Monday, February 13, 2017

Bradford Valentine race

I signed up for the Bradford Valentine 5m hoping to get a decent time to help boost my confidence going into the USATF NE 10 mile champs in a couple of weeks.  The snow came on Thursday (a foot of it) and then it snowed again on race morning.  Plans for a fast 5m were out the window, but the race was on so it'd be about competing not about hitting a time. 

I headed over to Danny V's house (1/2 mile from the start) and then caught up with CMS teammate Jeff Goupil as I collected my number.  Jeff and I went back to Dan's then headed out for a 3 mile warm-up on the course.  There was very little (to none) pavement showing, just a layer of snow and more coming down.  It was 19 degrees and the wind was blowing.  I had hoped to run under 30 minutes and now was thinking that 32ish was more realistic.  I switched into racing gear and put on my Inov-8 trail shoes along with Yak Traks for the best possible chance to get some traction.

On my way back to the start I bumped into U-Lowell teammate Pat Sweeney who was kicking himself for forgetting his Yak Traks.
I also bumped into my sisters who were dressed for the occasion and got a picture as I tightened my shoes right before the start.
Denise, me, Rose
A smaller than normal field lined up, the RD told everyone to be careful and just have fun.  Good advice.  Off we went and Dan and I were the only ones click/clacking along whenever we hit some slightly less snowy pavement.  Pat Fullerton (also CMS teammate) took it out and was alone in front right away.  He peeled off just before the mile as the 6k course went right and we went straight.  Two other guys peeled off as well and I found myself in 6th place striding along with Dan.

I never checked any of my splits as I figured it'd all be effort based and time was out the window.  On the downhill after the mile I got ahead of Dan and tried to focus on the three guys in front of me (Goupil, Webber, and Rand).  They were about 5 seconds ahead and the leader (Catoggio) was another 5 seconds up.  I could hear Dan clicking behind me as I closed on the chase pack.  Everyone slowed as we took the sharp turn onto South Cross Road.  I didn't slow as much as I had some confidence in my footing.  Right after that I caught the group and at 2 miles moved into 2nd place.  Webber and Rand seemed to fall off but Goupil latched on as we started the tougher part of the course.

At 2.5 Catoggio was about 15 seconds ahead and Jeff and I had pulled clear of our two pursuers.  I took a sneak peak at the 180 degree turn and estimated that Dan was 15-20 seconds back (I knew he could still be dangerous with the climb and slick roads ahead).  From two to three we climbed 50' and also merged back into the 6k course which meant we'd need to pass about 100 people (and everyone was looking for the best footing).  Jeff went by me right after 3 and as we climbed another 50' in 1/2 mile I did all I could to keep him close.  I felt better as we hit the top, knowing I had 1.5 of downhill or flat running left.  I went back by Jeff for a bit but at 4 miles he re-passed me.  At 4.2 we turned onto Kingsbury (a bigger road) and the footing improved slightly.  Jeff upped the tempo and I kept thinking, "just hang with him another minute".  I kept thinking that until we turned onto Route 125 and I could see the finish line 1/4 mile ahead. 

200 to go
I locked onto Jeff and with about 50m to go we took the slight right/slight left to get into the finish chute.  Jeff had to slow to stay on his feet and I duked around him and let loose everything I had left (not much) but with 25m to go Jeff went back by to take 2nd place with me one second back.

No complaints from me, I ran a lot faster than I expected due to the conditions.  I'm hoping this is a good indicator going into the 10 mile!  CMS runners took places 2, 3, and 6 (and Fullerton destroyed the field in the 6k)
1 Timoth Catoggio        30:10 6:02  31  1/63   M  1/9     M3039 Boston MA
2  Jeff Goupil                 30:43  6:09 29   2/63   M   1/8    M2029 ARLINGTON          MA
3  Dave Dunham           30:44  6:09 52   3/63   M   1/16   M5059 HAVERHILL          MA
4  Nathaniel Webber   31:26  6:17 25   4/63   M   2/8    M2029 ATKINSON           NH
5  Joe Rand                    31:46  6:22 24   5/63   M   3/8    M2029 HAVERHILL          MA
6  Dan Verrington         32:09  6:26 54   6/63   M   2/16   M5059 BRADFORD           MA
7  Burger King               32:28  6:30 36   7/63   M   2/9    M3039 AYER               MA
8  Jordan Parkinson     32:35  6:31 25   8/63   M   4/8    M2029 PORTSMOUTH         NH
Matt Valli                  34:15  6:51 28   9/63   M   5/8    M2029 ?                    
10 Lauren Murray        34:25  6:53 38   1/83   F   1/25   F3039 METHUEN            MA

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