This race snuck up on me. A super flat race held at Ninigret Park here in Charlestown, it's only five minutes away and always holds the promise of a fast time. Back in 2010 it was my first race since I had gotten back into running. I had run it last year after taking a year off from the race and smashed my 5k time, taking 2 minutes off my previous PR. Since then I had only managed to take another 2 seconds off my PR but I had a feeling that if I ran well I'd be able to trim it some more today.
It was a beautiful crisp fall day and the warm-up with the WTAC crew took care of any lingering chills. This was my first race wearing the New Balance 730s and I was interested to see how they would feel. I lined up alongside the usual suspects and then we were off, chasing the police truck. I took off fast - faster than I should have and found that I was initially right behind Jonny. I eased off a bit and settled into sixth position.
I looked at my watch and saw I was running at about a 6:10 pace. Now I was going too slow. I heard footsteps behind me for a while but they faded by the 1 mile marker. I hit the first mile in 5:45 which was right where I wanted to be so I guess the too fast/too slow pace ended up working.
The second mile was my slowest at 6:08. I could still see Jonny in 3rd place off in the distance. Jeff was in 4th and a guy in a FuelBelt jersey that had been running close to him was dropping back. There's a brief section where we turn onto old Route 1 before heading back into Ninigret - I looked back and saw that I had a good amount of lead over 7th.
The last section of the course is a lap around the bike track and the headwind hit me as soon as I entered it. I also had caught up to FuelBelt guy. I passed him pretty easily and we wished each other well. At the 2.1 mile mark I looked at my watch - 12:30. A 6 minute last mile would give me a PR and I began to push it. I was running out of steam as I came out of the bike track and I was still paranoid about someone passing me. I made the last turn and saw the clock at 17:50. I did the whole arm-flailing exaggerated sprint thing and crossed the line at 17:57.
A PR by 43 seconds! Good enough for 5th overall and 1st in the Open age group. A big day for WTAC all around. FiveK in 2nd, Jonny in 3rd and Jeff in 4th. Matt Walker and Mike B in the top 10. Big PR for Crutch as well. I'm very pleased with how I ran. I think the initial fast start was important to give me a good position and keep me close to the front pack and then I was able to maintain (more or less) until the bike track where I unloaded everything I had. Shoes felt good - I'll be using these for all my road races.
Chris G. came to cheer us on which was very nice of him. Did a short cooldown with the guys and then enjoyed the food (orzo, grilled chicken and salad - a nice change of pace from the usual post-race fare.) Regional speedster Will Sanders easily got the win and even set a new course record. I got a medal for Age Group and then I got seconds of food. A fun local race.
17 minutes and 57 seconds. 37 seconds to catch Seth 1.0.
|A fine contingent of WTAC came out today|
Photo by Jana Walker