Tuesday, May 26, 2015

All about Mystic! Week of 5-25 to 5-31

This week starts with a race in Mystic and ends with another race in Mystic.  First, the Mystic "Bearathon" 5k on Memorial Day, which I've done a couple of times.  Second, the inaugural Mystic Half Marathon kicks off on Sunday, and I'm excited about this race, as I haven't done a road half in a while.  The weather looks to be really warm this week, with temps hitting the upper 80s to lower 90s all week.  I'll be working Tuesday through Friday, so I'll have to pack some running gear and hit some trails near the job site!

Monday, 5-25 - 5-ish Miles.  Mystic Bearathon 5k.  20:34, 13th overall, 3rd in age group.  Awesome!  I'm really happy with my running lately.  I told Jeff on Saturday that I felt like my running was a lot stronger and more consistent lately, and I feel that it's totally the case.  Sub-20 for a 5k is damn close to becoming a reality.  I showed up to a muggy, warmer than expected morning at the Mystic Y, and who taps me on the shoulder?  Mikey B!  Finally jumping back into racing.  Ran into Roy from the club, as well as Way and a few other friends and familiar faces, then did a short warmup and got ready to race.  Lined up in front near local fast dude Jeff Wadecki (last year's winner), and off we went!  I felt good for the first 2 miles, in spite of the humidity, and maintained a pretty steady pace.  Kept Mike in my sights until the last 1/2 mile (he finished 4th, 1st AG). I almost got hit by some asshole backing a boat trailer out of the small marina by the bridge as well.  The last half mile has a slight rise before the downhill to the finish, and it was there that I checked my watch, and saw that I was close to 20, but wouldn't get sub-20.  Crossed the line at 20:34, did a short cooldown run with Mike, and found out I placed 3rd in my age group.  Got a medal, and a picture with the Stonington High School Bear!  Fun day!

Tuesday, 5-26 - 2 Miles.  Seven Falls State Park, Middletown.  After leaving the jobsite in Canton, I wanted to just make it through Middletown before the traffic got really bad.  Too late, some gal rear-ended a big truck at the worst possible place for it, near the stoplights.  Spent an extra 30-40 minutes in standstill traffic, during which I looked up parks on the other side of town.  Hey!  Seven Falls State Park, right off the highway, with trails!  I was running late, but I stopped and did a two-mile run to clear my head.  Turns out the Mattabesett Trail runs right through there, so now I have a go-to spot until the Canton job is done!  Huzzah!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Figuring out the Work/Play balance: Week of 5-18 to 5-24

OK, I think I've got it.  Working 2 hours away (for now) each day and leaving super early means if I want to run, it has to be right after work before I drive home.  If I don't, I don't want to do anything when I get home but relax.  If I finish up at the jobsite and hit new and interesting locales right away, it makes the ride home easier and I feel better!  Besides, there are some awesome places to run in North (West) Central CT.  Really cool stuff...

Monday - Wednesday, 5-18-5-20 - 0 - I haven't run.  But...I have registered for the Vulcan's Fury trail race in New Hampshire, which runs the rim of an ancient volcano, and I'm totally stoked to run!  Bring it!

Thursday, 5-21 - 5 Miles.  Satan's Kingdom and Tunxis trails, New Hartford CT.  I couldn't help but get the Van Halen song stuck in my head:


Yep, stuck in my head all day...

Interesting, the Satan's Kingdom is more of a fishing/tubing area along the Farmington River, but I saw the blue blazed Tunxis trail as I was approaching the parking area, and quickly found a yellow trail that ran along the river, and it was super technical but fun.  It dead ended, so I backtracked, crossed the bridge and ran the other side of the river along a dirt road, ascending for a while until I didn't see any blazes.  Backtracked, crossed back over and made a steep climb up the trail to an overlook and sketchy cliffside trail, which I checked out briefly before running out of time and returning to my truck.  Great trails and scenery!  I'll be back, devil trail!

