Monday, February 27, 2017

Amherst 10m

USATF NE 10 mile championships – I’ve been looking forward to this race for a few weeks as I’m starting to get back into shape after my month of down-time.  I’m not quite ready to race shorter faster stuff but feeling that the miles I’ve put in are paying off and I’d be ready to run a decent 10 mile.  My goal for the race was to try and find the senior (50+ age group) pack and follow them.  Secondary goal was to break 1 hour, I’ve only done a few 10 miles since turning 50 and my personal best was the 1:02:01 from last year’s champs in Auburn NH.
Danny V and I carpooled out to the race and despite showing up 1:20 before the start were shut out of the close parking.  By the time we got parked, walked to registration, hit the bathroom, picked up numbers, and walked back to the car it was 10:15 and time to warm-up.  We got together with a big CMS group and went out and back over the first mile of the course.  I felt a bit “blah” and was a little worried about a couple of back-to-back harder days I did on Wednesday and Thursday.  Not too worried, 10 miles is a long way so plenty of time to correct along the way.  Dan found a port-a-john at a construction site about 100 meters from the start which was a major score as the time to the start ticked away.  I went with a tights top long-sleeve as it was chilly despite the sun and 40 degree temps, the 20-30mph winds made it feel a lot cooler.
Based on previous years I guessed I’d finish around 100th so I seeded myself 5 rows back from the start.  Teammate Ed Sheldon lined up with me and we had our eyes on newest 50+ teammate Dave Principe.  Nearly 800 took off in a near sprint from the start.  I went out looking for Ed and Dave and kept my eyes open for a Whirlaway 50+ pack.  Ed is easy to keep an eye on, he towers over everyone else.  The first flat and downhill ½ mile was fast, it felt really fast too me.  I realized how fast when Al Bernier went by and then Greg Putnam who just shook his head and said “too fast”.  I settled in on the climb up to the mile mark and about 50 people just blew by me.  A 5:56 at the mile put me pretty much where I wanted to be.  I opened up my stride on the long downhill and some people came back.  Matt Germain came by with a pack of Sisu guys and I tried to latch onto them.  It was a bit crazy on the main road as the cones took up a lot of space and it was hard to see them, I ended up having to run out in the road instead of the breakdown lane.
We turned onto the big loop section of the course and the first big climb and I just tried to minimize the damage.  I couldn’t see Dave or Ed anymore.  I hooked up with James Callaghan (BAA) who was running very tough on the uphill and I’d catch or go by him on the downhill.  We chugged along together with the top 2 women not that far ahead.  At four miles I saw Robert Cipriano (SRR) up ahead.  He is a 50+ runner so I caught his five mile split to gauge how far back I was.  He had about 8 seconds on me as I hit the ½ way point in 30:26.  I knew the second half would be faster than the first five so I still had hopes of running under 60 minutes.  Having a 50+ guy in sight also helped to keep me motivated.
After the first couple of miles of the race I wasn’t getting passed (except for the back and forth with a couple of guys) and I also wasn’t catching anyone.  From 5 I started closing on Cipriano and I got even with him around the 7 mile mark.  Around the same time teammate Art Besse went flying by, I tried to go with him but he was a man on a mission (he’d end up putting a minute on me in the last 3 miles and passed a bunch of people).  Cipriano and I had a good battle going which was fun (in a weird way), he was also strong on the climbs and motored by me a few times.  We turned the corner at 9 miles and hit the teeth of the wind and I could hear him fall back a bit.  I just kept my eyes on the top of the hill knowing it was less than ½ mile when I got there.  From the top I kicked with all I had and was able to hold him off by a couple of seconds.  I was happy with the effort, the place (5th in the 50), but a little disappointed to not crack 60.  I’ll take the 1:48 PR and more importantly our CMS 50+ squad WON!  Great running by Ed and Dave taking 3rd and 4th.  Dan was 15th and Martin Tighe had a strong effort coming off of bronchitis running 1:08 to round out our squad.
Next up in the USATF NE road running Grand Prix will be the New Bedford ½ marathon in 3 weeks.  I’m planning on passing the 10 mile mark under 60 minutes (NB is a faster course than Amherst).
AG        AG Pl     Place     Name                            Time                 Pace     Age       Team
M50-59  1          13         ANDY GARDINER             54:27.5             5:26      51         BAA
M50-59  2          38         GREG PICKLESIMER         56:48.5             5:40      50         SRR
M50-59  3          57         ED SHELDON                  58:23.6             5:50      52         CMS
M50-59  4          62         DAVID PRINCIPE SR         58:34.6             5:51      50         CMS
M50-59  5          83         DAVE DUNHAM                1:00:13.5           6:01      52         CMS
M50-59  6          84         ROBERT CIPRIANO          1:00:15.3           6:01      57         SRR
M50-59  7          90         SCOTT ANDERSON           1:00:25.2           6:02      52         WRT
M50-59  8          99         MICHAEL COONEY           1:00:49.4           6:04      55         WRT
M50-59  9          103       BRIAN RUHM                   1:01:00.2           6:06      51         GCS
M50-59  10         108       CHARLIE BEMIS               1:01:09.8           6:06      54         WRT
M50-59  11         114       ALEJANDRO HEUCK          1:01:36.0           6:09      52         GSH
M50-59  12         122       WAYNE LEVY                  1:01:55.0           6:11      51         BAA
M50-59  13         133       DOUGLAS MARTYN           1:02:41.1           6:16      56         WRT
M50-59  14         139       CHRIS SMITH                  1:02:59.8           6:17      51         SRR
M50-59  15         147       DAN VERRINGTON           1:03:28.3           6:20      54         CMS
M50-59  16         149       TONY BATES                   1:03:35.4           6:21      57         GMAA
M50-59  17         153       PAUL DAVIES                  1:03:54.8           6:23      50         BAA
M50-59  18         155       ALEX MCHENRY               1:04:01.2           6:24      51         GMAA
M50-59  19         167       JON SCHOENBERG           1:04:40.6           6:28      53         BAA
M50-59  20         171       CHRISTOPHER GOULD      1:04:58.2           6:29      51         GSH
M50-59  30         227       MARTIN TIGHE                1:08:09.9           6:48      58         CMS
M50-59  37         270       JOHN PAJER                   1:10:10.6           7:01      54         CMS
M50-59  57         418       STEPHEN LASKA              1:18:08.1           7:48      55         CMS
M50-59  61         432       WILLIAM GONSORCIK      1:19:16.5           7:55      50         CMS
M50-59  64         458       ROBERT THOMAS                        1:20:57.4           8:05      57         CMS
M50-59  70         492       FRANK RUGGIERO            1:23:26.1           8:20      58         CMS
50+ Teams (10 teams)
1 CMS 5:08:49
2 BAA 5:11:04
3 WRT 5:11:56
4 SRR 5:16:12
5 GCS 5:34:33

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