Sunday, February 12, 2012

Race #4 and #5

42 days into the new year and i have 5 races in so far, not too bad, but would be higher if there was snow on the ground.

My fourth race of the year was the Super 5k in Narragansett, RI, an out an back course along the ocean. It was a last minute decision to run this year, like 3 hours before the race. I ran the course as a warmup with Martin Tighe and Chris Jasparro, felt pretty good. I lined up on the front row to start even though i knew i would not get out fast. I haven't been doing any speed work, so there is no zip in my legs and i find i have to build up to pace instead of just blasting out. Something to work on in the spring.
The mile did go by in 6.08, the fastest i have done that in years. Middle mile was slow, 6.34. At the turnaround, i had teammate and fellow Death Race entrant, Issy Neilson come up on my heels, she was right there for close to a mile before i pulled away by a few seconds in the last mile, a 6.18. In the end, i finished in 19.41, my fastest 5k in 6 years. In 2006 i ran this race in 17.16, that was before all my knee problems. Now the knees feel fine and i will be getting faster, thing is, i have no real interest in running 5k's. Maybe i will do another one this year just to see the improvement, maybe.

The next race, #5, was more to my liking, a 15k trail race in Burlingame State Park, Charlestown, RI. The race was appropriately called the Brrr-lingame 15k trail race and it was chilly out, about 23 degrees and windy at the start. It is a two loop course, mostly single track with a lot of small ups and downs.
For some reason, i went out fast here, coming into the woods, i was running 5th, that ended real quickly. I was passed by 15 runners in the next mile, i only got one of those places back. That is what i get for the too quick start. I settled in and ran a pretty good first lap, averaging 7.12's, the second lap was slower. I started feeling the pace with about 2 miles to go, i looked behind and did not see anyone, so i backed off a bit and ran 1.08 slower than the first. As i crossed the finish, i was surprised to see three runners battling just 15-20 seconds behind me, i never saw them, one was Bob Sharkey, newly turned 60 and killer mountain runner. It is good anytime i can finish in front of Bob. I ended up 19th in 68.03 @ 7.19 pace, 1st in the 50-59 age group. The race was won by Greg Hammett with my only teammate today, Alan Bernier in second. The Westerly Track Club put 5 in the top 10 to easily win the team honors. Congratulations to them.

A big shout out to Mike Galoob for putting on this trail series this winter, the South County 4th Season Race Series. It is great to have more trail races on the schedule without driving to another state. I do miss the snowshoe racing, but this series is a good alternative.

Next up? I don't really know, i'll take it week to week. I'll be at Amherst for the DH Jones 10 miler, but behind a camera, not racing. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Canadian Death Race. I'm in!

I'm entered!! Crazy as it sounds, i just entered the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada. The race is in the Canadian Rockies, west of Edmonton. In a nutshell, it is 125 kilometers (77.6713 miles) in less than 24 hours, 3 peaks to run over, 17,000 feet of climb and descent. Sound crazy? Yes it is! 

Course Profile: Click here.


It is not so much a race as an adventure.

This will be a group run, i will be running with Thor Kirleis, Issy Nielson and  Henry Sacco. Thor and Issy have run ultras before, not sure about Henry. Me? I have never run beyond 27 miles and that was done in 1982, i never knew how to run slow enough to run farther, that 27 was in all likelihood done in way under 3 hours. I am banking on the experience of Issy and Thor to get me through this event.

I have 6 months to get ready for this, i'll need most of that.

How to train for this. Not really sure. 20-25 mile runs, repeats up Wachusett Mountain, a few runs up in North Conway with Kevin Tilton as a guide. Maybe some tough trails races like Soapstone Mountain or Seven Sisters. I'm already in Mt Washington, that will help. It will be interesting to say the least.

One thing is for certain, i WILL finish. And have fun doing it.

Stay tuned for training updates.

I hope they have good beer in Grande Cache!!