Friday, 5-22 - 5 Miles.  Watch Hill/Napatree beach run.  An impromptu day off called for getting shit done around town.  While the dog was getting his hair did, I cruised down to Watch Hill and got some beach miles in, with a road chaser.  Windy, chilly but much-needed run :)

Saturday, 5-23 - 9 Miles.  NSEF 5k in town.  I did a 1.5 mile warmup with Jeff, where I showed him some trails near the race site.  The race?  I'm getting faster and I know it.  My last two 5k races have been on fairly hilly courses, and I'm coming close to my PR on them, so a flat course is gonna be the deciding factor.  I went out strong, managed the hills out and back, and finished well.  11th out of 127 runners.  2nd AG, and I won stuff for the fourth time in five races???  Not too shabby...and I got to run an easy 5k with Jeff on the Hewitt trails after the race, including the Bicentennial Trail for my town.  Awesome!

Sunday, 5-24 - 4 Miles.  Lantern Hill exploration with Jim H.  Met up with Jim and we cruised around the lower loop and made our way up the hill, but I wanted to check out some unmarked trails on the backside of the old quarry.  Found an old forest road/trail there that led to a really nice pond, and I think there's a lot more there to explore.  Made our way back to the top of the hill, and down to the bottom.  Lots of people already out!


Friday, May 15, 2015

All Work and No Play...Week of 5-11 to 5-17

So work just went from a couple days a week to straight up full time.  The latest job?  A huge bathroom renovation in Canton, CT, about two hours from my home.  And home to a ton of epic trails, from what my research has uncovered...so I'll be scouting, plotting and attempting to do something?

And does it seem like we went straight from winter to summer here?  It does to me.  There's definitely an adjustment that the body needs to make to acclimate to a drastic change in temperatures.  7 Sisters got warm pretty quick, and the run I did yesterday was uncomfortable, to say the least.  Of course, I was out in the Sun at the warmest part of the day, so it's my own fault!

That said, I'm running the 6th Annual KIAI 5k in Wakefield this Saturday.  It's a great race in a scenic town, and for a cause I wholeheartedly support, raising funds to provide karate scholarships to deserving kids who can't afford the tuition.  My friend Julie is the race director, and she puts on a great event!

And...depending on what the girls have planned this weekend (i.e. shopping), I might sneak off to run the Soapstone Mountain Half Marathon, a trail race and part of the Grand Tree Racing Series.  But that's dependent upon their schedule, not mine.

Monday-Tuesday - 0.  The job is WAY out there.  Northwestern part of the state, 15 minutes from the Mass. border.  The house sits on a hill, whose driveway is so steep that we had to park the equipment trailer at the bottom and schlep all our gear up.  It's so steep that we backed the truck out today while accidentally shifted into drive.  In drive!  I might create a segment out of it for hill training...

Wednesday, 5-13 - 2.6 Miles - Enders State Forest, Granby.  I scoped out some trails near our job, and this place got great reviews for its scenic waterfalls, and was 5 minutes from the jobsite.  Not much about trails or maps, but we finished early for the day so I drove over to check it out.  Unreal place.  The trails were unmarked, mostly borne out of foot traffic alone, and I hit some dead ends, but what fun!  I looped several times through the gorge that showcased several waterfalls, and scampered across boulders alongside the river, and generally had a great time.  Some good steep climbs as well!

New phone.  First panoramic picture.

The "trail" is straight ahead!  Not left!

Not bad for a Wednesday afternoon after work :)

Great place...nice swimming hole!

Looking downstream toward the falls

Thursday-Friday - 0.

Saturday, 5-16 - 8-ish Miles - 6th Annual KIAI 5k, warmup/cooldown, and dog trail jog.  OK!  Official results?  4th place out of 162 runners, 21:16 @ 6:50 pace.  My sixth time running this race and my best performance yet!  I got fourth friggin' place!  And wasn't real far off #3, only 9 seconds...pretty damn stoked about it, if you hadn't guessed.

