For the second consecutive year the Seasons 20k served as the USATF NE championship. Last year I ran a conservative first half and was able to pass a lot of people in the second half. My plan this year was to try and be competitive with my fellow Senior (50-59) runners. My hope was to keep teammate Ed Sheldon in sight as he tends to start quickly and also to try and stay with Jim Pawlicki who was about a minute ahead of me at the 10m a couple of weeks ago.
Race day was just plain nasty, although not “hot” it was 75 degrees and the dew point in the 70’s made it about as humid as possible without actually raining. Sisu runner Mike Narcisi and I did an easy 2 mile warm-up and then I changed into racing gear and did another half-mile to the start line. That start was kind of a cluster with a big road but cones forcing us to cross the line at less than half the road wide. Weird. I started 5 rows back behind a few of the faster women and was clear of any traffic in the first half-mile (calling out “bump” at the 2 speed-bumps which could ruin someone’s race pretty early on if they didn’t see them).
We turned onto Route 2A and then had to dodge cones that were set along the road making it nearly impossible to run two abreast. Ed went out as he normally does and was 5 seconds up at the mile. CMS runners Joe Shairs went by early and motored out of sight as did Todd Callaghan. Around the mile Jim Pawlicki strode by and I latched on. We were a bit under 6 minutes at the mile which was about what I’d hoped for. It was uncomfortable out there and I was already looking forward to the water stop at 2 miles. Jim noted on one of the downhill’s “this is where we’ll work” or something to that affect. I agreed that running well on the down and flat would be important. There was a good sized pack ahead of us that included a bunch of Whirlaway guys (definitely our rivals in the 50+ team). I wanted to get up to that pack but couldn’t quite muster the speed. Jim and I ran together and he’d gap me on the uphill parts and I’d come back on the down. I kept thinking get to the next mile and see how it goes. We were catching random guys and very few caught us. Jason Bui (GLRR) latched on and we had a nice little group. He also was killing it on the climbs so I continued to fall back any time we hit a bump (which was basically every mile).
I took a gel as we turned into Acton center and the ½ way mark of the race. The 50+ pack had broken up and some of the Whirly-guys were coming back. I was 38:52 at 10k which was only 15 seconds slower than last year, but I’d run cautiously last year and this time I was running pretty much at maximum effort. Right before 8 miles it got ominously dark and then the skies opened up. It felt great! I closed on Mike Cooney (one of the top 50+) and we started closing in on his teammate Charlie Bemis. I hit the 10 mile mark in 62:55 which was only a little slower than I’d raced the 10m two weeks ago. I was feeling pretty good and happy to be in racing mode, keying off of the guys around me. We caught Matt Germain and pulled away from Jim Pawlicki on the climb after 10 miles. I was looking forward to the long downhill to the 11 mile mark. I had my head up looking ahead to the line of guys in front of me when I heard Jim yell out “No!”. I looked back and realized we missed the turn! I started yelling “No, no, no” to the guys ahead who’d missed the turn ahead of me as I quickly reversed direction. In all I ran an extra 50 seconds but others had it much worse.
After the 11 mile mark a bunch of the guys came back by me. I was running out of steam by that point. Lack of long runs was definitely hitting me. With less than a mile to go Bemis went back by and I had no power left. Jason Bui went back by me with 200 to go and powered to the line, I struggled in running 1:18:48 and taking 5th in the 50+. Had I not gone off I would have run about 1:17:58 or about 1:10 slower than last year…so no complaints from me. I gave what I had on that day and most importantly RACED it. Next up will be the 10km championships in two weeks. My plan will be to go with Ed (and Dan V) for as long as possible. Bring on Lone Gull!
50+ (41 finishers)1 1:12:12 Peter Hammer 50 M BAA
2 1:18:31 Michael Cooney 54 M WRT
3 1:18:34 Scott Anderson 51 M WRT
4 1:18:39 Charlie Bemis 53 M WRT
5 1:18:48 Dave Dunham 52 M CMS
6 1:19:23 Robert Cipriano 56 M SRR
7 1:19:52 Ed Sheldon 52 M CMS
8 1:21:11 Martin Tighe 58 M CMS
9 1:21:37 E J Hrynowski 54 M GLRR
10 1:22:04 Douglas Martyn 56 M WRT
11 1:24:34 Ephraim Ezekiel 59 M WRT
12 1:25:00 Peter Fratini 51 M GSH
13 1:25:35 Andy MacDonald 56 M BAA
14 1:27:43 Jim Garcia 58 M GLRR
15 1:29:42 David Lapierre 52 M CMS
16 1:30:54 Philip Savoy Jr 54 M CMS
All CMS finishers
3 1:06:17 Dan Vassallo M3039 CMS
6 1:09:57 Scott Mindel M2029 CMS
36 1:15:45 Joe Shairs M4049 CMS
39 1:16:27 Eric Narcisi M3039 CMS
43 1:18:18 James Pawlicki M4049 CMS
49 1:18:48 Dave Dunham M5059 CMS
60 1:19:52 Ed Sheldon M5059 CMS
61 1:20:00 Todd Callaghan M4049 CMS
68 1:21:11 Martin Tighe M5059 CMS
127 1:29:42 David Lapierre M5059 CMS
135 1:30:54 Philip Savoy Jr M5059 CMS
195 1:45:46 Brian Specht M5059 CMS
207 1:47:29 Frank Ruggiero M5059 CMS
282 2:24:40 Bernard Davis M6069 CMS