NHTI Spring Ahead 3 Miler – I decided early in the week that this would be a good weekend to get in my first “real” race of the year and test my fitness a bit. The week was my 6th since coming back from the injury and I was starting to feel a little more comfortable running on the roads. The previous week I took a bad spill and my ankle/foot had been a bit swollen since. It didn’t really hurt to run, so I kept on my schedule. My final day of Physical Therapy was on Wednesday and I used the opportunity to run a couple of “up-tempo” miles on the treadmill. The result was better than I’d hoped for with miles of 5:52 and 5:43 (my fastest two miles of 2015). My ankle was still swollen but not really much worse. I did some running on snowmobile trails on both Friday and Saturday which in retrospect probably weren’t’ the smartest things I’ve done. My foot was a bit tender on Sunday morning but I was able to do an early morning 4 mile run and felt reasonably comfortable.
I headed up to Concord and got there with plenty of time to preview the course. I’ve run at NHTI about a dozen times and may have never run the same course twice. The warm-up went okay, just some minor soreness. I switched into racing flats and went out for another mile with some strides. I felt a bit tired and appropriately nervous for a 3 mile race. Right before the start I asked Chris Mahoney what he thought Heather Mahoney would run and he said around 6’s. My goal was sub-6 (if I was over 6’s I’d be bummed) with the feeling that I could hit right around 5:50’s, anything under that would be a very good day.
107 lined up in the quad and zipped out. I did not get out well and it took me a bit to get into a groove. It felt very fast! I was in 12th when I checked my watch at ½ mile (2:48). Soon after that I closed on and passed Heather. My next goal was to pull away from Tim Cox’s nine-year-old son Aidan. He was running strong, especially for a kid who had to take something like three strides to one of mine. I got by him before the mile (5:42) and had moved myself up into 7th place. Nacho was way out ahead running sub-5’s and Tim Cox had pulled ahead of the chase group. Two of the guys had fallen off the chase and I set my sights on them. At 1.5 miles I got two guys and moved into 5th place. Chris offered encouragement as I went by then yelled at Heather “Don’t let Dunham get away”. Dang, she was sticking tough and only a few seconds back.
I worked the only hill on the course, the overpass that took us over route 93. Then everyone had to be cautious on the sharp turns in the Delta Dental lot and through the tunnel which is aptly named the “Root Canal”. Back up over the overpass and we were at 2 miles. My split was 5:50, so I knew I had a good chance at meeting or exceeding my goal time. I went past Chris again and could hear him yell for Heather who was now maybe a second or two further back, I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to look.
With a half mile to go, I tried to kick but realized I was already going as fast as I could. The two guys in front of me were still close but out of reach and I hoped that I could hold off Heather. I crossed the line in 17:05 (5:33 last shorter mile) which got me well under my goal of 5:50’s. Heather was right behind me in 17:10, well under 6 minute pace! I went out for a 1 mile warm-down and my ankle really flared up. It was quite sore and swollen post-race. Hopefully I didn’t wreck it to badly and a day or two off will turn it back around (fingers crossed).
This is a nice race with great post-race food, lots of prizes, and an entry fee that is “whatever you want to donate”. Gotta love it!
Concord, NH - March 8, 2015
Place Name Ag S City St Time Pace
1 NACHO HERNANDO 22 M CONCORD NH 14:52 4:58
2 TIM COX 41 M NORTHWOOD NH 16:31 5:31
3 SETH RICHARDSON 16 M WOLFEBORO FALLS NH 16:48 5:36
4 JOHN BROWN 32 M MUNSONVILLE NH 16:52 5:38
5 DAVE DUNHAM 50 M BRADFORD MA 17:05 5:42
6 HEATHER MAHONEY 32 F WESTFORD MA 17:10 5:44
7 KURT RICHARDSON 24 M CONCORD NH 17:18 5:46
8 JEFFERY ALLEN 13 M LITCHFIELD NH 17:28 5:50
9 AIDAN COX 09 M NORTHWOOD NH 17:37 5:53
10 ANDREW KWIATKOWSKI 22 M SOUTH HAMILTON MA 17:38 5:53