Drove down to Wakefield and after checking in and chatting with friend/race director Julie Conte, I ran a short warmup with Paul G. and tried to figure the weather.  It was starting to rain, which I'd sort of hoped for, and looked like a good turnout!  I lined up with the fast looking kid at the front, who asked what I was shooting for.  I said I'd be happy with a sub-22:00 on this rolling course.  He was shooting for 18:20.  Um, sure...(I later found out he races track against young Mr. Walker).  Anyway, the race starts and I fall in around 15th place, as a bunch of young kids went out fast but looked like they'd fade pretty quick.  They did.  I reeled people in until I was in about 6th, and fell in with a woman who was running the same pace, and we stayed together the entire race, exchanging the lead a couple times.  I was able to outkick her in the last bit of the race to move into fourth place, and first in my age group!  Sweet!  Look,  here's the first page of results!  Proof!

This may be the only time I get this far up the leaderboard :)

Got home, and took the dog for a trail run.  Nice to have this 50 yards from the front door!

Trails across the street!


Sunday, 5-17 - Long some kind of run.



Friday, May 8, 2015

To Shad Bloom or not to Shad Bloom? Week of 5-4 to 5-10

Not to Shad Bloom.  I was away last weekend, and this being Mother's Day weekend, I'm gonna pull the plug on spending the day on Block Island on Saturday, and slip in some early runs.  I'm working long hours the first part of the week, so any miles will be made up on the back half/weekend. Fortunately, the weather just took a turn into awesomeville in these last couple weeks!  Things are looking good around here...

Unfortunately, I found out that the Sportsmen's Club banned all future use of the short section of the Narragansett Trail that ran through their property, so it will have to be re-routed.  This might turn out to be a blessing in disguise though, s it was a short, comparatively mundane stretch of land.  The 'Gansett is a kickass trail, and this might make it better overall...

Monday-Wednesday - 0 Miles.

Thursday, 5-7 - 4 Miles.  Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden CT.  For short, intense, painfully steep climbs, SGSP is close enough to make the drive worth it.  80-ish degrees and sunny, but I wanted to take a crack at a couple of segments, namely the 2/10 mile, 30% climb up the side of the "chin," alongside the old quarry there.  I also wanted to take a shot at the 1.4 mile Tower descent.  I scored a 7th on the ascent, and the GPS screwed me out of a top 5 on the descent.  I also took pictures at the tower and sign for the DEEP "Sky's the Limit" challenge!  So there's another one down.

The chin of the Giant.  Short bitch of a climb, 30% grade.

View from the top, looking south toward the Sound

Lots of this!  Yum!

From the tower for the challenge.  Nice shirt!

At the entrance for the challenge.  Take another selfie, Psycho...


Friday, 5-8 - 7.5 Miles.  Beach Run, Watch Hill/Misquamicut run with Woolley.  He's back, ladies and gents!  Back from New Zealand and ready to run.  Met Ryan at his place and we hit the foggy, mid-tide beach for an easy cruise to Taylor's place, and on to the tip of Napatree Point and back.  Great getting caught up, and a good day to have the wind at our backs on the return, as the fog burned off and it started to get really warm.  Good run!

Saturday, 5-9 - 0.

Sunday, 5-10 - 5 Mile mixer, Mystic.  Hot!  When was the last time I said that???  It got really warm here, so I thought Mystic, cool run along the water, jump onto the trails in town, blah blah blah...not so!  Still very hot, and I felt sluggish despite a slight breeze.  Upped the pace on the last couple miles, but felt it and sucked wind to get a decent pace.  I think I needed the beatdown though, as transitioning from cold running to warm running is shitty but necessary...and I almost got run over several times, almost ran over people suddenly changing directions several times, and saw an SUV that tried to climb a historic tree in front of a historic house on Pearl Street in Mystic.  Not sayin' it was texting, but I could see no other scenario for this accident.  Goddamn dumb driving there...

