Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Amherst 10 mile - USATF NE Grand Prix race #1

Amherst 10 mile

This has been a strange year so far, with historic snow totals and record cold.  I’ve also had a rare year where I didn’t race at all in January.  I missed the entire month of January due to a partially torn ligament in my foot.  With less than four weeks of training prior to this weekend I wasn’t expecting much.  The Amherst 10 mile was selected as the USATF New England championship and the first race in the 7-race Grand Prix.  It was a popular pick although racing in the winter can be hit or miss.  My goal heading into the race was to help support the CMS senior team which would need all five of us to finish in order to score.  I didn’t have much in the way of indicators to figure out what shape I was in, but having only run one mile under 7 minutes and having very little mileage in the bank, I wasn’t expecting much.  My goal was to hit 1:10 or 7 minutes per mile.

Dave La and I did an easy mile warm-up and then headed to the line.  I seeded myself about 15 rows back which was probably a little further back than I should have gone but it was smarter than getting caught up with faster starters.  I set my GPS to give me splits every half-mile so I’d get more feedback.  I also chose to wear headphones so I wouldn’t have to hear any snide remarks about how “slow” I was running.  It took me 7 seconds to cross the start line then things cleared out quickly.  The footing was fine and the new start line eliminated the nasty tight turn 200 meters into the race.  I tried to find a good rhythm and passed ½ mile in 3:34, so with my 7 seconds differential I was a little under 7’s.  The next ½ was much faster with a lot of downhill and I rolled through the mile in 6:36.  At that point I felt I could adjust my goal as I felt pretty comfortable and 65 minutes might be a reachable goal.  A fast downhill mile (6:11) and then we hit the hardest mile on the course with a lot of uphill.  I slowed to a 7:09 which would be my slowest mile of the race, but during the same mile I passed a lot of people.

As we hit the dirt road section my focus shifted to picking out the best footing.  There was packed snow, mud, and a little ice, but it has been MUCH worse on that section of road.  I kept looking up ahead an picking out the next group to catch.  There always seemed to be a few fast Whirlaway women in the next group and every time I caught one I’d see another up ahead.  That, and teammate Dave Mingori passing back and forth, kept me moving along.  Slow miles of 6:32 and 6:34 brought me to half-way in 33:02.  I knew the second half was faster so I still held hope of running about 65 minutes.  I saw Kristin Doneski (WRT), 30 seconds ahead and thought “go after her”.

We rolled back onto pavement and miles of 6:02, 6:10, and 6:01 got me past Doneski.  Amanda Wright (Sisu) stormed by me at this point and I tucked in and followed.  I was definitely getting tired, probably because my longest run this year was 9 miles.  My breathing felt easy but my legs did not want to cooperate.  I could go okay on the uphill but downhill I couldn’t really get going.  The 8th mile was a sluggish 6:48, and then we turned for the “new” finishing mile.  The old finish stayed straight and climbed a lot more with the entire drop at the very end of the race.  The new final mile was a steady down and flat with just a few easy turns.  I turned in a 6:16 for the final mile but Wright pulled away as she went into her finishing kick and Doneski floated by me like I was standing still.

I crossed the line in 64:19 (64:12 chip time) for a new 50+ PR and 17th place in the 50-59.  My old 50+ PR was nearly 6 minutes slower, but that was on the Pack Monadnock course (2,900’ of climb).  I’d like to knock another 2 minutes off my 10 mile time in three weeks when I run the New Bedford ½ marathon. Hopefully by then the addition of some decent mileage weeks will get me to the line in a bit better shape.

The team did really well with the masters taking first place and our senior team placing fourth.  The mid-30 degree temperature and sunny skies were a bit of an anomaly for this winter!

50-54 Pl 50-59 pl O'all      Name                            Team    Age       Time

1          1          42         CHRIS LAWRENCE            BAA       51         0:57:42.8

2          3          77         ALEJANDRO HEUCK          GSH      50         1:00:20.5

3          4          79         CHARLIE  BEMIS              WRT      52         1:00:20.1

4          5          92         DAN VERRINGTON           CMS      52         1:00:51.6

5          6          96         MIKE COONEY                WRT      53         1:01:01.5

6          7          97         SCOTT ANDERSON           WRT      50         1:01:13.5

7          8          106       DOUG MARTYN                WRT      54         1:01:42.6

8          9          107       JOE MCNAMARA               GMAA    51         1:01:47.3

9          12         122       E J HRYNOWSKI              GLRR     52         1:02:58.1

10         14         127       MIKE EARLY                    GMAA    50         1:03:43.4

11         15         132       SERGIO BRENA               GSH      50         1:03:55.6

12         17         139       DAVE DUNHAM                CMS      50         1:04:12.7

13         20         172       ROBERT HEPNER                         52         1:06:27.8


20         31         229       PHILIP SAVOY                CMS      52         1:11:36.0

21         38         264       DAVID LAPIERRE             CMS      50         1:14:26.1


50-54 Pl 50-59 pl O'all      Name    Team    Age       Time

1          2          59         ROBERT CIPRIANO          SRR       55         0:58:46.9

2          10         112       CRAIG FRAM       WRT      56         1:01:57.9

3          11         119       PAUL HAMMOND  WRT      55         1:02:46.4

4          13         124       TONY BATES       GMAA    55         1:03:27.4

5          16         135       PATRICK STUMBRAS         BAA       57         1:04:02.0

6          18         149       NORM LARSON    GMAA    59         1:04:28.5

7          19         160       JOHN GRIEGO     CMS      56         1:05:56.9


50+ Teams


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