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Archive for June, 2012

More disappointment at Mt Washington

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

So my streak of Ski to the Clouds victories was interrupted this year by the cancellation of the race. But I was really hoping to defend last year’s victory in the Crossan Cup by being the fastest NH racer up Mt Washington again. With Kris unable to race because he just got back from Norway, I thought I had a good chance.
My race plan was fairly simple. Run around 6:30 for the first mile, settle in around 15th to 20th place, and then slowly move up in the field, hitting 4 miles at around 32:00 and then hold on for 1:05 at the top. Even with a strong field because it was USATF Mountain running championships, I thought this might get me a top 10.
Things went well until about three miles. I was a few seconds off pace at that point, and in about 18th place. Then Kevin Tilton and Nate Jenkins went by me. I knew Kevin was my main competitions for the Crossan Cup. Last year I saw him around five miles and was able to hold him off. When I saw him go by at three miles, I was instantly demoralized. It hit four miles only 30 seconds off pace, but Kevin and Nate were steadily gaining and I had nothing left to give. I let a couple more runners go by. I rallied near the end as Jim Johnson and Dave Dunham caught me. I didn’t want to get beat by a 50-year-old (if I had realized that Dave is only 48 I think I would have let him blow by me) but I was unable to hold of Jim.
I was actually faster than I was two years ago, and it was fairly hot, so I could blame the slow time on that if this wasn’t arguable the fastest race in Mt Washington’s history (2nd fastest winning time, the only time with four runners under 61 minutes, and I think the most runners ever under 65 minutes, plus individuals near me running faster than in recent years).
The one positive I try to take out of this is that I have not been feeling good or doing well in workouts for the last month or so, but I actually felt good on my 13 mile run the day after the race, so maybe I am ready to turn the page and start running some fast times this summer.
I hope so.

Recent Races

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

A couple weeks ago now I raced the Bedford Rotary 12 km. It is the fourth time I have run the race, and I ran my best time by about 15 seconds (38:45). That was good for sixth place, which also matches the best I have done there when the race has been a grand prix. And, I got my first asterisk–running race results often use an asterisk next to times that impressive given a person’s age, according to some chart somewhere. I used to get them all the time when I was 18 and 19, and apparently I am old enough that running times that don’t seem that great to me is a recognized accomplishment…

Today I ran the Pack Monadnock 10 Miler. It was a challenging race… 8 miles of rolling hills with a significant elevation gain and then two miles of brutal climb. The last 1.3 miles are at 13% average grade–steeper than the average grade for Mt Washington. I battled with Brandon Newbould (who was one spot ahead of me in Bedford) for about seven miles, and then he opened a gap on a brief downhill. I held on about seven seconds back until the real climb started, thinking that maybe he wouldn’t climb well. It turns out he didn’t–he probably barely cracked the top-10 splits on the last mile–but it was good enough to put another 20 seconds into me. I ended up almost getting caught by Kevin Tilton, but I hung on for second place. Hopefully I will have a better day in two weeks when I run Washington.