Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vermont City Marathon - USATF NE championships

Vermont City Marathon (USATF NE championships)

I headed up to Vermont right after biking down Wachusett Mountain.  I didn’t warm-down after the race as I knew I’d want to run a bit to stretch my legs after the three-hour drive.  Eric Morse met me in Montpelier and we zipped up to Burlington to get my race number.  I’d entered the marathon back in November with high hopes of training well over the winter and being ready to race.  Unfortunately that was not to be.  I took a bad step on Christmas day and partially tore a ligament in my foot.  That injury along with painful arthritis in my navicular joint left me on the sidelines for 5 weeks and once back kept my mileage way below what would be a “normal amount” to prepare for a 26.2 mile jaunt.  My longest run this year was 11.7 miles (early May).  I only had 13 runs over 7 miles during the five months leading up to the marathon.  I had already spent nearly $100 for the entry fee and figured if I could run I’d at least give it a shot.

My ankle was feeling pretty decent in the week leading up to the race but I ran a bit harder than usual on Thursday and was regretting how flat I felt on Saturday.  My plan for the marathon was to aim for 8:00 pace and see how that felt.  My training has been in the low 7:00’s at lunch and in the low 8:00’s for my afternoon run, so it seemed like a reasonable plan.  I also had it in the back of my mind that I could bail any time I wanted to as the course went through downtown Burlington at 3, 8, and 15.  I figured 15 would be the decision point and if my foot was bothering me at all I’d drop at that point.

Eric and Murdoch joined me for the ride to Burlington, they’d be out on the course taking pictures and watching the fun.  I headed over to the line and met up with teammate (and training partner) Dan Verrington.  As we made our way to the start four-time race winner Matt Pelletier wished me luck, which was very cool!  I found my spot on the line about 20 rows back, figuring that 3:30 had placed 400th last year.  CMS 50+ teammates Phil Savoy and John Griego were close by and we chatted for a moment before the start.  I felt okay, not nervous really since I had no real pressure.  We had a solid senior team so I didn’t even really need to race.  At 8:00am we were off, it was sunny and the temps were in the upper 50’s.  It was looking to be warm as the expected high was in the 80s.

I tried to settle into a comfortable pace and was a little under 7:30 per mile.  Faster than I expected but it was uncomfortable to run any slower.  After a few miles I found my CMS 50+ teammates and we ran together.    The out/back section along the highway was fun as I watched the leaders fly by.  I also passed the time by counting how many runners were ahead of me (I came up with 400 which was pretty close to what the chip timing had at 10k = 362).  At 6 we headed back towards Burlington into a wind.  I tucked behind a couple of tall relay runners and let them block the wind.  The clouds had rolled in and the temperature was very comfortable.  I stayed with my CMS teammates as the pace felt relaxed and I was now thinking I might be able to score for the team (top 3 finishers score).  Not much changed over the next few miles.  At 11 miles I lost 30 seconds visiting the porta-john and once back on the road I upped the pace to around 7:10 per mile to get back up to my teammates. 

I crossed the half-way mark in 1:37:14 and had moved up 30 spots (326th place) and figured a 3:15 marathon would be do-able.  We had a nice section of bike path along the lake and then the biggest hill on the course at 15 miles.  It wasn’t so bad as you were also passing the start/finish so there was a huge crowd cheering.  It was a blast!  I reached 16 and felt the time was right to start picking up the pace.  A 7:12 on a slight downhill got me started and then 7-flat, and 6:59 and I was on a roll and feeling good. I reached 20 miles in 2:27:02 and had moved up to 242nd place.  So from the half to 20 miles I’d passed 76 people. Game on!
At 20 I started to calculate that I’d be close to breaking 3:10 if I kept the pace steady.  At 21 we got onto the bike path along the lake and at the same time I was joined by a relay runner who was clocking steady 7:00 miles.  We ran in lock-step until 23 when I realized I need to pick it up a bit if I wanted to sneak under 3:10.  The bike path was scenic and shady but it had a lot of people for a narrow trail and the middle of it had a significant bump.  It was a bit of a challenge to not run into people who were slowing over the last few miles.  My last 3 miles were 6:29, 6:35, and 6:29.  I was having fun and enjoyed the crowds in the final mile.  At 26 I saw Christin Doneski up ahead and my competitive juices kicked in.  She had buried me with a devastating kick at the New England 10 mile championships back in February and I saw a chance to catch her.  I got her with about 2 steps to go and crossed the line a step ahead in 3:09:25.  The final 10k split of 42:12 (6:47 pace) brought me home in 164th place which meant I passed 78 people over that span.