Thus ends a lower-than-low mileage week for me, and I missed a great race I signed up for, looked forward to, and skipped for the right reasons, but really f-ing wanted to be there.  Don't expect to see that again.  I was a miserable SOB all weekend...more so than usual, haha!  Next week will be quite different. One race on Saturday, and possibly a long trail race to jump into on Sunday if the stars align...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

7 Sisters Trail Race

7 Sisters.  The Holyoke Range, in Amherst, Massachusetts is the site of this 12-mile, absolutely brutal trail race, which first took place in 1991 and has grown to be quite popular.  It's part of the La Sportiva Mountain Cup series and the WMAC Grand Tree trail series, and is listed by Runner's World magazine as the "Hardest Up/Down Trail Race" in the country:

(http://www.runnersworld.com/trail-racing/americas-best-trail-races?page=single)

This race was on my radar, and back in December one of my friends suggested it (the blame for this insanity can be traced back to well-known instigator Way Hedding), so of course I signed up immediately!  I'm easy like that.  Upon further inspection...this race was legit, well-attended and considered to be a tough, technical and super-hilly trail race.  Sweet!

I really didn't give the race another thought until about a month ago.  I do lots of races, and decided that this one required me to book a hotel room close by so I wouldn't have to deal with a 5 a.m. drive from Connecticut.  Then I dug a little deeper and found out that this wasn't another out-and-back trail run.  This was a bit more.

Greg Hammett had said to me that this race was a different animal.  I trust Greg's opinion, and he was 100% correct.  I consider myself a very good (not fast, but good) trail runner.  I also prefer technical trails, the trickier the better.  I spent time training on hilly, technical trails, and got some good runs in ahead of the race, despite my work schedule.  I was looking forward to this race in ways I can't describe - I love these events!  I get so hyped, and I wasn't even nervous, just excited.  

Drove the two hours from my place on Saturday.  I did packet pickup when I arrived in Amherst...then chatted with the race crew and ran into Beth shortly thereafter!


Swag!  Had to grab the shirt and cap

We drove across the street and scoped out the race start.  I wanted to do a short run on the first part of the course, but I was also starving and wanted to get food, so we met up with Faith and Joe, and the four of us (the other WTAC and assorted crew were arriving in the morning) went for dinner and drinks at the Amherst Brewing Company.  Afterwards, we all bid each other goodnight, and I proceeded to my room, set out my clothes, and didn't sleep until around midnight.

Race morning:

I was up and ready before 6, met the crew for breakfast and we all headed over to "The Bunker," where the race started.  Met the rest of the crew, including WTAC'ers Paul and Carol Ann, and local running stud Don.  We also wrote Cancer Sucks! on our arms to show support for Faith's friend Eileen:
Cancer Sucks!  Stay Strong, Eileen!!!

 After grabbing a few pictures, I cruised over to run the first section of the course.  Yikes!  It quickly turned straight uphill and got tight and technical really quick.

Race day, and off in the distance...


With 500-ish runners ready to go, I knew there was gonna be some serious traffic out there, but I was determined to give it a good effort and have fun at the same time.  I was entered into Wave #2, possibly a mistake on my part but what the Hell, I'm pretty good on this terrain and figured I'd hold my own.  I waffled before the race about what to wear (I chose my singlet) and what to carry (I chose my handheld, filled with electrolyte drink and stored with 3 gels, and left the phone in the truck).  Chatting with local runner and fast dude Kyle, who had parked next to my truck, my choices seemed about right.  I knew it would get very warm very fast up there (forecast was 77 degrees by noon), but that the water/aid stations were spaced 2 miles apart and that I'd be OK, which I was.  I'd also pre-hydrated with several beers the night before ;)...

Funny, the air horn goes off and everyone walks into the woods.  My wave starts, and we all shuffle into the first part of the race.  The first climb was mainly a climb, not a run, and took quite some time.  After that?  I got around people as I could, and soon realized that the descents were as tough as the climbs, and that I would rarely be "bombing the downhills," as I thought I would...

Hey, that's part of the trail!  See the people?  Photo by Beth!

