Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Greylock Mountain road race

I’d only done the Mt Greylock race once before (I took 4th place in 58:48 in 2006), but with it now being part of the USATF NE mountain circuit it was time to return.  I knew the road fairly well having run it a couple of years ago with Eric & Murdoch and I’d also not only biked it but EllipitGo’d it.  My biggest take-away was that it was just not quite steep enough for me.  I like a good road climb but with “only” 2,400’ of climb over 8 miles it was just not enough of a grind for me to do well at.  There was a lot of gear shifting on the flats and even downhills that I just don’t enjoy.
Anyway, I met up with teammates Kevin Tilton and Dave Lapierre for the drive out.  Neither had done the race before and seemed to be looking forward to it more than me.  My head wasn’t really in it, I spent most of the week recovering from the GP 10 mile and thinking about the upcoming GP 20km.  We did an easy 2 mile warm-up and spotted Tim Van Orden driving up the course, I was kind of surprised to see him driving around so late and yelled “the race starts at 8:30”!  Tim had misjudged it thinking the race was at 9, but he did make it to the start on time.  I switched into racing flats and headed to the start.  Being part of the Mountain Circuit definitely helped the attendance as 167 turned out and more than half were USATF members.

Teammate Matt Veiga shot out at the start with TiVO following.  A second pack formed with a young fast starter along with Mark Mayall (Battle Road), Josh Merlis (ARE), and CMS runners Kevin Tilton, Erik Vandendries, and Ed Sheldon.  I trailed by 15 seconds at the mile when I caught the fast starter.  That put me in 8th place and 6th CMS runner.  Not much changed as we entered the park and the climb got a bit steeper.  I took a peek on the first hairpin turn and there was no one in sight behind me, but I could see the pack in front.  Veiga pulled away from TiVO and was out of sight during the second mile.  Josh Merlis fell off the back of the group and I was able to catch him a little after the 2 mile mark moving into 7th place.  I started to focus on Mayall who was now trailing the pack.  Tilton, Sheldon and Vandendries seemed to be mixing it up with a different guy leading depending on the terrain.  TiVO was in no man’s land well behind Veiga but also safely ahead of the chase group.  I caught Mayall as my watch beeped for 4 miles.  I was starting to feel pretty good and checked how far the guys ahead of me were (about 30 seconds).  Erik and Kevin gapped Ed and I really began focusing on closing on him.  I knew I was in 6th place now and also knew that everyone ahead of me was CMS which meant I wouldn’t score for the team unless I moved up a place.  At 5 miles Ed was 20 seconds ahead and I felt I was making up ground.  The weather was ideal, sunny, dry, and just a little breeze.  At 6 miles I’d closed to 15 seconds and by 7 it was down to 10 seconds.  Over the last ¾ of a mile (the Garmin distance for the race was 7.8 or so) I just couldn’t make up any ground.  I ended up taking 6th place and 3rd in the 50+.  The happy surprise was that I’d run a few seconds faster than my time in 2006.  So at least I got a new Personal Best!

CMS swept the team titles with take the first 6 places in the open, top 3 in the 50+ and top 4 in the 40+.

Pl          Time     Name                            Gend     Age       City, St              Team    USATF Pts
1          0:55:14 Matthew Veiga               M          29         Lynn, MA            CMS      100.00
2          0:56:51 Tim Van Orden              M          48         Bennington, VT   CMS      97.16
3          0:57:43 Kevin Tilton                   M          34         Conway, NH       CMS      95.70
4          0:57:48 Erik Vandendries                        M          51         Chestnut Hill, MA CMS      95.56
5          0:58:33 Ed Sheldon                   M          52         Hooksett, NH      CMS      94.34
6          0:58:43 Dave Dunham               M          52         Bradford, MA      CMS      94.07
7          1:00:05 Mark Mayall                   M          45         Maynard, MA      Bttle Rd 91.93
8          1:02:04 Josh Merlis                    M          34         Albany, NY         ARE       88.99
9          1:02:40 Michael Narcisi              M          32         Acton, MA          Sisu      88.14
10         1:05:09 Isaiah Westphalen         M          19         Boston, MA                     84.78
11         1:05:29 Josh Cutris                    M          41         Worcester, MA    NMC      84.35
12         1:05:57 Leslie O'dell                  F           40         Albany, NH         CMS      100.00
13         1:06:33 Christopher Chromczak   M          31         Delmar, NY                    83.00
14         1:06:40 Scott Mccue                  M          42         Needham, MA                 82.85
15         1:07:07 Jamie Woolsey              F           33         Oneida, NY                    98.26
16         1:07:21 Jeff Gould                     M          51         Gardner, MA       NMC      82.01
17         1:07:27 Kevin Cavanaugh                       M          47         Milford, NH                     81.89
18         1:08:40 Rick Chalmers                M          54         S Portland, ME    Dirigo    80.44
19         1:09:27 Len Hall                                    M          63         Enfield, NH         UVRC     79.53
20         1:10:11 David Lapierre               M          52         Chelmsford, MA  CMS      78.70

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