Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chelmsford XC alumni race

I’ve enjoyed going to the Chelmsford alumni cross-country race the last few years.  Although I went to Billerica which is the fiercest of rivals for Chelmsford, I had the great fortune of befriending a number of Chelmsford runners.  Keith O’Brien (CHS class of 1982) hosts this great little race on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Typically he gets 10-30 runners from the Merrimack Valley to come out and have a friendly race.

I showed up and hour before the race and previewed the course with Petey (Steve Peterson - Central Catholic).  I found $5 when I took a quick bathroom break.  Sometimes running pays off!  The traditional XC course features multiple loops around the ball fields, soccer fields, and the school itself.  It came out to exactly 3.25 on my Garmin.  I did another ½ mile before lining up for the group picture before the start.

The race typically goes out at a reasonably easy clip then the tempo increase each mile until someone decides to race for the finish.  I had no illusions of winning, I was pretty beat from the Pipestave race the day before and that was my first race in six weeks.  The race started at a casual pace and the tempo increased slowly as we hit the ½ mile in 3:34.  I moved to the front and upped the pace to see who was up for it and O’B and Jason Bui went with me.  The next ½ mile was 3:11 and it felt even faster.  I stuck with the two others for a little bit longer but by 1.5 I had dropped 5 seconds back (with a 3:25 ½ mile split).  Once out of the wind I got moving a bit faster (3:12 for the next ½ mile) but I lost another 5 seconds.  At that point I knew for sure I had no chance but I kept the effort “hard” and ran half mile splits of 3:17 and 3:08.  By the 3 mile mark I couldn’t see O’B and Jason.

They had a good run with Jason outkicking O’B in the last ¼ mile.  I held on to take third place in 21:06.  I did another mile as a warm-down then headed over for the awards.  O’B always has some interesting stuff to give away (one year I won 5 lbs of flour).  This time I picked up a big box of Pop-tarts.  Now I’ve got breakfast for the week!  I’m already looking forward to going back next year.

 1. Jason Bui 20:24
2. Keith O'Brien 20:25
3. Dave Dunham 21:00
4. Bob Kearns 22:00
5. Jim Burke 22:13
6. Kyle O'Brien 22:22
7. Mark Gallagher 22:31
8. Glen Turgiss 23:12
9. Richie Blake 23:18
10. Mark Blaisdell 23:28
11. Scott Graham 23:55
12. Mark Suprenant 24:09
13. Steve Sartori 24:27
14. Lee Panas 24:44
15. Amy Molloy 25:07
16. Kevin O'Brien 25:15
17. Melissa Joyce 26:06
18. Frank Georges 26:18
19. Jill Lohmeier 26:25
20. Angie Anderson 27:10
21. Jim Rhoades 27:15
22. Jim Stronach 27:56

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