Holy shit.  And the "Sisters" seemed to have multiplied, as the steep downs and ups were relentless.  I counted like 50 Sisters.  The mile 2 station was water, so I filled my bottle, and finished off a nearly empty gallon jug.  Mile 4?  The same.

At "The Porch," I knew it was a walk (required) across the porch of the historic building, then a mile long descent to the turnaround.  Walking across the porch, I was lucky enough to high-five the race leader, who was also walking (when does that ever happen???), and I continued down to the 6-mile mark/turnaround, which looked like a block party!  Tons of goodies, and the best volunteers around.  I made sure to thank everyone I saw helping, because volunteers rock!  We should all lose a few seconds of our race thanking them.  Made it to the turnaround in 1:28...soooo there's a chance to go sub-3?

I must be really annoying, but I cheer on every person I can during races like these.  I'm not going to win, but I'm sure as Hell going to have fun and support my fellow runners.  On the way back to the porch, I started to see my people!  Joe, Carol Ann, Faith, Paul, and at the Porch?  Beth!  She gave me a hug and said she was going to drop.  No problem.  It was hot out on a tough course, and there were many casualties...really, between twisted ankles, dehydration, and who knows what else, I'm surprised there weren't more.  I'm glad I wasn't one.  Tough day!

Finished with the mile-long uphill climb after the turnaround!!!

Gave Beth a hug and continued on.  At the mile 8 water station I ran into Don, who'd twisted his ankle and was waiting for a ride off the mountain.  He told me to get moving, and that he'd see me in the lot.  I kept on, and it seemed like a much longer time to the water station at mile 10...but I was happy, upbeat and loving the course and the pain of the hills, but also really ready to see some finish line!  There are 47 false summits in the last two miles of the course, which scream "This is the last climb!  You're almost there!!!" and...they're not.  Wicked Sisters...

I finally reached the last summit, where a few people were trying to help some dude finish the race, and he was obviously not stable enough to navigate the last stretch of trail.  Dude.  Just stop.  The last downhill is dangerous even if you have your wits about you.  He had a whole posse with him, though, so I continued on to the finish.  I skipped as fast as I could down the loose rock to the bottom of the course, and cruised to the finish in 3:10, good for #151 out of 431 finishers (471 started).  I was thinking sub-3:00 without having seen the course, but I'm stoked about my result!  It means a couple of things: first, that I was assigned to the right group for this race; second, that I'm totally comfortable with technical single track trail races;  and third, that my hydration/fuel/gear choices are good.  I was happy, hurting and never bonked during this race, not once.

Happy post-race me!  Photo by Beth!

Caught up with Beth, who was fine that she DNF'd, and Don, who was not.  Next year, Don!  Wound down and changed up for the ride home.  Saw Paul on my way out, who dropped out due to muscle cramps.  Tough day for Paul.  On the other hand, Paul's wife Carol Ann finished the race like a boss!!!  Faith and Joe also finished the race as well and loved it.

So there!  I'd like to say that everybody should get to experience a race like this.  It's not a course I can adequately describe, and any pictures do not truly do it justice.  Mile for mile, this is the toughest race I've ever done, hands down, a truly epic experience for me and I'll totally be back and striving for Wave #1 next year!  Hopefully with friends again, we had a great time.  If you do want to attempt this race, though?  Here's my two cents' worth: It's a relentlessly hilly, technical, brutal course, one which requires putting serious trail time in the books to even consider attempting.  Seriously.  But if you put in the time, train and get to run this race, it's awesome!!!

A big shout out to the race directors.  You guys put on a Hell of a race, and I'm 100% sold on being there next year.  Your volunteers were great, and the park rangers/officials were friendly and professional.  Thank you again!



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

7 Sisters Week! Week of 4-27 to 5-3

Oh Hell, here we go...