The CMS squad had a great day, taking 3rd in the open and 3rd in the masters.  The senior team took 2nd place only 38 seconds up on third, so I was pretty happy that I’d kicked it in.  In all CMS had 20 runners finish.

CMS finishers
Pl          Time     Name    Age       Gend     Cat        Pl in Cat
5          2:28:43  Scott Leslie         33         M          M3034   1/198
29         2:46:35  Joe Shairs           47         M          M4549   1/186
46         2:52:23  James Pawlicki    40         M          M4044   7/192
64         2:55:55  Leslie O'Dell        39         F          F3539    2/214
88         2:59:17  Dan Verrington    52         M          M5054   5/146
164       3:09:25  Dave Dunham     51         M          M5054   6/146
190       3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr     52         M          M5054   8/146
245       3:19:14  Arthur Besse       41         M          M4044   31/192
261       3:20:11  Biliana Mihaylova 25         F          F2529    8/226
326       3:25:47  John Griego        57         M          M5559  
365       3:27:53  David Lapierre     51         M          M5054   18/146
447       3:32:05  Patrick Chviruk    29         M          M2529   49/169
495       3:35:36  Alicia Eno           37         F          F3539    28/214
508       3:37:11  Stephen Laska    53         M          M5054   28/146
685       3:46:48  William Gonsorcik 48         M          M4549   75/186
766       3:51:01  Bill Look             38         M          M3539   86/204
1024      4:01:35  Laura Hast          55         F          F5559   
1474      4:26:08  Patricia Clark       55         F          F5559   
1503      4:27:25  Rosana Look      43         F          F4044    66/152
1695      4:40:35  Annie Ryan         58         F          F5559    16/32
  2. 9:21:38 CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   (3:07:13)
  1  2:59:17  Dan Verrington         
  2  3:09:25  Dave Dunham            
  3  3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr        
  4 (3:25:47) John Griego            
  5 (3:27:53) David Lapierre         
  6 (3:37:11) Stephen Laska          
  3. 9:22:26 BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION             (3:07:29)
  4. 10:05:02 GREATER LOWELL ROAD RUNNERS             (3:21:41)
  5. 10:58:50 NORTH MEDFORD CLUB                      (3:39:37)
  6. 11:06:12 GATE CITY STRIDERS                      (3:42:04)
  7. 13:27:08 CAMBRIDGE SPORTS UNION                  (4:29:03)
   MALE AGE GROUP:  50 to 54
    1 2:41:53* Tom Thurston              51 M   22 Waterbury VT            GREEN MOUNTAIN ATHLETIC   
    2 2:54:10  Christopher Lawrence      51 M  453 Manville RI             BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO
    3 2:58:05  E J Hrynowski             52 M  226 Arlington MA            GREATER LOWELL ROAD            
    4 2:58:08  Michael Cooney            53 M  420 Chelmsford MA           WHIRLAWAY RACING TEA                 
    5 2:59:17  Dan Verrington            52 M  380 Haverhill MA            CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    6 3:09:25  Dave Dunham               51 M  178 Bradford MA            CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    7 3:12:10  Craig Macfarlane          54 M  458 Natick MA               BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO            
    8 3:12:56  Philip Savoy Jr           52 M  344 Shrewsbury MA           CENTRAL MASS STRIDERS                   
    9 3:14:17  Robert Patterson          50 M 1987 Calais VT               CENTRAL VERMONT                  
   10 3:17:49  Richard Paradis           50 M  318 Coral Springs FL                                                



Greg said...

Nice race, DD! It must have been fun passing so many people late in the race! I'm glad your foot held up well for you.

Dave Lapierre said...

Good write-up. We did have a good Senior team. I ran into Mike Cooney prior to the race and he was their only Senior for Whirlaway. Mike's daughter, Kathryn, had a great 1st time marathon running 3:13:29 placing 2nd in her division and placing 3rd for Whirlaway Female Open team. She ran with Danielle at Chelmsford High and has done all the Grand Prix races to date.