Sunday, November 29, 2009

30th Annual Andover Striders XC race (3.5 mile)

Sunday morning, I met up with my brother Michael in North Andover and he drove us over to the Andover Country Club (ACC) where we raced in the 30th Annual Andover Striders Cross Country race. The distance for this event is advertised as a 6k but due to construction on the normal finish line area the course was changed a bit so the general consensus was that the distance for today's race was 3.5 miles. We arrived at the ACC about 11:00 and had plenty of time to sign up ($20 which includes a buffet lunch and plenty of beer, and a nifty pair of running gloves) and chat with a number of the locals. In fact, Michael and I parked right next to the ageless coach Deke of Double J fame who knew everyone ! Double D arrived and after he signed up, we (DD, MQ and Jim Quadros) went out for a 24 minute warmup. After lacing up the Innovate's, we headed over to the 5th fairway for the start.

David Labrode, a longtime running supporter and race founder, gave everyone a brief rundown on the "new " course layout and at 12 noon, we were off. Ryan Carrarra (new balance- boston) last year's winner took it out with Chad Carr (Cambridge Running Club) and Al Bernier (CMS) in pursuit. They would finish in that order. I got out really well and was settled in about 5th or 6th and was waiting for the arrival of MQ, DD and Terry McNatt (CSU). I was feeling pretty good considering I raced on Thursday but most everyone in the field had raced on Thanksgiving Day so we were all in the same proverbial boat. At about 3/4 miles MQ pulled aside and I encouraged him to take off and chase the leaders. He seemed to float away with relative ease and continued on for a 6th place finish (19:02). As DD and McNatt arived, along with Tomoaki Uchiki (Greater Boston) I tried to relax and settle in but something inside me was posessing me to force a hard pace so I took off really hard and made a bid to go after MQ. All three runners responded and I hung in about 10th place for the entie race always in sight of McNatt, DD and Uchiki. I was feeling the early surges midway but was not losing any ground to them. I was just hanging back and once I got a feel for the finish line I made a mad push down the hill onto the 9th fairway and made some nice footwork back up the final hill to the finish line. It was a sprint to the finish as I held off DD and Uchiki but lost to McNatt by 6 seconds for another Master's runnerup. I fell to the ground as I crossed the finish mat totally exhausted from the effort. My time was 19:38.


1 comment:

  1. I can still hear the beeping from the timing mat! You were laying on the ground and your shoe was still on the mat. Way to give it your all. Always fun having you and Michael around pushing each other, same as we did in Stiles pond!