Saturday morning, MQ and I headed up to Bedford, NH to participate in the 3rd leg of the NE-USATF Grand Prix series. This was the 36th annual 12k race sponsored by the Rotary Club and marked the first time for MQ and I to race in both this event and first time to race in a 12k road race. We arrived nice and early and were able to register and meet up with all the CMS team members for a 2.5 mile warmup. I hung back and caught up with Jim Pawlicki. Everyone seemed loose and ready to race. The conditions were perfect with blue skies, no high heat and no wind. We warmed up over the last 2 miles of the race which would help later on because my course knowledge was not in my favor today. I had asked Dave Dunham earlier in the week what to expect and he said "go out easy and run it like a 10k and hang on for the final 2k." Words to live by. But anyone who knows me I tend to run on how I feel. If I feel good I don't want to hold back.
Minutes before the start, Craig Fram (Whirlaway) jumped onto the starting line and placed himself right next to me as the official starter was telling slower runners to get to the back of the pack. Craig said that was like asking a women if she is fat and we all got a chuckle right before the gun went off. I got out great. No doubt I was born to be a sprinter. I was in the lead for the first 100 yards and felt awesome. I was glad I had run fewer miles during the week and did not do a track/interval workout midweek. I felt tremendous. I only wish I had trained like this 15 years ago but that is another story. I knew I was going out hard against DD's suggestion, but I did not care. I feel that when the time to slow down comes my body will tell me. I was slowly swarmed up by about 29 of the faster runners. I determined this number by looking at the results because I was passed by everyone from 30th place to 44th where I finished. At the mile, I was probably in 20th place as I hit it in 5:09. Normally I would be very concerned but today I did not care and just tried to relax and maintain. Soon, I was joined by Scott Anderson(Whirlaway) and Fram and several othe runners (John Healy - Adidas GTD). I put in a surge (stupid but what can I say) and got ahead of the pack and had visions of getting up to the group ahead of me. I was thinking more like a 5k today. My plan was 1730/1730/630 but that was out the window. Soon after my surge, Fram passed me for good but I was always in sight of him and Anderson and their new teammate, Henry Scollard (formarly Cambridge Running Club). I hit 3 miles (missed 2) in 16:00. I knew I was running hard and possibly over my head but this is what I know from years ago. I run better when I run aggressive. Not too many runners passed me after 3 and before mile 5 and I maintained contact with Scollard the entire way. I hit mile 5 in 27:25 which would be a masters PR if en route's were allowed. I was hanging on but knew the final 2 miles from the warmup and just tried to relax. I kept thinking of all the work I had done and knew I was in good shape to be able finish as strong. I hit mile 6 in 33:04 and was slowing down but not loosing ground to Scollard, Several runners (Wayne Levy- BAA - who would win the masters division in 41:01, Whirlaway's Mike Cooney, Vermont's Norm Larson (50 older division), Chad Carr (Cambridge SU), Matt Germain (SISU), Dan Navarolli (CMS) , Ryan Place (GBTC), passed me over the final 2.4 miles so I knew I was paying for my aggressiveness but I did not care for I knew I was on for a good run. I hit mile 7 in 38:52 having run the mile in 5:48. I mananged to finish the final .44 miles in 2:34 for a final time of 41:27.
Up front teammate Justin Fyffe set a new course record and smoked the field as he led the men to a championship over BAA. Bob Wiles, Andy M., KG and MQ all raced well and scored for the victory.
Above photo taken by Ted Tyler. Matt Germain (left) and I entering track for final 1/4 mile.