Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pack Monadnock

Pack Monadnock 10 mile – This was my 17th time running the Pack Mondanock 10 mile (not 10 “Miler” which I will never understand).  It is the third most times I’ve run any race trailing only Mt Washington (26) and Wachusett Mountain (20).  I was still sore from the Sleepy Hollow Mountain race the previous weekend and worried coming into Pack.  This is not among my favorite races despite running it so many times.  It has 2,000’ of climb, which is great, but most of that is over the last 4 miles (1,300’).  Unfortunately you have to work pretty hard getting to those last 4 miles and I’m not good at switching gears over varied terrain.  At least I know the course so well that there are no surprises.
This year Pack moved to early May to accommodate the date change for Cranmore (USA Mountain champs June 3) and the move meant much better weather conditions.  It was only in the 50’s when I gathered up a few of the guys at Temple Mountain and drove back to Wilton (I left my mountain bike as my transport back after the race).  I joined up with fellow CMS runners Tim Van Orden, Ed Sheldon, Matt Veiga, and Erik Vandendries for an easy 2 mile warm-up (it didn’t feel easy).  After that I changed into road racing flats and did another ¾ mile trot to the starting line.  Nearly 200 set off into a bit of a headwind and up the first tough mile 270’ of climb to get you into the feeling of a mountain race before plummeting down to the Wilton Reservoir (on dirt road).  I felt like I went out pretty good, I was faster than last year and needed to be as my goal was to break 1:10.  Last year I ran just under 1:12.  I was in 13th place at the mile and by 2 miles I had slipped to 15th.  It felt quick to me and every year I pick people off after the first few miles so I wasn’t worried.
I knew Ed Sheldon was already out of sight and aiming to break Erik V’s 50+ CR.  Based on Ed’s road times lately he would be close, over 10 miles I’ve been about 2 minutes behind Ed.  Erik V is still recovering from torn meniscus and I thought of him on every little downhill as I pushed it as hard as I dared.  I knew I’d need some distance on him before the serious climbing started.  He out-climbed me at Mt Washington last year and looks like he’ll do the same this year.  A little after 3 miles I noticed that CMS teammate Nick Taormina had fallen off the pack he was in.  He’d told me prior to the race he was going to key off me but I think he felt it was too slow early on and he’d pushed on ahead.  I caught him around four miles and then set my sights on Steve Brightman (another CMS teammate).  Steve had been tantalizing close over the 2nd half of Sleepy Hollow and I was hoping to reel him in after the 5 mile mark.  I’d moved up to 10th place by that point and passed 5 miles in a little over 32 minutes.  Based on previous splits I felt I needed to be around 31:30 to break 1:10 but didn’t think it was entirely out of reach if I had a good second half.
It clouded up a bit and we even got a little rain after 5 miles.  Steve was 10 seconds ahead and although I didn’t know it Erik V was 36 seconds behind me.  I felt that if I kept it together I might be able to get Steve and Aaron Stone who was running with him.  The dirt road section after 6 miles was as hilly as I remembered and I just kept thinking “get to 8 miles and reel them in”.  At each mile I checked the distance to Steve and what I’d need to run for splits to break 70.  Finally we got to 8 and I was 14 seconds back and boom off went Aaron and Steve, they both buried me on the climb up route 101.  My split for that mile was decent but I lost ground.
The final 1.2 miles in Miller State park are as steep (and steeper) than Mt Washington and the 8.8 miles leading up to that had worn me down.  It was not pretty.  At the first switch-back right at the 9 mile mark I looked back and wasn’t too surprised to see Erik was right there!  Of course 100 meters can take a minute to cover so he was close but I still might have a shot at holding him off.  Soon after Steve started power-walking which helped me close the gap.  He also was checking on the turns, so no one was surprised at where anyone else was.  None of us changed places over the last mile, I hit the line in 10th place in 1:10:29, a bit short of my goal but no complaints.
CMS had a strong day putting 6 in the top 11 and sweeping all 6 of the team categories.
Place     Name                            Age       Cat        City, St              Time     USATF team
1          Brandon Newbould          35         M30-39  Nottingham, NH  1:04:16             WRT
2          Peter Asaro                    28         M1-29    Gloucester, MA   1:07:07            
3          Tim Van Orden               48         M40-49  Bennington, VT   1:07:34             CMS
4          Mark Rabasco                 22         M1-29    Pittsfield, MA      1:07:50             WMDP
5          Ed Sheldon                    52         M50-59  Hooksett, NH      1:08:41             CMS
6          Matthew Veiga                30         M30-39  Lynn, MA            1:08:50             CMS
7          Daniel Princic                 37         M30-39  Reading, MA       1:09:25             WRT
8          Aaron Stone                   34         M30-39  Greenfield, MA    1:09:42            
9          Steve Brightman             48         M40-49  Providence, RI    1:10:15             CMS
10         Dave Dunham                53         M50-59  Bradford, MA      1:10:29             CMS
11         Erik Vandendries             52         M50-59  Chestnut Hill, MA 1:10:37             CMS
17         Nick Taormina                44         M40-49  Gloucester, MA   1:14:24             CMS
22         Regina Loiacano             43         F40-49   Gloucester, MA   1:17:54             CMS
32         John Pajer                     54         M50-59  Leicester, MA      1:22:00             CMS
57         Barbara Mcmanus                       49         F40-49   Rutland, MA        1:32:00             CMS
79         Stephen Laska                55         M50-59  Holden, MA        1:37:10             CMS
97         Kathleen Murphy             59         F50-59   Worcester, MA    1:41:34             CMS
99         John Martin                    64         M60-69  Hyannis, MA       1:42:09             CMS
119       Karen Berni-Giarusso       59         F50-59   Sutton, MA         1:47:04             CMS
134       Mary Sharkey                  67         F60-69   Grosvenordale, CT1:49:10            CMS
138       Kimberly Gordon             35         F30-39   Rutland, MA        1:51:12             CMS
181       Bernard Davis                 67         M60-69  Grosvenordale,CT            2:26:27             CMS

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