the 60+)
30 91 34:41.9 David Lapierre 50 CMS
1 Central Mass Striders 34 2 3 5 10 14 (19)
2 Greater Lowell RR 41 1 4 9 12 15 (25 26)
3 Green Mountain AA 65 6 7 8 21 23 (28 29)
4 Greater Boston TC 84 13 16 17 18 20 (27)
5 Cambridge Sports Union 118 11 22 24 30 31