I registered for the 7 Sisters Trail Race months ago, with the knowledge that I'd done Mt. Greylock, Pisgah, and a bunch of other trail races that served up some good challenges.  Then Greg Hammett had to go and mention that Pisgah was like a manicured golf course compared to 7 Sisters.  Shit, did I just step out of my comfort zone?  Why yes, yes I did!  And I can't wait to get up there for it, I'm so excited...driving up the day before, staying over and meeting up with friends, and getting to drive a scant 10 minutes to the race start.  There may even be a pub involved on Saturday evening, purely for carb-loading?  I'm in Wave #2 on Sunday, which means I either vastly overestimated my abilities, or I'm right where I need to be for a challenging race.  I plan on bombing the downhills, as I'm comfortable with them, and power hiking the climbs when it's steep.  Should be fun!

Monday-Tuesday - 0 Miles.

Wednesday, 4-29 - 4 Miles.  Oswegatchie Hills Preserve, Niantic CT.  I'm working at a house right on the water in Niantic, and driving in on Tuesday, I (of course) noticed some trailheads that were clearly blazed...we work all day, and in chatting with the homeowners, I found out that they're heavily involved with the preserve and are longtime members/conservationists.  I liked them immediately.  Today I had an hour of downtime and quickly changed up, and hit the trails across the street.  A hilly mix of technical and smooth singletrack, with really cool rock ridgelines up top, and some rooty, twisty sections in the gullies.  Loved these trails, and not what I'd expect from the flat Niantic I know.  Warm day, but a cool breeze helped a lot!

Great trails!

Thursday, 4-30 - 4 Miles.  Mattabesett trail run up Higby Mountain.  I had to stop by CFPA headquarters for blaze paint for trail marking, and to drop off the trail kit I'd checked out (I made my own).  Chatted with fellow trail manager Marty, who recommended the nearby Tynan trail connector to the Mattabesett, with a good climb to Higby Mountain.  Great technical climb, great view, and awesome descent!  Lots of mud, no blood, but I'm sure I'll have some of that at 7 Sisters :)

Quarry through the trees

Nice single track on the ridge

Castle Craig in the distance, next on my hit list

Friday, 5-1 - 0 Miles.

Saturday, 5-2 - 0 Miles.  Drive to Hadley/Amherst, MA to pick up race packet, check into hotel, and meet Faith, Joe and Beth for dinner and drinks at Amherst Brewing Company.  Took less than two hours to get to Amherst.  Scoped out the race start with Beth, then we all went to dinner and bid each other goodnight.  7 Sisters in the morning...

Sunday, 5-3 - 7 Sisters Trail Race.  12 Miles.  Separate post coming shortly.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Two Race Weekend: Week of 4-20 to 4-26



I have the State Police 5k Foot Pursuit this Sunday in Narragansett, which is one of my "legacy" races, meaning I've run it every year since I started doing races, and don't ever plan on missing it.  It's also a WTAC team race, and we've won it the last few years (no thanks to me, I confess!).  Past results below:

2010 - #190 - 26:17 @ 8:28
2011 - #333 - 27:20 @ 8:48
2012 - #226 - 24:30 @ 7:55
2013 - #164 - 23:39 @ 7:37
2014 - #81   - 22:22 @ 7:12

Plenty of room for improvement.  More interesting, though, is that this Saturday, the day before the Foot Pursuit race, is the inaugural Chikumbuso 10k in North Stonington.  I'm interested in this race because it's right up the street from my house!  I can do a warmup to the race, run the race, and do a cooldown run back to the house.  Sweet.  Going to be a tough race though, it starts/finishes at the top of a hill, so the last mile of the race is a steady uphill climb.  Looking forward to it!

Monday, 4-20 - 0 Miles.  Work day, and a day to stalk some friends' progress at the Boston Marathon!  It was gross out anyway, I don't think I would have gone out anyway...kudos to those who did!

Tuesday, 4-21 to Friday, 4-24 - 0 Miles. What the???  Worked three days in Waterford ripping out an old, 30+ foot front porch and replacing all of it, including the joists. One day in Wallingford helping to install new stone-paneled shower stall, heavy stuff.  No motivation at the end of each day to run.

