USATF NE 5m championships - The Bobby Doyle 5 mile in Narragansett RI hosted the New England championships this past weekend. It made for a long drive (not as long as the drive the Green Mountain AA group had!) of 250 miles round trip. I picked up teammates Dan Verrington and Dave Lapierre and we arrived and hour before the 9am start. Dan and I got in a 3-mile warm-up checking out the start and finish of the race and even got a little bit of running in with some of the masters and open team runners (as they caught us during our relatively slow warm-up). I was not feeling great. My head cold (sinus infection?) has lingered for nearly 3 weeks and I felt like I was trying to breath underwater. I had high hopes that once I got going it’d be okay. My goal was sub-29:00 and I felt that my 50+ PR from last year of 28:34 was possible.
We headed over to the line and Dave headed for his spot while Dan and I scouted out a location a bit closer to the front. The start was pretty narrow and the stupid timing mat didn’t go completely across the road so they had cones to funnel you over the mat. We found our way into the fourth or fifth row from the line around a few of our CMS teammates. The gun went off and I barely hit the corner of the timing mat and hit my other watch (I use my Garmin as well). There was a tight right hand turn about 100 meters into the race but we’d gotten on the left side so there wasn’t much trouble with people flying by mostly on the inside. Then it was “Game On!”. It seemed really fast to me as I headed down the small hill in the first mile. Conditions were pretty decent for an August race with temperatures in the low 70’s, a bit of humidity, and a 15 mph wind that would mostly be a cross wind.
Dan hammered on by me after my Garmin beeped (it beeps every half-mile), I didn’t look being more concerned with keeping my eyes on where Dan and the other 50+ age group runners were. I tucked in and hung on. We hit the mile in 5:37 and Kasie Enman (Mountain Running World Champion and a talent on the road and track) came rolling by and offered some encouragement. I just felt like my tank was empty and could not get going. The second mile had a little bit of uphill in it and I felt pretty ragged. Dan was pulling away as I ran a 5:49. The third mile was very fast as it was all flat and only had a few turns in it. We also got helped in the last ¼ mile as we hit the ocean section and a solid tailwind. Dan was 10 seconds up at three with me running a 5:40 split (17:06 at 3 miles). I was now thinking “I’m right on pace for a 28:30”.
I caught up to Dave Principe and we worked together, neither of us letting the other make any kind of break. Unfortunately that fourth mile was the slowest of the day (6:00 for me). Dan was now close to 20 seconds up and I was holding on hoping I could muster a sub-29. It seemed like a bunch of people blew by but from the 5k chip mat it looks like only 2 people went by me. Maybe I’d passed some after 5k and they passed me back in the last mile. I kept the effort at maximum level but never really got going. My last mile was 5:52 and Principe got 5 seconds on me in the last 200 meters. I had no kick left. My official time was 29:01, and my chip time was the same. So, apparently I missed the start mat as everyone who started around me had either a 2 or 3 second differential. I’m taking my watch time of 28:59. It doesn’t change much of anything except I can now say I ran a “high 28” or “28 and change”.
Our senior squad (50+) had a super day. We took 2nd place in the 7 team field. Our final two races in the Grand Prix Series take place on September 6 and September 20, so 4 weeks (and 6 weeks) to get it together and knock out some 50+ PRs!
1 27:40 Douglas Martyn 55M WRT
2 27:50 Chris Lawrence 51M BAA
3 27:59 Tom Thurston 51M GMAA
4 28:06 Wayne Levy 50M BAA
5 28:16 Jason Cakouros 50M HFC
6 28:19 Jim Miller 56M GMAA
7 28:26 Titus Mutinda 50M GBTC
8 28:32 John Sullivan 54M GMAA
9 28:32 Michael Cooney 53M WRT
10 28:38 Dan Verrington 53M CMS
11 28:53 Henry Scollard 51M WRT
12 28:54 Alejandro Heuck 51M GSH
13 28:59 Dave Dunham 51M CMS
18 30:30 John Gillis 51M CMS
19 30:46 Phil Savoy 53M CMS
25 31:40 John Griego 57M CMS
36 35:13 David Lapierre 51M CMS
42 36:07 Stephen Laska 53M CMS
50 38:49 Frank Ruggiero 56M CMS