My original plan for the first weekend in April was the Upton 15k which was the USATF NE championship. Unfortunately the storm that blew in Friday night into Saturday dumped anything from a couple of inches to a foot of wet heavy snow. The 15k was canceled and I quickly searched for a replacement race. I came up with the Winner’s Circle 4 mile in Salisbury. I’d done this race three other times and had good luck, and there aren’t many opportunities to race four miles. The fact that it was only a 20 minute drive made it an easy decision.
It was 33 degrees snowing and windy (30 mph gusts) when I got to the Circle. The roads were a messy mix of snow and slush. Footing would be lousy. I previewed the course as a warm-up and was drenched by passing cars. The first/last ¾ mile on Rabbit road were really nasty as there was a lot of traffic (and no one thought of slowing down). I switched into racing gear which included Inov-8 trail shoes and traction devices. That was what I wore at Bradford back in February under similar conditions. I only saw two guys warming up while I was out on the course but saw a couple of more fast guys when I jogged over to the line. I thought maybe I could sneak into the top three and get some cash but wasn’t so sure when everyone shot out at the start. I felt flat and sore (from shoveling) and my ankles were creaky not liking the lack of traction.
I found myself in 7th place right away with two guys already way out front followed by two more together, then my group of three. The wind and snow gave me an “ice cream headache” during that first ¾ mile stretch. We turned onto the side street and I began to feel a lot better. The guy at the mile called out 6:12 as I went by which was disappointing (it was also wrong I was 6:01). John Mortimer has the CR of 18:33 and I was hoping to get through 3 miles faster than his record. Right after the mile I moved into 5th and one of the guys fell off, Vincent Lyon stayed right on me. We hit 2 miles in 12:00 and the out/back section began (which is nice for checking out where the competition was). I slightly gapped Lyon before reaching 3 miles in 18:03. I wanted to break 24 and not lose the 5th place spot. The final mile on Rabbit road was again nasty, driver seemed to intentionally speed up and spray slush. I gritted my teeth and held on to 5th sneaking under 24 (just barely). I quickly added a damp layer of clothes and headed back out for a warm-down (catching my sisters as they passed the 3 mile mark) and then got out of there.
I felt it was a good effort given the conditions but disappointing since it wasn’t even at the pace I’d hoped to race for 15k!
1 21:39.2 Adam Gilman Manchester NH 26 M
2 21:43.3 Joe Molvar Newburyport MA 18 M
3 22:30.5 Robert Hollinger Amesbury MA 25 M
4 23:00.0 Steve Dowsett Newburyport MA 29 M
5 23:58.2 Dave Dunham Bradford MA 53 M
6 24:02.7 Matthew Valli Newburyport MA 29 M
7 24:03.5 Vincent Lyon Dover NH 28 M
8 26:19.9 Dylan Stevens Allston MA 31 M
9 26:34.6 Derek Sweitzer Portsmouth NH 28 M
10 27:17.5 Sebastian Gilligan Topsfield MA 14 M
11 27:22.8 Molly Lacherkate Providence RI 38 F
12 27:44.6 Jay Seney Vernon Rockville C 57 M
13 28:00.7 Kelly Goodwin Dover NH 25 F
14 28:22.5 Bob Strout Salisbury MA 61 M
15 28:29.9 Katherine Kulig Melrose MA 39 F
My Winner’s Circle 4m results
03/30/1991 1st place 19:09 (600 finishers) – windy snow showers 35 degrees, ran with Buddy Bostick and Mike O’Brien got the win on a kick with 300 to go. Bostick 19:11, O’Brien 19:14, Verrington 19:43
11/04/1995 1st place 20:46 (200 finishers) – 4 in the Fall, followed the pack for three miles then kicked
04/03/2005 10th place 23:00 (253 finishers) – Better than I’d hoped for, good last mile trying to break 23 (540/545/558/537)
1 John Mortimer 28 M 19:46 4:57
2 Mick O’Brien 44 M 20:23 5:06
3 Joe Shairs 36 M 20:58 5:15
4 Dennis Floyd 28 M 21:00 5:15
5 Ryan Aschbrenner 27 M 21:01 5:16
6 John Ayers 38 M 21:07 5:17
7 James Pawlicki 30 M 21:44 5:26
8 Derek Dorval 31 M 21:58 5:30
9 Ross Young 34 M 22:21 5:36
10 Dave Dunham 41 M 23:00 5:45