Monday, January 4, 2016

Millennium Mile

I started off the new year with a “sprint” race, the Millennium Mile in Londonderry NH.  The race bills itself as the “largest mass start mile race” with 1,400 starters all toeing the line together.  I had run the race once before (2005) and knew the course well from the years I spent running in Londonderry.  The course is somewhat unique as it is a point-to-point with a net drop of 87’.  That puts it in a category along with races like the Hollis Fast Five (5k that drops 77’ per mile) that I put in the “drop” category and don’t count them towards personal records.
Since the race was not until 2:00 PM I got in an easy 6 miles with Petey in the morning.  A mile is so outside of my comfort zone that I was very nervous all morning.  I got to the race pretty early and picked up my number and got everything organized.  I was surprised to bump into teammate Al Bernier and he was up for a warm-up so we headed out for 3 miles to loosen up.  After that I switched into racing flats and headed out for another mile with some strides.  I felt pretty nervous and flat which isn’t unusual.  I headed over to the line and met up with Kara Haas who I’d raced a few weeks back.  I figured she would be the person to key off of as she starts quickly and was hoping to break 5:00 which was also my goal.
I got into the second row next to Kara and behind some speedy youngsters. The gun went off and mayhem ensued.  Wow, it went out fast!  I felt like I was spinning my wheels as I watched Kara zip away and a lot of people also pulled away over the first 200 meters.  I reached the ¼ mile in 76 seconds which was a few seconds slower than I’d hoped for.  That first quarter has very little drop (5’) after a brief climb of 7’.  I started to find a comfortable rhythm after the 400 and also started passing people who went out too hard.  I reached ½ mile in 2:31, which was also a bit slower than I’d hoped for.  That quarter dropped 32’.  I was in a groove by that point and Kara was no longer pulling away, she was a few seconds ahead at the half.  I was still passing people through the ¾ which I reached in 3:41.  That was the quickest quarter of the day and it also had the most drop with 40’ of downhill running.  At this point I thought sub-5 was still possible and I dug down for whatever was left.  I got around Kara soon after the ¾ mark and held on to the line with a 4:57.3.  The last ¼ had 28’ of drop but then a “tough” 15’ of climb.  That is barely a bump but going from down to even flat can really throw a wrench in the gears.  Fortunately I have only one gear and I didn’t lose it through the finish.
I ended up taking 38th place overall and 2nd in the 50+.  Al just missed the top ten with an 11th place 4:26.3 which was good enough to take first in the 40+ age group.  I ran back up the hill as a warm-down and bumped into one of NH’s finest master’s runners, Sarah Prescott, who joined me for the trot back to the start.  That certainly was a fun way to kick-off 2016.
1 4:03.4 Sean Hyland                       M31       BAA      
2 4:07.9 Chris Plankey                     M24                      
3 4:09.2 Joseph St Pierre               M22                      
11 4:26.3 Alan    Bernier                 M41       CMS       Top 40+
38 4:57.3 Dave   Dunham               M51       CMS      
39 4:59.2 Kara    Haas                      F45         GLRR     Top40+F
                Top 5 50+                                                                                            
1 4:47.6 Mark Hecox                       M51       NE Multi-sport 
2 4:57.3 Dave Dunham                   M51       CMS      
3 5:18.4 David Audet                       M50       NMC     
4 5:24.8 Raymond Wilson              M52                      
5 5:36.4 Paul Leahy                          M57                      

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