Sunday morning I made my way over to Haverhill, MA to race the 23rd annual Bobby Bell 5 mile road race. Organized years ago by race director David "Icky" Labrode in response to the all women Bonnie Bell mini marathon (now Tufts 10k), it features good old fashioned New England bar/pub style atmosphere and a road race that offers a prize for gender based handicapping. I met up with brother Michael and we registered together then set off for a 22 minute warmup. We ran the first mile + of the course and got a feel for the stiff wind that was coming off the Merrimack River. Temperatrures in the 50's and no rain meant nice racing conditions sans the wind.
I got on my Loco Banditos and jogged to the starting line where I met up with Tim Van Orden, who is house sitting for DD. Tim mentioned he wasn't racing but was interested in running a couple of quick miles for training purposes. After a couple of light strides, I positioned myself up front and got off good but was reluctant to take it out right away so I settled in a pack of about 6-7 which was led by Whirlaway's Chris Spinney. It wasn't long aftr the first 1/4 mile when I decided to take the lead and see what happened. I felt okay, not great, as a matter of fact I felt awful, but I managed to keep tempo and was quickly joined by Kiernon Tumbleton, Michael Quintal and TiVO (who was running in full sweats).
MQ looked good as did TiVO and KT. The time at the mile was given to us as 5:15 but my Garmin had my first mile as 5:31. There must of been some sort of discrepancy because we hit mile 2 in 11:25 and even with the hills after mile 1 and the wind there is no way I ran 6:10. I think 5:31 was more like it. I started to lose contact with eventual winner KT at about the mile and hung with brother MQ until mile 3 (TiVO dropped back after mile 1 1/4). We hit mile 3 together in 17:12 and I looked up and we were about 25 seconds behinfd KT. Just as he made his way onto N. Broadway he grabbed for his right hamstring and I told MQ he should try to go get him. I think both of us were content with our position and pace and we just labored on to a flat mile 4 in 22:53. Once you hit Rt 97 there is a long downhill to Lafeyette Square and you can really make up some time as you head downtown to the finish. I remember telling myself to maintain and get in without incident. I looked ahead and focused on MQ and brought it in for a 3rd place 28:16. This marks the first time MQ has officially beat me in any race. I knew the day would eventually come and I am relieved that it happened. MQ,congratulations!