Saturday, October 17, 2020

Looking back: October 2015

5 years ago (Oct 2015): I started the month heading out to Syracuse for the USATF masters national 5k championship.  Best case I would take a shot at my senior (50+) personal best which was 17:11. I got to the mile in 5:22 and was still hanging on the back of my group.  I hit 2 miles in 10:52 (5:30) and was thinking that I might have a shot at breaking 17.  The group hadn’t broken up and I hung on through 4K.  At that point people started kicking, but I had no kick.  It felt like I’d been at maximum speed from the start and had no gear left.  I ended up just missing sub-17 with a chip time of 17:00.5, and 7th place in the 50-54.

1          15:08    Gregory Mitchell  42         1          M40-44  McMinnville, OR
2          15:41    Alan Black          41         2          M40-44  Hillsboro, GA
3          15:48    Chad Newton      45         1          M45-49  Pisgah Forest, NC
10         16:27    Tim Van Orden    47         3          M45-49  Bennington, VT
26         17:01    Dave Dunham     51         7          M50-54  Bradford, MA

I decided to use the long Columbus Day weekend as my opportunity to finish my town bagging in New Hampshire.  I had eight of the 259 towns left in my goal to run in every town in NH.  My first stop of the day was Woodstock/Warren where I parked at a turnout on the Sawyer highway that promised a “scenic view”.  In the pouring rain there was no scenery.

Wet and miserable 259 towns/cities


The next day, Kevin Tilton and I met up at the Dunkin’s in Berlin and carpooled to the trailhead for Success Mountain.  It was 43 degrees, crisp and clear as we started out.  This would be my final town bagging run, after this I’d be able to claim to have run in every town in New Hampshire.  There were some great views from the Outlook especially the Presidential Peaks which were dusted with snow.  We spent a little time checking out the view before heading back to the Success trail. 


North Bald Cap with Mt Washington in the background              Rime ice on the summit of Success


We headed off the summit for a 150’ drop down to the plane crash site.  We spent a little time checking out the huge sections of plane that remain then headed back up to the top of Mt Success.  We were back at the car 2:34 after we started with a 7 mile run behind us and for me all of New Hampshire done.                                                                        


                                                                       Plane crash remains

Lancer Stride for Pride 5k - The course was really nice, mostly on a narrow bike path along the Shawsheen river with a start and finish lap on the track at Lawrence Stadium.  The Mayor showed up and gave a quick speech before we started.  Everyone literally sprinted out for the first lap of the track.  One of the B-ball players, Marcos Germosen (who has run for the track team as well) was up front with Luis Cruz a former Eagle Tribune all-star while at Lawrence high.  They had 10 seconds on me at the mile, but then slowed significantly as we hit the second loop.   Cruz hadn’t previewed the course, he’d pull ahead a bit but then not be sure which way to go and I’d yell out the correct direction.  We stayed within a couple of seconds until the turn at 2 miles.  I called out “right” and he took a right but instead of heading back he kept going!  I yelled again and he stopped, turned and sprinted back to me.  We ran together again until about ½ mile to go when he put in a surge.  I couldn’t match him but tried to keep it close. 


Lancer Stride for Pride 5K

Place Name                      Age S City St             Time    Pace    

 1 Luis Cruz                     22 M  Lawrence MA      16:52  5:27

 2 Dave Dunham              51 M  Bradford MA       16:58  5:29

 3 Marcos Germosen         18 M  Lawrence MA      17:58  5:48

 4 C Jones                        00 F   Reading MA        19:13  6:12

 5 Cassandra Pelissier       15 F   Lawrence MA      20:34  6:38


National Masters Cross Country Championship –I headed out on Saturday (early) and met up with teammate Al Bernier in Chicopee.  We passed through Saratoga Springs but continued on to the Saratoga County high point.  After that it was off to the Saratoga Spa State Park to preview the course.  The next morning, we got to the race site more than an hour before the masters (40-49) race.  My race wasn’t for a couple of hours so I had time to take pictures and then headed out on the course with Paul Bazanchuk to cheer on the guys.  The team put 7 guys in the top 15 to take the national title.  There were 58 runners in my heat (the 50-59 age group), so there was a lot less worry about getting stuck and not being able to pass.  At the gun Mike McManus took off on his own and essentially ran a tempo run for the win.  His 15:52 was the fastest time by anyone on this day and good enough for a 27 second win in our heat.  I could see sometimes CMS teammate (Mt Washington) Francis Burdett up ahead and tried to focus on keeping him close.  I counted about 10 seconds at 1.5 miles.  We hit the second (and final) uphill at 2 miles and I closed the gap to about 5 seconds.  That was as close as I’d get as the course flattened out and Francis took off.  I was pretty happy to take a 7th place at a National Championship and my time (17:16) was a bit faster than I thought I could run.  The course was 3 miles (not 5k) and seemed to run about 30 seconds slower than what you could run on the road for a legit 5k. 

 Kicking for home!       


Overall 50 Plus – 58 finishers

    1   Mike McManus        50 M West Linn       OR   15:52  5:07 Urban Athletics

    2   Mark Hixson           50 M Simsbury        CT   16:19  5:15  Hartford TC

    3   Nat Larson             53 M Amherst         MA   16:23  5:17    

    4   Mike Nier               50 M Rochester       NY   16:25  5:17  Genesee Valley

    5   Mark Zamek           52 M Allentown       PA   16:42  5:23  Garmin 

    6   Francis Burdett       50 M Worcester       MA   17:04  5:30 Greater Springfield

    7   Dave Dunham        51 M Bradford        MA   17:16  5:34  CMS

    8   Kevin Forde           51 M Philadelphia    PA   17:25  5:37  Greater Philadelphia

    9   Alejandro Heuck     50 M Amherst         MA   17:37  5:41 Greater Springfield

   10  Ron Lombardi         51 M Brimfield       MA   17:40  5:42  Greater Springfield


   16  Joseph Regan        52 M Marlborough     MA   17:50  5:45   U-Lowell teammate!

   31  John Griego           57 M Blackstone      MA   19:14  6:12     CMS

   58  Finishers


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