Fisher Cat’s 3k
I was looking through possible races for Memorial Day weekend and after choosing Wachusett Mountain for Saturday figured I’d try something on Sunday as well. I’d done the Vermont City Marathon as my second race last year but was interested in something significantly shorter this year. I heard that the Fisher Cat’s race might be interesting so I checked it out. The start/finish in Northeast Delta Dental baseball diamond, home of the Fisher Cat’s, made for a unique race.
I did 5 miles on Sunday morning to loosen up a bit and was joined by Dan and his dog (Kutyah) for a nice easy run along the Merrimack River. I felt pretty good considering I’d raced the day before, it definitely was a smart move to not run DOWN Wachusett.
I got to the race a bit early, picked up my number and tried to get a feel for how organized it might be. They got about 200 runners last year although a lot were kids and/or walkers. I headed out for a course preview and found the course to be short (Garmin). I wasn’t sure exactly how short it would be since I couldn’t warm-up in the ballpark. Knowing the course is always a good idea, it can definitely alter your race plan. Shorter is not better for me as it takes me some time to get going. As I finished up my warm-up I saw one other guy doing a little running and young kid doing laps in the parking lot.
I switched into race flats and headed into the stadium. They had about 200 starters again this year but other than a few kids no one seemed to be headed to the front of the start line. Dave Audet and Tom Raffio were both up front and we chatted a bit before I went onto the warning track and did some strides. Fungo the mascot lined us and we were off.
A couple of kids sprinted out, but as we exited the park I caught them both. One immediately dropped back and the other threw in a massive sprint. Over the next ¼ mile I’d catch back up and he’d sprint. I was running pretty even and he was wearing himself down. I hit the ½ mile 2:52 which was about what I’d hoped for (I thought I could do 5:40 pace). He threw a couple of more surges at me but I drew even again as we got onto the bike path at ¾ of a mile. He sounded ragged so I pushed it a bit and he dropped off. I hit the mile at 5:40 (2:48) and continued to pull ahead. At 1.25 I turned off of the bike path and took a peek back. There was no one in sight. I hit 1.5 with a 2:50 ½ mile split as the stadium loomed into view. I was still worried as the kid might have another gear so I kept pushing for the finish. As I went around the outfield I took a little look on the turn and could see Dave Audet coming in quickly. I crossed the line in 9:54.6 for the win. With Dave 30 seconds later.
The win kept my streak alive for another year and I now have 38 years with at least one win each year (1979-2016). I watched the top 10 come into the finish then headed out for a very nice warm-down in the Millyard section of Manchester. I went back after the race and met up with Dave Audet and Sarah Prescott and we visited Tom Raffio and Ellen Tidd in the Northeast Delta Dental luxury suite (very nice).
Dave, Ellen, Sarah and I also got to go onto the field between innings to pick up our prizes! I got a ball and a luxury suite rental. Sweet suite!