Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sleepy Hollow Mountain race

Sleepy Hollow
I’d raced at Sleepy Hollow twice before (2012 & 2014) and was a bit nervous about doing it this year.  Downhill running is not good for my arthritic ankles, but the Mountain series beckons and I find it hard to resist the Sirens song.
A few of the CMS guys were hanging out in the parking lot so we all headed out for an easy 2 miles to check out the final part of the course.  We went out 1 mile, I noted the spot, and then we returned over the last mile of the 6.4 mile race.  This was the first year they’d modified the course (now in its fifth year).  We’d have a tough 1 mile climb to the highest point on the course followed by a mile downhill (the steepest roughest downhill of the race).  After that we’d climb back to the high point via a new longer trail.  Once over the top we’d be running the same final 2.5 miles that we’d done in the past.
After the short warm-up, I switched into my Inov-8 trail shoes and headed out for another easy mile.  Conditions were really good, probably as good as you can get.  No rain, but heavy clouds and a sprinkle now-and-again along with temps in the upper 40’s.  Awesome for racing on the trails!  Nearly 250 runners took to the starting line and it seemed like most of them sprinted out in front of me over the first ¼ mile.
The first ½ mile climbed 300’ which took some of the oomph out of the quick starters.  I steadily moved through and by the ½ mile turn onto single-track found myself just outside of the top 25.  We continued up for another ¼ mile and topped out at the appropriately named “Adirondack View” some 400’ above the starting line.  I was very cautious on the big downhill (1 mile dropping 463’).  I was passed by at least 5 guys and about ½ way down I caught teammate Erik Vandendries (he is a very strong climber, both on foot and on bike).  The mile was reached in 8:08 and 2 miles in 14:40.  Just before 2 miles we started the long climb.  This had been my strongest part in years past, but I was not “feeling it” today.  I caught up to Brian Ruhm (GCS 50+) and Eli Enman (GMAA) and kept my head up looking for more 50+ age group runners ahead of me.  Enman pulled away as I slowly got away from Ruhm.
I spotted Ed Sheldon (50+) a bit ahead and slowly reeled him in.  After I passed him Erik V caught and passed me.  This long tough 1.5 mile section climbed over 500’ and by 3.5 miles we were back on top of the Adirondack View.  There was a new part leading up to the top that featured a bunch of switchbacks.  I’m better at long steady grinding climbs, not so much these type of climbs where you have to shift gears a lot.  I enjoyed being able to see the line of guys not too far in front of me (and didn’t enjoy quite as much seeing the line of guys not too far BEHIND me).  I reached the 3 mile mark in 22:51 (8:11) and was looking forward to the second big downhill.
I passed Erik V again as we started the downhill on single-track, it then opened up onto some very fast grass road.  The 300’ drop was quick and I don’t have that extra gear.  I felt I ran pretty well but the guys in front of me steadily disappeared from sight.  This was the first time in the race that I was running alone.  I was pretty sure there was at least one 50+ runner ahead of me and I knew the other guys I’d passed earlier were not that far behind.  I passed through the finishing field with 2 miles to go and a couple of guys just in sight in front of me.  I’d moved up to 21st place and was thinking “If I can stay ahead of Erik through the last climb I should be able to beat him”.
The ½ mile of climb had 255’ of climb and it really hurt.  I closed on the two guys in front of me and got to within 5 seconds of Jeff Walker (Dirigo 50+) at the top of the climb (5 miles in 38:35).  The final part of the race was almost all on wide grassy road with 240’ of drop over ¾ mile.  I just couldn’t get my legs turning over, I was flat-out and running out of steam.  Teammate Jim Pawlicki came flying by with another guy with just over a half-mile to go.  Jim gave me a pat on the back as he went by but I had no response.  I took a glance back and could see Erik was closing the gap.  The 30’ hill with a ¼ mile to go almost brought me to a standstill but I managed to hang on finishing in 23rd place (2nd in the 50+) in 50:03.  Our team had a good day, placing four in the top 7 overall and the top two in the 40+ along with 2nd and 3rd in the 50+.  We swept the team categories winning the open, 40+, and 50+.
Next up in the USATF NE Mountain series = Wachusett Mountain on 05-28.
1          43:03    Brandon Newbould          M34      Open     Nottingham, NH  WRT
2          44:08    Matthew Veiga                M29      Open     Lynn, MA            CMS
3          44:35    Tristan Williams              M30      Open     Jackson, NH      
4          44:39    Tim Van orden                M48      40-49    Bennington, VT   CMS
5          45:22    Christopher Mateer          M25      Open     Center Valley, PA           
6          45:46    Todd Callaghan              M46      40-49    Beverly, MA        CMS
7          46:23    Andy McCarron                M33      Open     Keene, NH         CMS
8          46:40    Matthew Zanchi              M26      Open     Somerville, MA   
9          47:03    Kurt Hackler                   M39      Open     Alstead, NH       
10         47:49    Brett Mustrangelo                        M24      Open     Keene, NH        
11         48:26    Bryce Murdick                 M19      U20       Falmouth, ME    
12         48:28    Binney Mitchell               M47      40-49    Burlington, VT     GMAA
13         48:40    Eli Enman                      M39      Open     Huntington, VT   GMAA
14         48:44    Emlyn Jones                   M28      Open     Craftsbury Common, VT  
15         48:47    Vincent Lyon                  M27      Open     Dover, NH         
16         48:50    Eric Darling                    M43      40-49    Shelburne, VT     GMAA
17         48:59    Steve Brightman             M47      40-49    Providence, RI   
18         49:24    Chris Chromczak             M31      Open     Delmar, NY       
19         49:42    Sean Gavaghan              M29      Open     Albany, NY        
20         49:46    Adam St Germain                        M32      Open     Burlington, VT     GMAA
21         49:48    Jeff Walker                     M50      50-59    Falmouth, ME     Dirigo
22         49:52    James Pawlicki               M41      40-49    Lynn, MA            CMS
23         50:03    Dave Dunham                M52      50-59    Bradford, MA      CMS
24         50:07    Erik Vandendries             M51      50-59    Chestnut Hill, MA CMS
25         50:12    Adam Bulakowski                        M38      Open     Essex, VT          
43         54:28    Leslie O'Dell                   F40       40-49    Albany, NH         CMS
58         57:42    David Lapierre                M52      50-59    Chelmsford, MA  CMS
80         1:01:57 Robert Thomas               M56      50-59    Charlton, MA       CMS
138       1:10:23 Mary Sharkey                  F66       60-69    Grosvenordale,CT            CMS
180       1:20:05 Walter Kuklinski              M67      60-69    Princeton, MA     CMS
202       1:23:59 Annie Ryan                     F59       50-59    Florence            MA        CMS
1          CMS      Mopen   467.14
2          aR         Mopen   348.74
3          NMC      Mopen   326.25
1          CMS      M40+    276.78
2          GMAA    M40+    236.23
3          aR         M40+    225.15
4          NMC      M40+    213.29
5          GCS       M40+    180.02
1          CMS      M50+    246.53
2          NMC      M50+    213.29
3          aR         M50+    199.89
4          GCS       M50+    180.02

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