Saturday, 4-25 - 8 Miles.  Trail warmup, and First Annual Chikumbuso 10k Challenge.  46:55 @ 7:34 pace.  7th OA, 1st in age group!  Results here: 

 http://www.coolrunning.com/results/15/ct/Apr25_Chikum_set1.shtml

To say that I'm pleased with the results would be an understatement.  Colburn called me on Friday, and mentioned that the race would start at the Grange and end at Jonathan Edwards winery, and thus would include two runs up Chester Main Road, once at the start and once at the finish.  Crap.  I quickly mapped it on Strava, and it looked to be about 700' of elevation gain.  This was gonna be a tough race.

I arrived early and ran into some of my WTAC crew, including Denise, Rose, Buddy and Way, who was emceeing as usual.  I did a short warmup on the Hewitt Farm trails around the corner and before I knew it, we were lining up to race.  The race also included a 1.5 mile fun run, and a 3 person relay, so I figured what the Hell, line up in front.  Paul G. taps me on the shoulder and wishes me luck, asks me what my goal was.  I really didn't have one, as it's a hilly course that I've run, but not raced.

Way yells "GO!" and we're off.  The lead guy takes off like a shot and is quickly way out ahead.  I'm in a group of 4-5 runners, and find myself in 2nd place for a bit?  Huh?  Did I go out too fast or something???  Very odd feeling for me to be in 2nd, if even for a couple of minutes, so when I got passed by a couple of people, I felt a bit more comfortable.  Weird.

After the first climb, I felt good, and really enjoyed the descent down Chester Main.  The rest of the course was hilly but rolling, not steep, and at the final climb up Chester Main, there were about 5 of us within seconds of each other, but I didn't enough gas in the tank to make a final charge to catch them.  Really happy with my results though!!!

Awards presentation

Great awards, too!

WTAC at the Chikumbuso 10k

Swag!  Made in Africa!  And I got a gift card to the Engine Room for winning my age group, sweet!!!!

Sunday, 4-26 - RISP Foot Pursuit 5k.  1.6 Mile warmup with Jeff, and the race.  Results?  44th of 725, 4th AG, 21:08 @ 6:49 pace.  Sweet!  I took 1:14 off my time from last year's course PR, and Strava had me clocked at my fastest 5k to date!  Not bad for the second race of the weekend!!!  I had a great time at this race, I always do.  It's such a fun atmosphere.  It's a big race but not too big, takes place along the ocean, and always has the best cookout and great awards.  Kathy Robbins and her team at TriMom Productions does a fantastic job putting on these events!!!

I arrived with Colburn (we carpooled), and we quickly got checked in at the pavilion.  I ran a short warmup with Jeff to assess the wind, and it looked like the last mile would be a headwind.  Nice.  I got prepped, said hello to a bunch of friends and familiar faces (including superstar photographer and friend George Ross), and geared up for the race.  Cool weather but I opted for a singlet, LVL Renner beanie and gloves.

I went out steady, and maybe lined up a bit too far back, and maybe some people lined up too far forward?  Never learn.  I lined up in the front row yesterday and did great, right?

Mile 1 was a 6:53.  Mile 2?  6:53 also, pretty damn consistent.  Turning onto Ocean Road for the last mile, my legs felt done, and I felt slower, but I was a 6:37, and finished well!

After I crossed the finish line, I changed up and grabbed a burger, chatted a bit and snapped a picture of Colburn crossing the finish line:

Colburn's finish!

  Waited for the results and I came in 4th in my age group, one second behind the third dude.  WTAC Men won the team event again!  For our efforts, we each won a $150 credit for any TriMom events, so free races!  Sweet!!!

All in all, a great day and great weekend.  I greatly exceeded my expectations for the 10k, and was still able to perform well the next day at the 5k.  Depending on my work schedule in the coming week, I'll try to get some technical trail time in as a trainer for 7 Sisters...